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HomeAwardsOscar Diverges From Guild Scripts in Nominations

Oscar Diverges From Guild Scripts in Nominations

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Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars, Feb. 22.
Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars, Feb. 22.

In a town where the script is often not the first consideration in feature filmmaking, the Oscars veered away from their expected blueprint in many of this year’s nominations, including key divergences from the “best of” nominations by many of the craft guilds.

Overall, even though Boyhood would still seem a likely frontrunner in the best picture category, it finished the morning with six nominations, behind other contenders like Birdman, with nine, and The Imitation Game, with eight. The surprising Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s darkly-laced powder-puff about between-war Europe, tied Birdman’s frontrunner status, while Clint Eastwood’s apparently rebounding American Sniper came up with six nominations.

But while many of the final names coming out of “the envelope, please” on the anointed night may be as predicted, Oscar this year showed a willingness to go off script in its own way, contrasted with the work that the guilds have honored.

In cinematography, for example, the ASC matched the Academy in four out of five, agreeing on Roger Deakins’ work in Unbroken, Emmanuel Lubezki’s in Birdman, Robert Yeoman’s in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Dick Pope’s in the painting biopic Mr. Turner. But ASC also gave a slot to Oscar Faura’s lensing of The Imitation Game, while the Academy rewarded the Polish Holocaust-themed film Ida, which is the first primarily black-and-white film in this category since The Artist.

Deakins, by the way, becomes the most-nominated living cinematographer now, with 12 nods, just as Colleen Atwood notches a similar record with her 11th nomination, for her work in Into the Woods. It may take a while for her to catch up to Edith Head’s 35 overall nominations in this category, however. This year she’s competing against Milena Canonero’s work in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive’s cloth-snipping for Maleficent – another Disney release with a woodsy motif – Jacqueline Durrann’s period work in Mr. Turner, and Mark Bridges also-period work – in this case, the 1970s – in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.

Oscar editing noms were also different from those announced by the American Cinema Editors, for their ACE Eddies, though the Eddies has both drama and comedy feature categories to play with, much like the Golden Globes. The Academy selected American Sniper, Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, and Tom Cross’ snare drum-like work in Whiplash.

And while all of these figured in the two main Eddie categories, notably shutout of Oscar consideration were films like Nightcrawler and Gone Girl.

In fact Gone Girl, somewhat shockingly – for a film once heavily touted as a best picture contender – only snared a single nomination, for Rosamund Pike’s work in the best actress category (where Marion Cotillard’s work in Two Days, One Night received something of a surprise honor).

Oscar also took a different view of the visual effects category than those in VES did. While Paul Franklin and team’s work in Interstellar is still the frontrunner here, the Academy took a more superhero-themed approach to the rest of the category, with slots given to X-Men: Days of Future Passed, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Joe Letteri and co. nabbed the fifth spot for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Rising Sun Pictures was one of the post houses working on X-Men, and RSP producer Tony Clark said they were “very grateful to director Bryan Singer, visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers and 20th Century Fox for giving us the opportunity to work on such a fun, exciting and challenging project.”

But the VES, in a six-nominee category for best FX-driven feature, also had Maleficent, and the latest Hobbit installment. Though the omission of the latter from Oscar consideration means that Joe Letteri and Weta Workshop won’t be competing against themselves for votes.

However, Alexandre Desplat is competing against himself in the best score category, for his work in both The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel. He’s up against Hans Zimmer’s talked-about Interstellar work, Gary Yershon’s music for Mr. Turner, and the Golden Globe-nabbing score for The Theory of Everything by Johann Johannsson.

Johannsson released a generous, “it-takes-a-village” type statement upon hearing of his nod, saying, “filmmaking is a collaborative medium, and I was lucky to work with artists of amazing caliber: the actors, the screenwriter, and the director, James Marsh – who has my gratitude for inviting me to be a part of his team and for being a brilliant, inspiring and generous collaborator.”

Other surprises included the shutout of Selma director Ava DuVernay from the helmer’s category, though she was similarly left out of DGA consideration. The directors, while also going for an all-guy lineup, have Clint Eastwood’s work for American Sniper among their finalists, while the Academy swapped him out for Bennett Miller and Foxcatcher.

Another surprise was the shutout of The Lego Movie in the best animated film category, though it was nominated in the music category for “Everything is Awesome,” as was the wistful “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell’s lights-dimming farewell to his public life, as Alzheimer’s takes its toll on him. Julianne Moore also moves to the favorite in the best actress category for playing a victim of early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice.

Aside from the omitted Lego Movie, and newly-minted favorite How to Train Your Dragon 2 (along with Disney’s Big Hero 6, and surprise entrants Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya), the tabletop animation of The Boxtrolls was also nominated. Travis Knight, one of its producers, talked about “a labor of unwavering love crafted one frame at a time by a superb community of actors, artists, mad geniuses, steely-eyed pragmatists, and starry-eyed dreamers. I’m so pleased with the recognition of their artistry. It shows that original stories are valued, along with the weird people who make them.”

But perhaps he summed up Oscar morning even more succinctly than that, “What an odd and lovely way to greet the day.”

The nominees for the 87th Academy Awards are:

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall in The Judge
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon in Wild

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Laura Dern in Wild
Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Big Hero 6
Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

The Boxtrolls
Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold

Song of the Sea
Tomm Moore and Paul Young

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Achievement in Cinematography

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Emmanuel Lubezki

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Robert Yeoman

Ida
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski

Mr. Turner
Dick Pope

Unbroken
Roger Deakins

Achievement in Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Milena Canonero

Inherent Vice
Mark Bridges

Into the Woods
Colleen Atwood

Maleficent
Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive

Mr. Turner
Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in Directing

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Boyhood
Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson

The Imitation Game
Morten Tyldum

Best Documentary Feature

CitizenFour
Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Finding Vivian Maier
John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Last Days in Vietnam
Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester

The Salt of the Earth
Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier

Virunga
Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Documentary Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

Joanna
Aneta Kopacz

Our Curse
Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki

The Reaper (La Parka)
Gabriel Serra Arguello

White Earth
J. Christian Jensen

Achievement in Film Editing

American Sniper
Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach

Boyhood
Sandra Adair

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Barney Pilling

The Imitation Game
William Goldenberg

Whiplash
Tom Cross

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Ida, Poland
Leviathan, Russia
Tangerines, Estonia
Timbuktu, Mauritania
Wild Tales, Argentina

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

Guardians of the Galaxy
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat

The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat

Interstellar
Hans Zimmer

Mr. Turner
Gary Yershon

The Theory of Everything
Jóhann Jóhannsson

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson

“Glory” from Selma
Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

“Lost Stars” from Begin Again
Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Best Motion Picture of the Year

American Sniper
Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers

Boyhood
Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers

The Imitation Game
Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers

Selma
Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

The Theory of Everything
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers

Whiplash
Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

Achievement in Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

The Imitation Game
Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald

Interstellar
Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

Into the Woods
Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Mr. Turner
Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Best Animated Short Film

The Bigger Picture
Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees

The Dam Keeper
Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

Feast
Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

Me and My Moulton
Torill Kove

A Single Life
Joris Oprins

Best Live Action Short Film

Aya
Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis

Boogaloo and Graham
Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney

Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret

Parvaneh
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger

The Phone Call
Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Achievement in Sound Editing

American Sniper
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Brent Burge and Jason Canovas

Interstellar
Richard King

Unbroken
Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Achievement in Sound Mixing

American Sniper
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga

Interstellar
Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten

Unbroken
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee

Whiplash
Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Achievement in Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist

Guardians of the Galaxy
Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould

Interstellar
Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper
Written by Jason Hall

The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore

Inherent Vice
Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything
Screenplay by Anthony McCarten

Whiplash
Written by Damien Chazelle

Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Boyhood
Written by Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler
Written by Dan Gilroy

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