Given they aren't a London event, not much space will be devoted to the Oscars here. Far more educated academics and critics have noted some salient points/omissions/offences committed by this year's batch of nominations from the Academy. The glaring omission of non-white and non-male directors, actors and screenwriters in the nominations listings has generated a wave of criticism across the media, with much of it focused on the specific example of director Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King biopic Selma getting only two nods and none for best director or actor. Mike Leigh's Mr Turner and Paul Thomas Andersons's Inherent Vice continued to be overlooked in the big categories, to the consternation of many. The Lego Movie also surprisingly missed out on a nod for best animated film.
Beyond that, the best film and director lists contained few shocks, though The Imitation Game's large number of award nominations (more than Richard Linklater's acclaimed Boyhood, Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher and even the similar British "genius" biopic The Theory of Everything) confused many, including this writer. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel's dominance with nine nominations each did not surprise.
One of the best dissections of the nominations came from NPR's Linda Holmes, who notes that it certainly was a good nomination list if you were either directing, writing or acting in a film about an idiosyncratic white man.
Below are the review from Smoke Screen for the films in the Best Film nomination pool, excepting Selma, American Sniper and Whiplash which will be reviewed by end of month.