The 2015 Oscar nominations were just released, highlighting some of the best work we have seen on the big screen over the last year. Most of the movies and actors we expected to be nominated managed to make the shortlist. The 12 year long production 'Boyhood', civil rights drama 'Selma' and historical biopic 'The Imitation Game' are all up for the top prize of Best Picture. Meanwhile, Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory Of Everything' was recognised for Best Actor, as was Julianne Moore's heartbreaking work in 'Still Alice' for the Best Actress.
However, the Oscars are as famous for their nominations as they are infamous for their oversights - and there are some truly shocking and unexpected oversights this year. So, what didn't make the cut, and who won't be walking the prestigious Oscar red carpet in a few weeks time?
Actors snubbed of a nomination:
David Oyelowo for 'Selma'
Cambridge born David Oyelowo gave arguably the most powerful performance of the year as Martin Luther King Jr. in this true story about the battle for civil rights that took place in Selma, Alabama. However, the Academy Awards have failed to recognise his work and he has not been nominated for an Oscar this year.
Jennifer Aniston for 'Cake'
A surprise addition to the Best Actress running was none other than Rachel herself - Jennifer Aniston. Much has been made of how Aniston, with the exception of a few fake scars, acted without makeup to portray a character suffering from chronic pain and a resulting drug addiction. But her work was more than just a stunt: it was widely praised (although the film itself wasn't) for being honest and frank about what it's like to live with addiction. Nevertheless, it seems that this race wasn't big enough for both her and Julianne Moore, who gave a similar performance in 'Still Alice' and is the odds-on favourite to win the award.
Jake Gyllenhaal for 'Nightcrawler'
There is perhaps no performance that the film community has championed more this year than Jake Gyllenhaal's stunning turn in the neon lit L.A. thriller 'Nightcrawler'. His extreme weight loss helped him become the eerily bug-eyed and vein-popping Louis Bloom, a freelance cameraman for TV news for whom nothing is too extreme. Following on from his work in Prisoners and Enemy last year, 'Nighcrawler' solidifies Gyllenhaal as one of the best actors of our generation. But he's not the Best Actor according to the Academy with his work once again snubbed.
Amy Adams for 'Big Eyes'
Winning the Best Actress award at the Golden Globes last weekend in the Comedy and Musical category, Amy Adams entered the Oscar race as a serious contender. It should have come as no surprise really; Adams is a true darling of the Academy having scored nominations for her work in 'Junebug', 'Doubt', 'The Master', 'The Fighter' and 'American Hustle'. She was not, however, able to recreate her success this year.
Jessica Chastain for 'A Most Violent Year'
Jessica Chastain was Golden Globe nominated for her performance alongside Oscar Isaac in the slow-burning crime drama 'A Most Violent Year'. It was just one of many great performances she gave this year having also appeared in 'Interstellar', 'Miss Julie' and 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby'. She has not been nominated though.
Films that didn't get a Best Picture nomination:
Christopher Nolan's sci-fi spectacle divided audiences. Some criticised its dialogue and storytelling, which favoured complex scientist theory over any real coherence. Some felt that its story of scientific exploration was a metaphorical call-to-arms for blockbuster films to aim higher and be more ambitious. But whether you were a fan of the movie or not, it's still a surprise to see it snubbed from the final list of Oscar nominees.
Angelina Jolie's World War 2 set true story of Louis Zamperini's triumph over adversity during his harrowing imprisonment at a Japanese internment camp seems to have been the victim of its own hype. Ever since a teaser appeared way back in February of last year, it was the favourite to not only be nominated but in fact win the Best Picture award. Unable to possibly live up to those expectations, Unbroken has now fallen off the grid altogether in a major disappointment for Jolie and Universal Pictures.
'Foxcatcher' is one of those films that arrived several decades too late. It's the kind of serious, mature, adult drama that one might have seen in the 1970s; a fact that scored it rave reviews from critics at major film festivals like Cannes, Toronto and London. It therefore seemed to be a shoe-in for Oscar nominations. How could Academy Award members, many of whom worked during the so-called New Hollywood era, not love it? Well, sadly, they didn't. It is nowhere to be seen among the nominees this afternoon.
It's likely that 'Nightcrawler' has been snubbed for the very same reason that the cult classic Drive was several years ago: the Academy Award members are not the right demographic for this kind of movie. A youthful, energetic and cool debut about a freelance cameraman who stops at nothing to get the story he wants, 'Nightcrawler' became popular through online word of mouth and resonated most prominently among young adult viewers. It probably didn't, however, resonate with Oscar voters who are on average 63 years old.
One of the biggest movies of the year, the big screen adaptation of 'Gone Girl' was certain to get some awards recognition. Perhaps this dark and cynical story was just too nasty for Academy voters though because, like Amazing Amy, it's missing from the Best Picture list.