This year's awards season is turning out to be one of snubs and surprises, making it more interesting than previous years when everyone knew the winners in all the categories two months before the Academy Awards.
Following the announcement of the nominations last week, a lot of justifiable outrage dominated social media, tackling everything from the lack of diversity in the nominations (especially in snubbing David Oyelowo for Best Actor and Ava DuVernay for Best Director for "Selma") to the unthinkable act of "The Lego Movie" not getting a Best Animated Feature nom to Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaac's mispronunciation of Best Cinematography nominee Dick Pope's name ("Dick Poop").
#OscarsSoWhite dominated Twitter and the Oakland Tribune's Oscar nomination headline, "And the Oscar for best Caucasian goes to," sparked thousands of retweets, referring to the fact that all 20 acting nominees are white and there isn't a whole lot of diversity in most of the other categories either.
On the "Lego Movie" front, it did pick up a nomination for Best Original Song, leading everyone to believe it would naturally get a nomination in its home turf category. But when the film's title was not read, it became one of the biggest snubs of the morning.
However, later that night, at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the film won in the Best Animated Feature category, prompting one of the directors to say, "What a rollercoaster of emotions today has been," at the start of the acceptance speech.
The omission of both "Gone Girl" and "Birdman" in the Best Score nominations also seemed quite preposterous, as both films featured stunning work.
While these snubs have dominated the news and commentary surrounding the Oscar nominations, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Birdman" and "Boyhood" continue to be this year's front-runners, with the first two receiving nine noms each and "Boyhood" receiving six. "American Sniper," "The Imitation Game," "Selma," "The Theory of Everything" and "Whiplash" round out the eight nominees for Best Picture.
In addition to the three front-runners, other films with multiple nominations include "The Imitation Game" (eight), "American Sniper" (six), "Foxcatcher" (five), "Interstellar" (five), "Whiplash" (five), "The Theory of Everything" (five), "Mr. Turner" (four), "Into the Woods" (three), "Unbroken" (three), "Selma" (two) and "Wild" (two). "American Sniper" and "Mr. Turner" have both been shut out of other major awards, so their respective multiple nominations did come as a surprise.
A complete list of the Oscar nominations can be found at gfherald.com.
Critics' Choice Movie Awards
Aside from "The Lego Movie" having a moment of redemption, last week's Critics' Choice Movie Awards were fairly predictable, solidifying all the acting winners for the rest of the season: Michael Keaton (Best Actor, "Birdman"), Julianne Moore (Best Actress, "Still Alice"), J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor, "Whiplash") and Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress, "Boyhood").
Richard Linklater's Best Director wins for "Boyhood" at both these awards and the Golden Globes make him a lock for the Oscar, and it's increasingly looking as though his film will win Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Feb. 22, just as it did at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
However, the critics did give "Birdman" their Best Ensemble trophy, so it's still a little too early to completely cut it out of the competition.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards air at 7 p.m. on Sunday on both TBS and TNT.
As I wrote last week, the Best Ensemble winner here will most likely be the Best Picture winner at the Oscars, as actors make up the largest percentage of Academy voters.
Here are my quick picks and predictions for Sunday's SAG Awards.
Best Ensemble nominees: "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything." Should win: "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Will win: "Boyhood."
Best Actor nominees: Steve Carell ("Foxcatcher"), Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game"), Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler"), Michael Keaton ("Birdman") and Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"). Should and will win: Keaton.
Best Actress nominees: Jennifer Aniston ("Cake"), Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl") and Reese Witherspoon ("Wild"). Should win: Pike. Will win: Moore.
Best Supporting Actor nominees: Robert Duvall ("The Judge"), Ethan Hawke ("Boyhood"), Edward Norton ("Birdman"), Mark Ruffalo ("Foxcatcher") and J.K. Simmons ("Wild"). Should win: Norton. Will win: Simmons.
Best Supporting Actress nominees: Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood"), Keira Knightley ("The Imitation Game"), Emma Stone ("Birdman"), Meryl Streep ("Into the Woods") and Naomi Watts ("St. Vincent"). Should win: Stone. Will win: Arquette.