New American Sniper trailer

SURPRISE! Bradley Cooper for Best Actor in American Sniper

This is really a snub disguised as a surprise — Bradley Cooper’s work in American Sniper is among the film’s stronger elements, and this nomination marks him as one of the few actors to score at least three Oscar nominations in consecutive years. (Nine other actors have enjoyed the same luck, most recently Russell Crowe in the 2000-2002 stretch.) But Cooper takes one of the nominations that really should have gone to David Oyelowo for Selma.

The Lego Movie

SNUB: The Lego Movie for Best Animated Film

Everything is not awesome; what the hell happened here? Variety has a good rundown of all the practical reasons The Lego Movie missed out on a nomination in the category for which it should be a prime contender, several of which boil down to “it isn’t traditional enough.” (As if some of the recent CD animated winners were.) Regardless, this will probably end up being the most pronounced break between the Academy and general public this year.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

SURPRISE! Nine Nominations for Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson is no longer a young whippersnapper, and Grand Budapest Hotel finds him working in a mode that evidently resonated with the Academy as the film took a whopping nine nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Ava DuVernay for Best Director for Selma

SNUB: Ava DuVernay for Best Director for Selma

While The Lego Movie may be the snub some audiences will remember, for years to come 2015 will be the year that Selma got screwed. Ava DuVernay deserves to be in the Best Director race, just as David Oyelowo deserves to be in the Best Actor race, and Bradford Young deserves to be in the mix for Cinematography. You can say that the film hit too late (not really), or that screeners didn’t go out early enough (that has some bearing) but the fact that Selma ended up on the Best Picture list but not in the aforementioned categories that contribute to it being a Best Picture contender is ridiculous and embarrassing.

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