Nominations released for 2015 Academy Awards

Madison Daugherty, Reporter

The Academy Awards is a ceremony that has gone on for decades and is ready to celebrate its 87th anniversary in 2015. It will take place on February 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood beginning at 5:30 PST. They will be giving out Oscars in 24 categories. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel tied for the most nominations with nine each.

Neil Patrick Harris, known for his roles in How I Met Your Mother and Gone Girl, will be hosting the ceremony for the first time.

“It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s Academy Awards.  I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show,” said Harris

For Best Picture award the nominees are American Sniper, Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, Whiplash and The Theory Of Everything.

For Male Actor in Leading Role, Steve Carell is nominated for Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, and Michael Keaton for Birdman, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything. The actresses nominated for their leading role are Felicity Jones in The Theory Of Everything, Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, Reese Witherspoon in Wild and Rosamund Pike for her dramatic role in Gone Girl.

However, there is some criticism on the choices of the Academy Award acting nominees, as all of them are white. This is the third time this has happened since 1998. Many felt that Selma director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo were snubbed in nominations as it as a 99 precent Rotten Tomatoes rating and an A+ from Cinemascore.  The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went trending on Twitter in response.

“This year’s all-white linup in the major categories seems like a bit of step backwards. I don’t think anyone is saying that black filmmakers should be held to a different standard. But today’s nominations suggest that the Academy should continue its efforts to bring more minority members into the fold,” said Dave Karger, host of movie site Fandango’s awards show Frontrunners.

The Academy’s first African-American female president, Cherly Boone Issacs, defended this choice and stated that it was not a diversity problem.

“The good news is that the wealth of talent is there, and it’s being discussed, and it’s helpful so much for talent-whether in front of the camera or behind the camera- to have this period of time where there is a lot of publicity, a lot of chitter-chatter,” Isaacs said.

This year’s Animated Feature Films showed wide variety. The nominees are Big Hero 6, Song of the Sea, The Box Trolls, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 and The Tale Of the Princess Kaguya.

The way a movie or person is chosen for an Oscar goes through four separate rounds. The first round called the Early Round is consumed with professional readers who are paid to look over nearly thousands of entries and send only a five percent of them through to the second round. Quarterfinal Round is where they select less than half to pass on. The third round is with academy members who choose 10 finalists. Last but not least, the fourth round is the Final. This is when they meet with lengthy scripts and throw away all except five.