Oscar Statue

Marie Asner and the 2015 Annual Oscar Nominations---Part One of Two Parts
The Major Players
That time of the year again, and now, a great part of the country is not shoveling snow. My part, the Midwest, is having a dry winter much to everyone’s surprise. Film fans are not plowing their way to a movie theater and will be assured that films in the Oscar Nominations categories either are now, or will be again, in theaters for at least the next 6-8 weeks or longer.  This year's selection of films is, indeed, a variety from military to imaginary to sociopath to computers to teen years to music. Enjoy.
*A star by the film is my choice for an Oscar
Best Film
American Sniper---What makes a precision shooter and the toll it takes
Birdman---Long tracking shots tie the story together
Boyhood---Patience in filming took twelve years to reveal life as we know it
*The Grand Budapest Hotel---Escapism in the 1940’s akin to The Marx Brothers on caffeine
The Imitation Game---The first computer and, guess what, it was used in warfare
Selma---A march for freedom that made the name of the town, world-wide
The Theory of Everything---Overcoming life’s physical tragedy with the power of the mind
Whiplash---The intensity of musicianship and the search for perfection with blood on the cymbals
Didn't Make It:
Gone Girl---Box office drama with a kick at the end
Wild---Dealing with grief in a physical way
A Most Violent Year---Climbing the crime ladder
How To Train Your Dragon 2---Beautifully done animated film, but which category?  Animated got it
Nightcrawler---Story of a sociopath who works with a camera
The Homesman---Life on the prairie in the 19th century wasn't always pleasant for women
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and “Birdman” that shows possession of the mind
Richard Linklater and “Boyhood” that took twelve years to film and enormous patience
Bennett Miller and “Foxcatcher” showing obsession in sports
*Wes Anderson and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” plays a large cast with a deft hand
Morten Tyldum and “The Imitation Game” gives life to the first computer
Didn't Make It:
Ava DuVernay and “Selma” with a vision of tomorrow
David Fincher and “Gone Girl” with the intricacies of the mind
Jean-Marc Vallee and “Wild” with grief in the hinterlands of America
Anton Corbijn and “A Most Wanted Man” telling a story of the spy game
Angelina Jolie and “Unbroken” with the survival of the fittest
J. C. Chandor and “A Most Violent Year” with building a crime empire
Steven Knight and “Locke” with one actor and telling a story

Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher” with sports on the dark side
Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” with physical transformation in military precision
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game and walking a tightrope between two lives
Michael Keaton in “Birdman” wanders through a large city with his own transformation
*Eddie Redmayne and “The Theory of Everything” doing Stephen Hawking with emotion
Didn't Make It
Ralph Fiennes in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the man who can do everything
David Oyelowo in “Selma” depicting the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jake Gyllenhaal and “Nightcrawler” showing the dark side of the city
Philip Seymour Hoffman and “A Most Wanted Man” plays the spy game with precision
Jack O’Connell in “Unbroken” and survival being an every day occurrence
Tommy Lee Jones in “The Homesman” and dealing with honor and responsibility
Bill Murray in “St. Vincent” and crusty old man with heart
Tom Hardy in “Locke” does a one-man  performance with life-changing results
Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall in “The Judge” does crusty curmudgeon
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood” and life over the teen years
Edward Norton in “Birdman” showing the foibles of a star
Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher” and the problems with perfection in sports
*J. K. Simmons in “Whiplash” and the dark side of music
Didn't Make It
Josh Brolin in “Inherent Vice” and an obsession for questioning suspects
Domhnall Gleeson in “Unbroken” with survival in a foreign world
Tony Revolori and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with becoming a bellhop
Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night” and keeping one’s job
Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything” with marriage to a complicated man
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” with a disease and no cure
*Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” and a mind with corners one can't reach
Reese Witherspoon” in “Wild” and dealing with grief on the trail
Didn't Make It
Hilary Swank” in “The Homesman” and the toll life on the prairie takes
Jessica Chastain in “A Most Violent Year” and living the life of crime
Sienna Miller in “American Sniper” and military life for a wife
Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” and the trials of being a sibling
*Laura Dern” in “Wild” and motherhood isn't easy
Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game” and being the smartest woman in the room
Emma Stone in “Birdman” and dealing with entertainment personalities
Meryl Streep and “Into The Wood” and playing a witch
Didn't Make It
Naomi Watts in “St. Vincent” and a pregnant Russian accent
Robin Wright in “A Most Wanted Man” and playing the CIA game
Tilda Swinton in either “Grand Budapest Hotel” or “Snowpiercer” and she changed  character at the drop of a hat
Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6 and a hero of heroic proportions
The Boxtrolls and living in a box isn't all that bad
*How To Train Your Dragon 2 and life in the sky with no net
Song Of The Sea and life on the waves
The Tale of the Princess Kaynuga and a new story for families
Didn't Make It
The Lego Movie and box office with a popular toy
The Book of Life and a love story