And the Nominees Are...

The nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning. As always there were surprises and snubs, and now we're in for a long month of campaigning and debating prior to the ceremony on Sunday, February 22.

In the next few weeks I'll be looking at the eight nominees for Best Picture, as well as the nominees in other categories, in more depth, leading up to me making picks. But today, it's time to celebrate and commiserate.

* Whiplash rocked! This was my favorite film of the year, and it not only got a Best Picture nomination and the expected nomination for J.K. Simmons, already a presumptive favorite, but got five nominations — including in the Film Editing Category, which is key to the chances of winning Best Picture.

* Laura Dern nominated for "Wild." I didn't love "Wild," but I loved the work done by Dern. It was an important part that might be easy to overlook. It wasn't flashy, but it was solid, and it helped make the movie.

* David Oyelowo. This was the most shocking for me. Not only was he incredible in this role, I felt like it was nearly a lock for him to get a nomination. But he didn't. In fact, "Selma" was largely snubbed.

* Gone Girl. I thought "Gone Girl" was a good film, chilling and well made. Aside from the nomination for Rosamund Pike, the movie was completely ignored.

* The Lego Movie. Sure, it's ear worm of a song got a nod, but "The Lego Movie" was left off the Best Animated Film list. It's a shock and, I think, an insult.

Early Frontrunners:
* Best Picture — Conventional thinking is that "Birdman" and "Boyhood" are frontrunners. But since "Birdman" didn't get an editing nomination, and Best Picture winners typically win for Best Editing, that changes things.

* Best Actor — This feels like an early two-horse race between Michael Keaton, my pick to win, and Eddie Redmayne. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

* J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette — Baring something unforeseen, it seems like the supporting races have clear front-runners who are likely to win. Simmons gave the performance of the year, so he should win!

* Richard Linklater — This, too, is feeling more like a lock. It feels like everything is trending toward "Boyhood"


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