2015 Oscars, Part 1: The Nominee Announcements

The nominations for this year's Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning and, five days later after two boring days of work and a few days visiting my girlfriend's parents upstate, I'm finally ready to talk about them. So clearly, I'm not on my game this year. That being said, I'm not entirely sure what I actually can say about them, considering I've only seen one of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture, American Sniper. I will, of course, be rectifying that before the show starts. So I guess it's safe to say that so far, I know what my top pick is...

I'm not going to touch any of the controversies swirling around the film because I don't want to turn my blog into a political rigmarole, but I will say I thought it was a great movie and Bradley Cooper is definitely some tough competition for the rest of the guys in the Best Actor categories.

I have seen some of the other movies whose cast got nominations, like Gone Girl (Rosamund Pike isn't going to win), Foxcatcher (Steve Carell, while great, isn't winning, and neither is Mark Ruffalo), and Into the Woods (Meryl Streep, who, even though she' Meryl, isn't going to win), so I'm not exactly lost in the woods here. Sorry, couldn't resist. Speaking of Foxcatcher, does anyone else find it a little weird that a movie that didn't get a Best Picture nod still earned a Best Director nomination? That just strikes me as really odd. I know since they opened up the Best Picture field obviously not every movie nominated sees its director be so lucky, but it swinging the other way like this is definitely unusual.

And in other unusual matters, there's the whole Selma issue and whether it was snubbed or not. Again, I've not seen the movie. For all I know the entire cast deserves awards. Or maybe they don't. Or maybe they do, but the people who did get nominated deserved them more. I know people are upset that the actor categories are very "white" this year, but isn't it possible it isn't a color thing, but a performance thing? Isn't it possible that, as good as the Selma cast or, beyond that, other actors of other ethnicities were, that this year, the people nominated were just better? I'm not saying either side is right or wrong, I'm just throwing out the possibility that not everything is a race thing, and it wouldn't be fair if a white actor got pushed aside for someone who gave a lesser performance just for the sake of diversity.

Also, let's not feel too bad for Selma getting "snubbed;" two nominations versus the 98% of movies that come out and get zero nominations at all ain't that bad.

And zooming back to actors for a minute, how weird is it that two different Hulks have both gotten Supporting Actor nominations this year? Maybe one of them will win.

Hulk smash puny Oscars!

I'm looking forward to binging on the nominees over the next month and doing the two parts of my annual blog series that follow this one: my fully informed predictions the day of the show, followed by the scorecard of those predictions the morning after. I'm looking forward to the controversies that will inevitably grow bigger than the show. And, I'm definitely looking forward to the show itself, and this year's host.

I have a feeling it's going to be a memorable show...