This morning, after months of anticipation, the Oscars telecast revealed which actors and films rode a golden wave of hype to a place on awards season's biggest ballot -- and who, alas, got left high and dry on the Sandbar of Non-Acknowledgement.
And the nominees are... mostly the ones we expected! (Good job, though, "Birdman," Benedict, and Eddie.) But as always, this year's round of Oscar announcements brought a few devastating snubs for those who deserved better, and some delightful surprises we didn't expect. Below, we've rounded up the saddest absences and darkest horses from this year's list of nominees.
Although there are a few omissions from the list that are merely annoying (no Best Animated nomination for "The Lego Movie"? Outrageous!), they're almost not worth discussing, as they pale in comparison to the most awful snub of all: "Selma" got a mere two nominations, and this is not okay. (And we're not just saying that because we're corporate half-bros through Viacom.)
At the very least, David Oyelowo's performance as Martin Luther King, Jr. should have earned him a nod from the Academy, especially in a year when basically every Best Actor nominee is playing a historical figure (except for the one playing a giant man-bird.) The Academy loves historical figures! But not MLK, apparently. And while "Selma" earned a Best Picture nom, director Ava Duvernay was reprehensibly left off the shortlist for Best Director. Not only is this a ghastly missed opportunity to celebrate a wonderful film and an incredible performance, but it's an absolutely egregious snub for one of the most game-changing men in American history, less than a week before the national holiday named explicitly for him, and ALSO ON HIS ACTUAL BIRTHDAY. Good job, Academy. Here is your Lifetime Achievement Award for Irredeemable Dumbassery.
Also among the actors who were shockingly overlooked: Jennifer Aniston, who really should have been on the list for "Cake." And while Rosamund Pike was recognized for "Gone Girl," that's the only nomination for the brilliantly cynical film; no adapted screenplay nod, no Best Picture or Best Director, and no love for the beast of a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
But before we set the internet on fire with the strength of our outraged indignation, it's worth noting that not all the unexpected outcomes from the telecast were bad ones. Which brings us to...
To begin with the obvious pun: We've got "Whiplash" from all the love for this film starring Miles Teller as a gifted young jazz drummer -- and while Miles himself didn't get any Oscars love, he's pretty stoked anyway:
In addition to an acting nomination for J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash" got a nod for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, plus recognition in the Film Editing and Sound Mixing categories. And in other acting news, there was one very lovely surprise nominee on the list for Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern, whose luminous performance in "Wild" could have easily been overlooked, is joining Reese Witherspoon on the list of ladies nominated for their work on that film.
Meanwhile, we're still not stoked about "The Lego Movie" being left out of the running, but the blow is softened by the knowledge that it might have made room for "Song of the Sea," a lovely little movie that so deserves its Best Animated Feature Film nomination. And "Interstellar," which barely came up in early conversations about which films would get the most Oscar love, is a huge presence in some of the more technical categories: Best Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. And "Grand Budapest Hotel," which already took home top honors at the Golden Globes, is up for nine (NINE!) Oscars, including Best Picture.
And finally, the best surprise of all: This year, we got our first "Adele Dazeem" Oscars moment early, when a nominee's name in the Cinematography category was terribly, hilariously flubbed. Although Dick Pope might be collecting an Oscar for his work on "Mr. Turner," the official nomination was for somebody else entirely -- a wily, mysterious individual known as "Dick Poop."
Want to see all the Oscars contenders? Check out our full list here.