1. Diversity: All of the acting nominees are white. More distressingly, the last time this happened was as recently in 2011. No women were nominated for directing or screenplay.
2. Foxcatcher: Director Bennett Miller earned a surprise nomination, but his film Foxcatcher was not nominated for Best Picture. The last film to receive a directing nomination without a picture nom was The Diving Bell and the Butterfly seven years ago (back when there were only five nominees rather than eight).
3. Dick Poop: Dick Pope from Mr. Turner was nominated for Best Cinematography, but Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs hilariously mispronounced his name. The mistake was trending on Twitter and spoofed by Conan O’Brien. Pope was a good sport. “You know what, I have been called a lot worse in my time,” said Pope. “I don’t think twice about anything like that. I am happy to be nominated.”
4. The Lego Movie: The Lego Movie was expected to win Best Animated Feature and didn’t even score a nomination. (It’s won a ton of precursors and was even named one of the top ten films of the year by the National Board of Review.) According to The Hollywood Reporter, one Academy member said, “They [the members of the animation branch] are old f—s and many are Europeans and they hate seeing traditional animation slip away.” It’s sort of OK, though, because Phil Lord (the producer) made his own Oscar.
5. Selma: Selma was nominated for Best Picture and Best Song…and nothing else. The reason behind this is a bit muddled, with some blaming missing DVD screeners, some citing the recent controversy over the historical accuracy of the film, some mentioning the fact that it is directed by a woman, some assuming that the Academy filled its African America quota last year with 12 Years a Slave and the rest concluding that maybe it wasn’t such a good or well-loved movie after all. According to EW, “this is the first Best Picture nominee in at least 30 years that hasn’t been also nominated in at least one of the bigger categories like acting, editing, cinematography, or directing.” Still, the low total is not unprecedented. In 1932, Grand Hotel took home the Academy Award for Best Picture with no other nominations.
6. Bradley Cooper: American Sniper did especially well, with star Bradley Cooper earning his third nomination in as many years. (The only Best Actor recognition Cooper had received previously was from the Denver Film Critics Society.) According to Scott Feinberg, only nine other male actors have been nominated for three Oscars in a row: Spencer Tracy (1936-38), Gary Cooper (1941-43), Gregory Peck (1945-47), Marlon Brando (1951-54), Richard Burton (1964-66), Al Pacino (1972-75), Jack Nicholson (1973-75), William Hurt (1985-87) and Russell Crowe (1999-2001).
7. The Hobbit: The final Hobbit film in the unnecessary trilogy was the first of the six Tolkien-inspired film not to get nominated for Best Visual Effects. The three Lord of the Rings movies each won the category.
8. Birdman: Birdman did not get nominated for Best Editing, presumably because Oscar voters didn’t realize that it was not, in fact, one single shot. (The film did get an ACE nomination, making this a bit strange.) Still, no film since Ordinary People in 1980 has won Best Picture without at least an Editing nomination.
9. Wes Anderson: This is the first time he was nominated for Best Director and the first time one of his films got nominated for Best Picture. For an old SNL gem, click here.
10. Robert Duvall: Duvall is now the oldest person ever nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He passed over Hal Holbrook, who was nominated at age 82 for Into the Wild several years back.
11. Meryl Streep: Has the record for most nominations, with 19. She passed Jack Nicholson and Katharine Hepburn (who had 12) in 2003.
12. Line of the day: I read a lot of analysis and articles, but this line made me laugh: “American Sniper did amazingly well given how despicable it is.”