2014 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®


2014
The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.

Best Picture
BIRDMAN or (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) (2014)
American Sniper (2014)
Boyhood (2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The Imitation Game (2014, UK/US)
 
Selma (2014)
The Theory of Everything (2014, UK)
Whiplash (2014)
 

Best Animated Feature Film
BIG HERO 6 (2014)
The Boxtrolls (2014)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Song of the Sea (2014, Ire./Den./Belg./Lux./Fr.)
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013, Jp.)

Actor:
EDDIE REDMAYNE in "The Theory of Everything," Steve Carell in "Foxcatcher," Bradley Cooper in "American Sniper," Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game," Michael Keaton in "Birdman"
Actress:
JULIANNE MOORE in "Still Alice," Marion Cotillard in "Two Days, One Night," Felicity Jones in "The Theory of Everything," Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl," Reese Witherspoon in "Wild"
Supporting Actor:
J.K. SIMMONS in "Whiplash," Robert Duvall in "The Judge," Ethan Hawke in "Boyhood," Edward Norton in "Birdman," Mark Ruffalo in "Foxcatcher,"
Supporting Actress:
PATRICIA ARQUETTE in "Boyhood," Laura Dern in "Wild," Emma Stone in "Birdman," Keira Knightley in "The Imitation Game," Meryl Streep in "Into the Woods"
Director:
ALEJANDRO GONZALES INARRITU for "Birdman," Richard Linklater for "Boyhood," Bennett Miller for "Foxcatcher," Wes Anderson for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Morten Tyldum for "The Imitation Game"


This year marked the first time that the Best Picture category had only eight nominees. Ever since 2009 when the Best Picture field could be between 5 and 10, there had always been nine contenders. For Oscar predictors, every Best Picture winner in the past 60 years has also been nominated in a screenplay category - except for The Sound of Music (1965) and Titanic (1997). In this year, the winning Best Picture won in both categories.

For the most part, the Academy bypassed a large number of this year's sci-fi films, fantasy epics, action movies, and lots of other independent films. Some of the major hit movies of the year were virtually ignored in the Academy's voting, with only a few nominations in secondary, more technical categories, and only one win among them:

  • Un-nominated: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla
  • One nomination: the animated The LEGO Movie, Gone Girl, Maleficent, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Two nominations: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Five nominations: Interstellar (with one win, Best Visual Effects)

Up to the time of the nominations, the eight nominees grossed only $205.2 million collectively - the lowest since 2009 (the previous low was in the year 2011, at $519 million). This was the first time since 2007 that no Best Picture-nominated film collected $100 million domestically by the time nominations were announced. Most of the films were underperforming, art-house independent films. The Grand Budapest Hotel was the top grossing Best Picture nominee (at $59.1 million domestically), mostly because it was released in March of 2014.

At the time of the awards, the only major Hollywood mainstream film, Warner Bros.' American Sniper (with six nominations - and only one Oscar win) was the top grossing film at $316.2 million. It had a tremendous boost of over $300 million from the time of the nominations.

Half of the eight finalists for Best Picture were biopics - they were mostly tales of lone-heroes (some Great Men) who were on journeys searching or striving for something seemingly unreachable.

The awards were fairly evenly spread out between the top three Best Picture contenders (two had four wins, and one had 3 wins). This marked the first year since the academy expanded the Best Picture field in 2009 that every nominee won at least one Oscar.

The winner of Best Picture was:

  • director/writer Alejandro González Iñárritu's unconventional Broadway drama Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (with 9 nominations and 4 wins - also Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Screenplay). It featured Michael Keaton's comeback title role as a fading star questing for redemption. [Note: Fox Searchlight Pictures, which won Best Picture last year with 12 Years a Slave (2013), represented the film. Birdman was the third film in four years to win Best Picture with its story about show business (and backstage).]

The other two closest films were:

  • director Wes Anderson's off-beat historical comic drama The Grand Budapest Hotel (with 9 nominations and 4 wins, including Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Score). It was also represented by Fox Searchlight Pictures. It was the Best Motion Picture (musical or comedy) at the Golden Globes, although it had no acting Oscar nominations.
  • director/writer Damien Chazelle's (and Sony Classics) directorial debut film, the musical drama Whiplash (with 5 nominations and 3 wins, including Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing). It told about a domineering music conservatory teacher (Oscar winner J.K. Simmons) and his torturous relationship with one aspiring student (a jazz drummer).

The remaining five nominees all had only one win:

  • director Morten Tyldum's (and the Weinstein Company's) biopic about British code-breaking cryptographer Alan Turing during WWII, The Imitation Game (with 8 nominations and only one win, for Best Adapted Screenplay (based upon Andrew Hodges' 1983/2000 biography)).
  • director/writer Richard Linklater's innovative coming-of-age indie film Boyhood (with 6 nominations and only one win, Best Supporting Actress). It was filmed over 12 years about a boy's (Ellar Coltrane) journey to adulthood.
  • director Clint Eastwood's Navy SEAL war drama about a deadly sniper, American Sniper (with 6 nominations and only one win, Best Sound Editing). It was based upon the 2012 best-selling autobiographical memoirs of real-life lethal US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle who went on four tours. This was the first time that one of Eastwood's directorial efforts had been nominated for Best Picture but not also for Best Director.
  • director James Marsh's and Focus Features' biopic The Theory of Everything (with 5 nominations and only one win, Best Actor), about Stephen Hawking (based upon wife Jane Hawking's 2008 memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen).
  • director Ava DuVernay’s Selma (with only two nominations and only one win, Best Original Song, "Glory"), distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was a biopic about the famed voting rights march (seen over a 3-month period) led by civil rights leader Dr. MLK (David Oyelowo) from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 which spurred President Lyndon B. Johnson (portrayed by Tom Wilkinson) to pressure Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
    [Note: Oprah Winfrey received her second Oscar nomination, just 29 years after her first, for her producing credit for the film.]

In the Best Director category, four of the directors of Best Picture nominated films were missing from the directorial nom lineup, including Clint Eastwood, Damien Chazelle, Ava DuVernay, and James Marsh. Bennett Miller, the director nominated for Foxcatcher, was the first director (since the Best Picture category was expanded) to score a spot for a film that was not also nominated for Best Picture. 84 year-old Clint Eastwood (with his 11th career nomination this year) would have been the oldest Best Director nominee ever, if he had received a directorial nod for American Sniper.

The winner of the Best Director Oscar was:

  • 51 year-old Mexican film-maker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (with his fourth Oscar nomination, and first Oscar win), for Birdman. The film was a miraculous feat - it appeared to be comprised of a single, seamless, unbroken shot.
    [Note: Inarritu had three previous Oscar nominations: Best Foreign Language Film Amores Perros (2000, Mex.), and Best Director/ Best Picture for Babel (2006).]

    He was the second consecutive Latino (Mexican) director to win after Alfonso Cuaron last year for Gravity (2013).
    The Mexican director became the fifth consecutive non-American to win Best Director, following Britisher Tom Hooper for The King's Speech (2010), Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist (2011), Taiwanese-born Ang Lee for Life of Pi (2012), and fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity (2013).

The other four Best Director nominees were:

  • 54 year-old Richard Linklater (with his first directorial nomination), for Boyhood
    [Note: Linklater's film was also nominated for his Best Original Screenplay and lost. He was also nominated previously for two Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars: Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).]
  • 48 year-old Bennett Miller (with his second nomination), for Foxcatcher, a bleak crime drama with two acting nominations
    [Note: Miller's nomination in the category was a surprise - his film wasn't nominated for Best Picture. This has never happened since the field was expanded to 10 nominees in 2009. Miller's only previous nomination was Best Director for Capote (2005).]
  • 45 year-old Wes Anderson (with his fourth nomination, and first nomination for Best Director), for The Grand Budapest Hotel
    [Note: Anderson was previous nominated three times: Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and Best Animated Feature Film for Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).]
  • 48 year-old Norwegian-born Morten Tyldum (with his first Oscar nomination, and the Academy's first Norwegian nominated for Best Director), for The Imitation Game

Every single nominee in the performance categories (20 in all) were white, raising again the diversity question for the Academy. There were no non-white contenders for the first time since the Oscars honored the films of 1995. [Note: this was only the second time in 14 years that the Academy nominated no actor or actress of African heritage.] Also, this year's Oscars saw five directors, five cinematographers and 14 screenwriters nominated, all men - the first time since the 1999 Oscars. One of the more notable omissions was a nomination for Gillian Flynn's adaptation of her own 2012 best-selling novel for Gone Girl.

Nine out of 20 performers in the acting categories were first-time nominees. Five of those nominated were British performers. Only four of this year's acting nominees had won Oscars before: Marion Cotillard, Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon, and none of them repeated with a win this year. All four performance Oscar winners were first-time winners, and were widely predicted: Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, and Patricia Arquette in Boyhood.

In the Best Actor category, the winner was:

  • 33 year-old Eddie Redmayne (with his first career nomination and first Oscar win) as Cambridge University cosmologist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking (in his later years) who was diagnosed with ALS in 1963, in the biopic/love story The Theory of Everything. Redmayne's win was the 7th instance in the past ten years that the Best Actor Oscar has been awarded to someone playing a real-life person.

The other Best Actor nominees were:

  • 52 year-old Steve Carell (with his first nomination) as wealthy philanthropist/plutocrat and big-nosed wrestling enthusiast John E. du Pont, in Foxcatcher
  • 40 year-old Bradley Cooper (with his third nomination as actor) as real-life Navy SEAL lethal sharpshooter Chris Kyle on four tours of duty in Iraq, in American Sniper
    [Note: This was Bradley Cooper's third acting nomination in three years - the last male actor to do that was Russell Crowe 13 years ago, from 1999-2001. He was previously nominated as Best Actor for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Best Supporting Actor for American Hustle (2013) - thus he has appeared in three Best Picture nominees in a row.]
  • 38 year-old Benedict Cumberbatch (with his first nomination) as British math genius Alan Turing who broke the Nazis' Enigma Code that helped win WWII, framed by his 1952 arrest and conviction for his alleged homosexuality, in The Imitation Game
  • 63 year-old Michael Keaton (with his first Oscar nomination) as washed-up Hollywood actor Riggan Thomson, who portrayed the costumed, comic-book superhero 'Birdman' from decades earlier (his alter-ego) that was attempting a Broadway comeback, in Birdman [Note: Keaton's role mirrored real-life - he was the title-role star of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) more than 20 years ago.]

In the Best Actress category, the winner was:

  • the favored front-runner, 54 year-old Julianne Moore (with her fifth career nomination - and first Oscar win) in co-directors Richard Glatzer's and Wash Westmoreland's Still Alice (Moore's nomination was the film's sole honor). She portrayed early-onset Alzheimer's-suffering, 50 year-old Columbia linguistics professor Alice Howland
    [Note: Moore had two previous Best Actress nods, for The End of the Affair (1999) and Far From Heaven (2002), and two Best Supporting Actress nominations, for Boogie Nights (1997), and The Hours (2002).]

The other four Best Actress nominees were:

  • 39 year-old Marion Cotillard (with her second nomination, with one previous Best Actress win) as desperate Belgian factory worker Sandra Bya who discovered she was dismissed from her job and then pleaded with her 16 co-workers to reinstate her by giving up their bonuses, in the French-speaking film Two Days, One Night (aka Deux Jours, Une Nuit)
    [Note: Marion Cotillard was one of only two women to win a Best Actress Oscar for a performance in a foreign language film - she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose (2007, Fr.). The other was Sophia Loren in Two Women (1960, It.).]
  • 31 year-old Felicity Jones (with her first nomination) as deteriorating Stephen Hawking's delicate first wife and caregiver Jane Wilde Hawking, a young literature student, in The Theory of Everything
  • 35 year-old English actress Rosamund Pike (with her first nomination), as scheming, enigmatic deadly wife Amy Dunne, in David Fincher's thriller Gone Girl
  • 38 year-old Reese Witherspoon (with her second Best Actress nomination) as Pacific Crest Trail hiker Cheryl Strayed on a painful inward/outward journey of grief, drugs, and sex topped by a 1,100 mile solo hike, in director Jean-Marc Vallée's Wild (with only two nominations); it was based on Cheryl Strayed's own 2012 trip memoirs
    [Note: Reese Witherspoon previously won Best Actress for Walk the Line (2005).]

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was:

  • the favored front-runner, 60 year-old J.K. Simmons (with his first nomination and first win, and best known for his Farmers Insurance TV commercials) for his role as sadistic, intimidating music school teacher Terence Fletcher and his torturous relationship with one of his students, aspiring jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), in director Damien Chazelle's Whiplash

The other Best Supporting Actor nominees were:

  • 84 year-old Robert Duvall (with his seventh career nomination, and one previous Oscar win), for his role as a taciturn town lawyer and murder suspect Joseph Palmer, in director David Dobkin's The Judge
    [Note: Duvall's nomination made him the oldest actor ever nominated for Best Supporting Actor. It was also his fourth nomination as a fearsome father. Duvall had six previous Oscar nominations: three for Best Supporting Actor (The Godfather (1972), Apocalypse Now (1979), and A Civil Action (1998)), and three for Best Actor (The Great Santini (1980), Tender Mercies (1983) - his sole win, and The Apostle (1997).]
  • 44 year-old Ethan Hawke (with his fourth nomination and second supporting role nomination) as the main character's Dad Mason Evans Sr., in Boyhood
    [Note: Hawke was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Training Day (2001), and has two other Best Adapted Screenplay nominations for Before Sunset (2004), and Before Midnight (2013).]
  • 45 year-old Edward Norton (with his third nomination, and second supporting nod) as chief rival actor Mike Shiner, in Birdman
    [Note: Norton was previously nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Primal Fear (1996) and Best Actor for American History X (1998).]
  • 47 year-old Mark Ruffalo (with his second supporting nod) as Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz, in Foxcatcher
    [Note: Ruffalo was previously nominated as Best Supporting Actor for The Kids Are All Right (2010).]

In the Best Supporting Actress category, the winner was:

  • the favored front-runner, 46 year-old Patricia Arquette (with her first nomination and first win), as the main character's divorced mother of two, Olivia Evans, in the family saga Boyhood

The other Best Supporting Actress nominees were:

  • 47 year-old Laura Dern (with her 2nd career nomination), as Cheryl's doomed, adoring mother Bobbi who died of cancer, causing her grief-stricken daughter to take a 1,100 mile trek, in Wild
    [Note: Dern was previously nominated as Best Actress for Rambling Rose (1991).]
  • 26 year-old Emma Stone (with her first nomination), as Riggan Thomson's daughter Sam in rehab, in Birdman
  • 29 year-old Keira Knightley (with her 2nd career nomination), as Alan Turing's 'love interest' and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, in The Imitation Game
    [Note: Knightley was previously nominated as Best Actress for Pride & Prejudice (2005).]
  • 65 year-old Meryl Streep (with her record 19th career nomination, 4th supporting nomination, with three previous Oscar wins) as a singing, curse-uttering, vengeful sorceress Witch, in director Rob Marshall's fairy-tale musical Into the Woods
    [Note: Streep's first Best Supporting Actress nomination was for The Deer Hunter (1978), three and a half decades ago. She has 15 previous Best Actress nominations at this point (with two wins for Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011)), and now has four Best Supporting Actress nominations (with one win for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). With this - her 16th Oscar loss, no other actor has lost more Oscars than Streep.]

Most Obvious Omissions or Snubs:

Best Picture:
Films that were not nominated in the category included: Disney's musical Into the Woods (with only 3 nominations and no Oscar wins) - a retelling of numerous fairy tales, Foxcatcher (with 5 nominations and no Oscar wins), Angelina Jolie's epic Unbroken (with three minor nominations and no wins) - her second feature film as director, a true story about valiant WWII bombardier Louie Zamperini's (Jack O'Connell) struggle to endure as a POW after his plane was shot down by the Japanese, Dan Gilroy's portrait of a sociopath in Nightcrawler (with only one nomination for the director's Original Screenplay), and writer/director J.C. Chandor's 1981 NYC period drama A Most Violent Year (with 0 nominations total). And Gone Girl was snubbed in the Best Picture and Best Screenplay categories, receiving only one nomination for Rosamund Pike as Best Actress. Director Christopher Nolan's Interstellar had five nominations (all secondary): Production Design, Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects (its sole win). Although bypassed for Best Picture, Foxcatcher became one of the most-nominated sports films in film history, with five (but did not win a single Oscar).

Best Director:
Ava DuVernay’s moving MLK biopic Selma received only two nominations, Best Picture and a sole Oscar win for Best Original Song (Common and John Legend's recent Golden Globe-winning song "Glory"), while the director did not receive a nomination in the Best Director category - she would have been the first African-American female to be nominated. It appeared that director Bennett Miller's nomination for Foxcatcher in this category (but not a Best Picture nod) took DuVernay's spot for Selma. Also not in the list of directorial nominees: Angelina Jolie for the drama Unbroken about a 1936 Olympian world-class runner who became a Japanese prisoner during World War II, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything, and Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.

Best Actor:
British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo was denied a nominaton for his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Other actors who missed out in this category were Ralph Fiennes as the hotel's devoted concierge Monsieur Gustave H. in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jake Gyllenhaal as creepy news-camera man Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler, and Timothy Spall as cantankerous, Victorian-era English seascapes painter J.M.W. Turner in UK director Mike Leigh's biographical Mr. Turner (with a total of four nominations and no wins), and Brendan Gleeson as rural Ireland's questioning Catholic Father James in British writer/director John Michael McDonagh's religious drama Calvary.

Best Actress:
Jennifer Aniston was edged out for her performance as chronic-pain-suffering, car-accident-survivor Claire Bennett in director Daniel Barnz' Cake, by the unexpected nomination for Marion Cotillard in Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's foreign language film Two Days, One Night. Amy Adams (with five career nominations) was snubbed for her lead role as painter Margaret Keane (of large-eyed waifs) whose husband took credit for her work, in Tim Burton's Big Eyes (shut out of nominations), as was Hilary Swank as strong-willed pioneer woman Mary Bee Cuddy in Tommy Lee Jones' western The Homesman, and Emily Blunt as the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods. Nominated Marion Cotillard's best role of the year was as newly-arrived immigrant prostitute Ewa Cybulska in writer/director James Gray's historical drama-romance The Immigrant (2013, UK), not the film she was nominated for.

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin for the 1970s LA cop drama Inherent Vice (with only two nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay, and no wins), two actors from Selma (Henry Sanders and Tom Wilkinson), and Albert Brooks as lawyer/consigliere Andrew Walsh in J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, were missing from the five nominees.

Best Supporting Actress:
Laura Dern's nomination as Cheryl's mother Bobbie in Jean-Marc Vallée's Wild (her second career nomination) was a surprise nod, nudging out Jessica Chastain as scheming wife Anna Morales of Abel (Oscar Isaac) in A Most Violent Year. Three other possible nominees in the category might have been Rene Russo as Louis Bloom's (Jake Gyllenhall) TV-news abettor Nina Romina in Nightcrawler, Vanessa Redgrave as John du Pont's (Steve Carrel) cold-blooded mother Jean in Foxcatcher, and Imelda Staunton as Hefina in director Matthew Warchus' Pride.

Best Animated Feature Film:
The biggest surprise of all was that the blockbuster domestic hit, The LEGO Movie wasn’t nominated in this category (it had a sole nomination for Best Original Song: "Everything is Awesome") - it was edged out by the unreleased Song of the Sea.

In addition, Steve James' documentary about film critic Roger Ebert, Life Itself, was not nominated in the category. Twenty years earlier, the same director was controversially denied a nomination for Hoop Dreams (1994).


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