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Foxcatcher, American Sniper, Boyhood, Interstellar and The Theory of Everything each went into Sunday night’s Oscars with at least five nominations apiece. But they each went home with only one Oscar (or, in the case of Foxcatcher, none). Foxcatcher went into the Oscars with five nominations and has been viewed as an Oscar contender since the film premiered at Cannes in 2014, where helmer Bennett Miller won the festival’s best director award. While the film received recognition at the Gotham, Hollywood Film and Independent Spirit Awards, it didn’t win any Oscars. It previously received multiple nominations, but failed to win, awards at the BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globes and SAG Awards. The film was also up for the Producers Guild Awards’ top prize and for best original screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards.
Sniper, meanwhile, had six nominations and was by far the highest-grossing best-picture nominee at the box office, but the Clint Eastwood-directed film only took home one Oscar, in the category of sound editing. The film created controversy with people questioning whether it glorified the actions of a murderer. Sniper also received some unwelcome attention for the film’s obvious use of a fake baby, most noticeable in a scene in which stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller pass the partially mechanized doll, which is supposed to represent their daughter, back and forth as they discuss Cooper’s character leaving for another tour of duty.
Meanwhile, Boyhood was seen as an Oscar frontrunner in numerous categories for months, with pundits saying they weren’t sure whether voters would award best picture to Richard Linklater‘s 12-years-in-the-making film or to Birdman. But at the end of the night, Birdman had won four of the nine awards for which it was nominated while Boyhood, nominated for six Oscars, only won one: Patricia Arquette‘s best supporting actress triumph. Inarritu beat out Linklater for the best director award that The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards analyst Scott Feinberg predicted he’d win, and Whiplash beat Boyhood in the category of film editing, again contradicting Feinberg’s pick. Similarly, Eddie Redmayne‘s best actor win for The Theory of Everything, in a tight race with Birdman star Michael Keaton, was the film’s sole Oscar. Feinberg predicted the film would also win for best score, but Grand Budapest Hotel composer Alexandre Desplat finally emerged victorious, after multiple nominations, winning his first Oscar. Interstellar was once seen as an Oscar contender but the film was solely nominated in technical categories, and only won for visual effects.
In other unexpected wins, Big Hero 6 scored a surprise best animated feature win over favorite How to Train Your Dragon 2, which went home empty-handed as the DreamWorks Animation title, produced by the company’s new co-president of feature animation Bonnie Arnold, was only nominated for that one award. The Imitation Game also pulled off an upset, beating favorite (and bizarrely categorized) Whiplash in the adapted screenplay category. While that award was The Imitation Game‘s only win at the Oscars, the film had received multiple nominations but failed to win any awards at the BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globes and SAG Awards. The film was also nominated for but failed to win top prizes at the Directors and Producers Guild Awards. The film’s screenplay did, however, win the USC Scripter Award and the WGA Award for best adapted screenplay.
Multiple nominees shut out at the Oscars include Mr. Turner (four nominations), Into the Woods (three nominations), Unbroken (three nominations), Wild (two noms) and Guardians of the Galaxy (two noms). Even multiple Oscar winner Meryl Streep couldn’t give Into the Woods a golden prize. The movie did however earn a spot in host Neil Patrick Harris’ opening song, with star Anna Kendrick reenacting her role as Cinderella and Harris stumbling across her lost shoe. Wild, meanwhile, was nominated in the high-profile categories of best actress (Reese Witherspoon) and best supporting actress (Laura Dern), but lost in both.
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