TIME movies

Tom Hardy Drops Out of Suicide Squad

Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy attend the US Premiere of 'Grand Street' during the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film on Jan. 8, 2015 at The Regal Theater in Palm Springs, California.
Amy Graves—Getty Images for for PSIFF Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy attend the US Premiere of 'Grand Street' during the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film on Jan. 8, 2015 at The Regal Theater in Palm Springs, California.

Rep says the actor was leaving the film due to a tight schedule

The all-star Suicide Squad cast just lost one of its brightest. Tom Hardy dropped out Thursday, leaving the DC Comics movie adaptation without a Rick Flagg.

The Warner Bros. summer tentpole directed by David Ayer (Fury, Training Day) follows classic DC villains who are forced to become heroes. Will Smith, Margot Robie and Jared Leto are starring as Batman villains Deadshot, Harley Quinn and the Joker, respectively. Ayer’s first pick for Hardy’s replacement is Jake Gyllenhaal, according to The Wrap.

Hardy’s rep said the actor was leaving the film due to a tight schedule.

The Dark Knight Rises star is currently shooting Oscar nominee and Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s next film, a Western with Leonardo DiCaprio called The Revenant, which is running over schedule. Hardy is also committed to a press tour for this summer’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters Aug. 5, 2016.

[The Wrap]

TIME movies

The Sad State of the Best Actress Oscar Race

Linda Kallerus—Sony Classics Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Prestige drama is still a man's world

While much ink was spilled today about whether David Oyelowo of Selma or Jake Gyllenhaal of Nightcrawler were unfairly shut out of the best actor Oscar race, there’s little controversy over who received Best Actress nods this year. The Academy (yet again) picked from just a handful of female candidates, and their limited choices suggest that little progress has been made since last year when Cate Blanchett used her Oscar acceptance speech to critique “those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences — they’re not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.”

In the 11 months since that speech, Blanchett has in many ways been vindicated. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Maleficent, Gone Girl, Frozen, Lucy and The Fault in Our Stars, all of which featured female protagonists, were among the top 25 grossing films of 2014. And yet the prestige lower-grossing dramas from which the best actress nominations are usually chosen were still largely dominated by men: Only one of the eight nominees for best picture also produced a best actress nominee (Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything), while four of those films yielded best actor nominations.

Here are this year’s nominees for best actress:

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

MORE: How Hollywood Can Get More Women to See Movies

Jones and Pike are newcomers, but the majority of women on this list should look familiar. This is Cotillard’s second Oscar nomination, Moore’s fourth and Witherspoon’s second. If it weren’t for the snub of five-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams, who won a Golden Globe for Big Eyes last week, one might think the Academy voters never got fatigue in this category.

Despite the familiarity of the names, the films may require a Google search. The general public will not have seen or perhaps even heard of most of these films, save Gone Girl and Theory of Everything, and whether these two are “female films” is up for debate: Both relationship dramas give top billing and the majority of screen time to the man (Ben Affleck for Gone Girl and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything).

That can’t be said for any of the movies that produced the best actor nominees. Foxcatcher is about as testosterone-heavy as a movie can get, and the majority of American Sniper is spent following a group of male Navy SEALs. Though there are some phenomenal supporting performances from women in Birdman and The Imitation Game, the male actors in those films are indisputably the protagonists.

Why big-budget prestige dramas continue to be so male-centric is no mystery. This year’s Celluloid Ceiling report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television found that only 17% of any of the almost 3,000 people working in behind-the-scenes roles on films (directors, writers, producers, editors, cinematographers, etc.) were women. Though male filmmakers can bring complex, interesting female stories to the screen, artists tend to create what they know.

That leaves few options for actresses seeking Oscar gold. Reese Witherspoon, fed up with most studios’ refusal to develop female centric films, created her own production company, Pacific Standard, and quickly optioned two of the most buzzed-about books by female authors from recent years, Gone Girl and Wild. She’s immediately seeing the payoffs with nominations for herself and Pike both playing highly unlikable but completely absorbing women in those two films.

Meanwhile, other actresses have had to seek out films with smaller budgets and releases. The Belgian film Two Days, One Night surprised most by earning Marion Cotillard a best actress nomination despite getting a very small distribution in the United States at the very end of December. And the independently-financed Still Alice hit the Toronto Film Festival with no buzz and no distributor. Though Julianne Moore is now considered a lock for the win, the film was a wild card until Sony snatched it up after the festival screening.

It’s hard to imagine a film with a best actor frontrunner having such a low-profile debut. But such is the state of great female performances until studios begin to invest in them.

MORE: Reese Witherspoon Isn’t Nice or Wholesome in Wild, and That’s What Makes It Great

TIME Hollywood

19 Huge Hollywood Stars Who Never Won an Oscar

Lauded as they were, their glass display cases lacked a certain gilded statuette

When Oscar nominations are announced every January, the conversation turns quickly from who got nominated to who got snubbed. And people tend to react with more indignation over who’s missing than in celebration of who’s been recognized.

For many, this year’s disappointments include the absence of Selma director Ava DuVernay from the Best Director field and star David Oyelowo from the Best Actors group, as well as the lack of recognition for The Lego Movie. The lack of racial diversity among the nominees has led, naturally, to a viral hashtag: #OscarsSoWhite. It’s enough to make you think that perhaps an Oscar is more the result of a manipulative multimillion dollar campaign than merit alone.

But the snub has been around since long before the age of Internet outrage, when gossip was relegated to soda fountains and opinions took days to make it from type-written notes to a Letters to the Editor page. And although we tend to associate Hollywood’s biggest stars with that bald, naked mini-man of gold, many of history’s most remembered actors and actresses never got their hands on a statuette.

On the actresses’ side, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner and Dorothy Dandridge had to settle for nominations alone. Perhaps Natalie Wood and Jayne Mansfield would have been recognized had their lives not been cut so tragically short. Some actresses gave up a great deal for the roles that would leave them empty-handed—Janet Leigh, who was nominated for Psycho but didn’t win, spent the rest of her life afraid of the shower.

Among their male counterparts, things weren’t all bad. Richard Burton, nominated seven times for films including Becket (1964) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), could substitute Benjamins for toilet paper if he wanted, as one of the highest-paid actors in the world at his peak. Peter Sellers, born in England, could take comfort in his two wins at the BAFTAs, Oscar’s cousin across the pond. And Steve McQueen could wipe his tears of dejection on that clean white t-shirt, though many, to be sure, preferred him without one at all.

Many repeated oversights were corrected, if not fully, with honorary Academy Awards doled out to stars in their golden years, although none of the actors and actresses pictured above even received one of those. For them, alas, money, fame, and a place in the annals of history would just have to suffice.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME movies

These 21 Famous Actors Have Never Won an Oscar

Turns out all those actor snubbed for awards in 2015 are in very good company

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards - Arrivals
    Michael Loccisano—Getty Images

    1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
    2005: Nominated for Best Actor, The Aviator
    2007: Nominated for Best Actor, Blood Diamond
    2014: Nominated for Best Actor, The Wolf of Wall Street
    2014: Nominated for Best Picture (as producer), The Wolf of Wall Street

  • Julianne Moore

    The Cinema Society With Montblanc And Dom Perignon Host A Screening Of Sony Pictures Classics' "Still Alice" - After Party
    Jamie McCarthy—WireImage/Getty Images

    1998: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Boogie Nights
    2000: Nominated for Best Actress, The End of the Affair
    2003: Nominated for Best Actress, Far from Heaven
    2003: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The Hours
    2015: Nominated for Best Actress, Still Alice

  • Michael Keaton

    2014 National Board Of Review Gala - Arrivals
    Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty Images

    2015: Nominated for Best Actor, Birdman

  • Robert Downey Jr.

    18th Annual Hollywood Film Awards - Press Room
    Steve Granitz—WireImage/Getty Images

    1993: Nominated for Best Actor, Chaplin
    2009: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Tropic Thunder

  • Tom Cruise

    'Edge of Tomorrow' Press Conference In Tokyo
    Ken Ishii—Getty Images

    1990: Nominated for Best Actor, Born on the Fourth of July
    1997: Nominated for Best Actor, Jerry Maguire
    2000: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Magnolia

  • Harrison Ford

    Serious Fun Gala - Red Carpet Arrivals
    Stuart C. Wilson—Getty Images

    1986: Nominated for Best Actor, Witness

  • Glenn Close

    "My Old Lady" New York Premiere
    Henry S. Dziekan III—WireImage/Getty Images

    1983: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The World According to Garp
    1984: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The Big Chill
    1985: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The Natural
    1988: Nominated for Best Actress, Fatal Attraction
    1989: Nominated for Best Actress, Dangerous Liaisons
    2012: Nominated for Best Actress, Albert Nobbs

  • Joaquin Phoenix

    Moet & Chandon At The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards - Inside
    Michael Kovac—Getty Images

    2001: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Gladiator
    2006: Nominated for Best Actor, Walk the Line
    2013: Nominated for Best Actor, The Master

  • Johnny Depp

    The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala - Arrivals
    JB Lacroix—WireImage/Getty Images

    2004: Nominated for Best Actor, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    2005: Nominated for Best Actor, Finding Neverland
    2008: Nominated for Best Actor, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

  • Sigourney Weaver

    12th Annual Giants Of Broadcasting Awards
    Taylor Hill—Getty Images

    1987: Nominated for Best Actress, Aliens
    1989: Nominated for Best Actress, Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey
    1989: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Working Girl

  • Edward Norton

    Audi Golden Globe Week Celebration
    Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

    1997: Nominated for Best Actor, Primal Fear
    1999: Nominated for Best Actor, American History X
    2015: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Birdman

  • Annette Benning

    The Public Theater's Opening Night Performance Of "King Lear" - Curtain Call
    Walter McBride—WireImage/Getty Images

    1991: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The Grifters
    2000: Nominated for Best Actress, American Beauty
    2005: Nominated for Best Actress, Being Julia
    2011: Nominated for Best Actress, The Kids Are All Right

  • Ed Harris

    "Frontera" - Los Angeles Premiere
    Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

    1996: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Apollo 13
    1999: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, The Truman Show
    2001: Nominated for Best Actor, Pollock
    2003: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, The Hours

  • Bill Murray

    "St. Vincent" New York Premiere
    Paul Zimmerman—WireImage/Getty Images

    2004: Nominated for Best Actor, Lost in Translation

  • John Travolta

    "The Forger" Premiere - Red Carpet - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival
    George Pimentel—Getty Images

    1978: Nominated for Best Actor, Saturday Night Fever
    1995: Nominated for Best Actor, Pulp Fiction

  • Gary Oldman

    2014 Outfest Opening Night Gala Of "Life Partners" - After Party
    Angela Weiss—Getty Images

    2012: Nominated for Best Actor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

  • Liam Neeson

    '96 Hours - Taken 3' Berlin Premiere
    Clemens Bilan—Getty Images

    1994: Nominated for Best Actor, Schindler’s List

  • Ralph Fiennes

    Bond 24 - Photocall
    Karwai Tang—WireImage/Getty Images

    1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Schindler’s List
    1997: Nominated for Best Actor, The English Patient

  • John Malkovich

    "Penguins Of Madagascar" New York Premiere - Arrivals
    Mike Pont—FilmMagic/Getty Images

    1985: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Places in the Heart
    1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, In the Line of Fire

  • Laura Linney

    Women In Film's 2013 Crystal + Lucy Awards - Arrivals
    Jeffrey Mayer—WireImage/Getty Images

    2001: Nominated for Best Actress, You Can Count on Me
    2005: Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Kinsey
    2008: Nominated for Best Actress, The Savages

  • Samuel L. Jackson

    GQ Men Of The Year Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals
    Anthony Harvey—Getty Images

    1995: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Pulp Fiction

TIME movies

Ava DuVernay’s Missing Oscar Nomination Is Part of a Bigger Problem

Atsushi Nishijima—Paramount Colman Domingo plays Ralph Abernathy, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., André Holland plays Andrew Young, and Stephan James plays John Lewis in Selma.

This year's Academy Award nominations felt like a major backslide for diversity

The most potent story about this year’s Oscars may not be what was nominated, but what wasn’t. The civil-rights drama Selma, about Martin Luther King’s 1965 voting-rights marches in Alabama, had been considered before the nominations were announced to be a major threat to win awards — yet it was left out of all but two categories. Though the film was present among the eight Best Picture nominees, its director, Ava DuVernay, and its star, David Oyelowo, both failed to convert momentum from the Golden Globes and widespread critical adulation into Oscar nominations. (The film’s sole other nomination is for Best Original Song.)

Oyelowo’s exclusion for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. is particularly striking; in his absence, all 20 of the nominees for acting prizes are white. (The Screen Actors Guild Awards had a similar makeup this year; Oyelowo was one of two black nominees at the Golden Globes.) In all, a movie that had been perceived as a potential multiple-category threat is now lagging behind the rest of the field. How did this happen to Selma — and what does it mean for Hollywood?

Some may consider singling out Selma to be unfair to the Academy; as Mark Harris points out comprehensively on Grantland, there were major issues with Paramount’s positioning of the movie. Selma was completed very recently and its studio did not send DVD “screeners” out to many awards-giving bodies. Its recent release also made it particularly vulnerable to criticisms about its veracity that, with more time, the film might have transcended. There were entirely straightforward reasons that Selma may have found itself missing out on major nominations that had nothing to do with its subject matter; there’s also the matter of taste, which cannot be discounted. Voters en masse may just have preferred the less visceral Imitation Game or the sweetly twee Grand Budapest Hotel or the bombastic Birdman, three of the five movies that kept DuVernay’s work out of the Best Director field. (And, in further fairness to the Academy, Birdman’s director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is Latino.)

But the problem — and it is a problem — of Selma’s general exclusion from Oscar’s party is bigger than Selma itself. Women and nonwhite artists have always had a relatively difficult time getting their work recognized (to say nothing of getting the work made in the first place). There’s a reason it was such big news that Kathryn Bigelow, the fourth and most recent woman to get a Best Director nomination, won in 2010, or that 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress Oscars last year.

But this year was an aggressive return to form. Every one of the fifteen writers nominated in the screenplay categories this year is a man, excluding work by writers including Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl); seven of the eight Best Picture nominees are about a white man dealing with internal conflict. (Notably, the Best Actor nominees are drawn from a pool that includes Best Picture and Best Director nominees; meanwhile, the only Best Actress nominee whose film was otherwise acclaimed this year played the supportive wife to the great man her film is about — that is, Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything.) And though the last time there were 20 white acting nominees was 1998 (the year of Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt’s Oscars), Oyelowo’s exclusion from the Best Actor field, which last honored a nonwhite performer in 2007, felt somehow unsurprising.

The absence of Selma in key categories is troubling not merely for what it represents but for its practical effect. Without the one prestige movie from 2014 starring a black performer, the acting categories had no other credible nominees; without a nomination for Ava DuVernay, the field was all-male by unthinking default. What few examples this year of art by and about women and nonwhite people fell from the race for reasons, some of which were perfectly understandable. The worst part of Selma not getting nominated for major Oscars is that there’s nothing else like it from the past year. Rewarding it would be one means of redress. Seeking to make it unexceptional would be more difficult — and also more worthy of Selma’s subject.

TIME Music

Connie Britton, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman Sing Along in Sleater-Kinney’s New Video

It's a proper parade of famous people!

When TIME talked to Carrie Brownstein about the first Sleater-Kinney album in nearly a decade, she marveled at the band’s ability to keep the project under wraps: “We were talking to friends, and somehow our friends kept it a secret. It’s a miracle.” Now, for the title track’s new video, “No Cities to Love,” it looks like Sleater-Kinney put those friends to work.

Instead of a traditional clip, the band recruited a long list of Sleater-Kinney pals to film themselves singing — and sometimes dancing! — along to the track, including: Brie Larson (who also just spoke with TIME), Fred Armisen, Sarah Silverman, Connie Britton, Miranda July, Andy Samberg, Norman Reedus, Vanessa Bayer, Gerard Way, Natasha Lyonne, Ellen Page and others. If a cooler mass of celebrities has been assembled in the name of art since “We Are the World,” we haven’t seen it.

TIME Music

Martin Solveig’s New Song ‘Intoxicated’ Will Get You Moving in No Time

Just try and resist this collaboration between GTA and the "Hello" hitmaker

If Kiesza just isn’t doing it for you anymore as you strut down the sidewalk on your work, Martin Solveig — the French DJ-producer behind the worldwide hit “Hello” — is about to renew your interest in shameless public dancing. It takes about 30 seconds for the GTA collaboration “Intoxicated” to really get going, but you may already find yourself foot-tapping to its steady cowbell before the menacing horns even come in.

Some breezy repetitive vocals serve as the official call to the dance floor (“Let’s dance / No time for romance”), but no formal invitation is needed on a track with this much punch. Just save some energy for the house-y piano breakdown that arrives a third of the way through — remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

TIME Music

Lana Del Rey Snubbed Again for Oscars’ Best Original Song

72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
Jason Merritt—Getty Images Lana Del Rey attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Bad news for the "Big Eyes" singer

Lana Del Rey’s bad luck with the Oscars didn’t end Thursday, when the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were revealed — and both she and Sia, two of pop’s most viable divas, were left off in the category for Best Original Song.

Last year, Lana’s The Great Gatsby song “Young and Beautiful” (one of her most successful songs ever) wasn’t just snubbed, it was also the subject of an mysterious smear campaign that falsely alleged the song was ineligible to the Academy selection committee. Since it debuted in December, “Big Eyes,” one of two songs she recorded for the Amy adams-starring Big Eyes, has had similar praise and buzz: Billboard noted Lana’s “vocal theatrics,” The Hollywood Reporter called it “stunning,” and Indiewire said it had an “excellent shot” at a nomination.

Sia’s addition to the Annie remake, “Opportunity,” didn’t have the same vocal support behind it — maybe because Sia doesn’t have the same tragic history with awards recognition, or maybe it’s just the song itself — but as The Wrap points out, artists and songwriters who dare to update a musical with new material have often been rewarded with at least a nomination.

Certainly there are far more egregious snubs this year— The LEGO Movie was’t nominated for Best Animated Feature, though its “Everything Is Awesome” song was recognized — and the songs weren’t necessarily frontrunners, either: both Sia’s and Lana’s songs lost out to John Legend and Common’s “Glory” from Selma (a movie that only got a Best Picture nomination from the Academy) last weekend at the Golden Globes. But either Lana Del Rey is cursed, or this year’s nominations confirm what those who follow these categories have already known for some time: the Oscars just aren’t as open to pop as the Globes.

TIME movies

Oscars 2015 Nominations Analysis: Who Will Take Home the Awards?

IFC Films

Boyhood, Birdman and Budapest lead the nominations board in a year when the august members of the Motion Picture Academy played the Imitation Game and tried to be the Independent Spirit Awards

Correction appended: Jan. 16, 2015

This time, the Motion Picture Academy decided, eight was enough. After five years when the Best Picture category allowed for nine or 10 nominees, the Oscars went for a svelter look this year, which it achieved by saying no to those rich meals that audiences love: hit movies. No Gone Girl, Interstellar or, heaven forbid, Guardians of the Galaxy. The pure-nutrition platter the Academy provided this morning will make Oscar Night (Feb. 22) just another Independent Spirit Awards.

The finalists include four biopics — American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Selma and The Theory of Everything — plus the fiction films Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash. The leaders in nominations, with nine, were Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel (though Budapest got none in the acting categories), followed by The Imitation Game with eight.

This was an unusually schizophrenic shortlist — a reminder that some 6,000 Academy members fill out ballots and have trouble agreeing with each other or possibly themselves. American Sniper cadged nominations for Picture, Actor (Bradley Cooper) and Adapted Screenplay (Jason Hall) but not for Clint Eastwood, its legendary 84-year-old director.

Foxcatcher, the bleak true-life tale of zillionaire John DuPont and the Olympic Gold-medal wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz, earned citations for director Bennett Cooper, writers E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman and stars Steve Carell (DuPont) and Mark Ruffalo (Dave Schultz) but not for Best Picture. Selma, which portrays Martin Luther King Jr.’s organizing of the Alabama marches that spurred President Lyndon Johnson to press Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, got a nomination for Best Picture, but not for its star (David Oyelowo), screenwriter (Paul Webb) and director (Ava DuVernay).

Life Itself, the Roger Ebert biography that is the year’s definitive portrait of heroic movie love, got left off the Documentary Feature list. And in a Fraud at Polls shocker, The LEGO Movie, which any critic or child could tell you was the year’s best Animated Feature, got shut out of that category’s five nominees. No candy, kids. Eat your spinach and watch Whiplash.

Here’s our analysis of the nominees in six major categories, with the early pick for the winner in bold.

Sony Pictures ClassicsJ.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher in Whiplash

 Nominees: Robert Duvall, The Judge. Ethan Hawke, Boyhood. Edward Norton, Birdman. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash.

If your jock friends ask you who J.K. Simmons is, tell them he’s the friendly guy in the Farmers Insurance commercials that have saturated every NFL playoff game of the past few weeks. He’s also a terrific actor who has shone on Broadway (Captain Hook opposite Kathy Rigby in Peter Pan), in movies (Peter Parker’s newspaper editor in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy) and every kind of television (including as a pompadoured host back when AMC lived up to its full name: American Movie Classics). Whiplash, which also earned director Damien Chazelle an Adapted Screenplay nomination, earned only $6 million at the domestic box office, but those who saw it audience knew that Simmons gives an explosive, finely calibrated performance as the sadistic teacher to Miles Teller’s drummer prodigy.

Simmons, who turned 60 last week, now finds himself a newborn star. After winning this category in 75% of all critics groups, he snagged a Golden Globe last weekend and has no, repeat no, serious competition for the Oscar. It’s his. In a Simmons-less year, Norton might have won. His wily work as Michael Keaton’s chief rival in Birdman is at once funny, scary and sexy.

Snubs: Albert Brooks as the wise old consigliere in A Most Violent Year? James Brolin as the splenetic cop in Inherent Vice? Maybe Channing Tatum, who plays Ruffalo’s wrestling brother in Foxcatcher? I’m floundering, really. It was a thin category this year.

IFC FilmsPatricia Arquette as Olivia Evans in Boyhood

 Nominees: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood. Laura Dern, Wild. Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game. Emma Stone, Birdman. Meryl Streep, Into the Woods.

Expect another runaway winner: Arquette for allowing herself to age, not gracefully but naturally, over the dozen years of shooting Richard Linklater’s family saga, and for making her character the movie’s narrative fulcrum; another name for the film could have been Momhood. Other shortlisters included Dern as Reese Witherspoon’s doomed, adoring mother, Stone as Michael Keaton’s rehabbing daughter and Knightley as Benedict Cumberbatch’s “love interest.” Streep was the Into the Woods Witch — first an aged crone, then a sexy young thing — and she sings, too. But she’ll be part of the choir on Oscar night, when Patricia gets a statuette named Arquette.

Snubs: The Academy ignored fine actresses in knottier, more driven roles: Jessica Chastain as Oscar Issac’s scheming wife, an ’80s Lady Macbeth, in A Most Violent Year; Vanessa Redgrave as Steve Carell’s cold-bloody mama in Foxcatcher; and Rene Russo as Jake Gyllenhaal’s TV-news abettor in Nightcrawler.

Golden Globes 2015 - Birdman
Fox SearchlightMichael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson in Birdman

 Nominees: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher. Bradley Cooper, American Sniper. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game. Michael Keaton, Birdman. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything.

Two distinguished young Brits have been locked like accidentally conjoined twins as the stars of their complementary biopics: Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the maths genius who helped win World War II by breaking the Nazis’ Enigma Code, and Redmayne as later Cambridge University cosmologist Stephen Hawking. They both made the cut, along with Cooper, as Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle, and Carell. In competition with four biopic stars, Keaton ought to triumph — especially since his Birdman character, a has-been movie actor who long ago played a comic-book movie hero, reflects Keaton’s own bioperse as the star of Tim Burton’s Batman movies more than 20 years ago.

Snubs: Jake Gyllenhaal seemed a dead cert as the creepy news-cameraman in Nightcrawler, but lost out to Carell’s nutsy plutocrat and his funny nose. David Oyelowo not only brought a politician’s canniness to his Dr. King role, he brought DuVernay in to direct it. Yeah, well, boo-hoo, says the Academy — which for only the second time in 14 years nominated no actor or actress of African heritage.

A brief note on some other white people: With Hawke and Arquette nominated for Boyhood, didn’t Ellar Coltrane, who devoted two thirds of his life (ages six to 18) to this project, deserve not only love but respect for carrying the movie that is now the frontrunner for Best Picture?

Still Alice
Sony PicturesJulianne Moore stars as Alice Howland in Still Alice

 Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything. Julianne Moore, Still Alice. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl. Reese Witherspoon, Wild.

Cotillard is one of only two women to win a Best Actress Oscar for a performance in a foreign language: as Edith Piaf in La vie en rose seven years ago. (The other was Sophia Loren in Two Women, 1962.) She finished second in the critics-groups’ year-end tabulation, just behind Pike, but was thought a long shot for the Academy shortlist as the Belgian worker pleading to get her job back. Cheers to the members for watching a movie with subtitles — and for recognizing the delicate power in Jones’ role as Stephen Hawking’s wife Jane. Witherspoon, an Oscar winner in 2006 for Walk the Line, was an easy pick in a virtual one-woman show about a Pacific Coast hiker on a painful inner journey.

Pike, the little-known English blond whom director David Fincher gave a shot at stardom in Gone Girl, is the only representative in any acting category of a movie that became a popular hit ($167 million at home, nearly $200 million more abroad). But that’s unlikely to vault her, or the other finalists, over Moore. With four previous Oscar nominations, she’s due. Moreover, as a college professor suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s, she’s great.

Snubs: I hope Amy Adams enjoyed her Golden Globes party — and Comedy of Musical Actress win, as painter Margaret Keane in Big Eyes — because the five-time Oscar nominee got stiffed this morning. Emily Blunt deserved a nomination for lending voice and plangent heart to the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods; boo-hoo for her. Jennifer Aniston had strenuously deglamorized herself for her role in Cake as a woman with chronic pain syndrome in a little-seen drama that somehow pulled a Golden Globe nomination. The Academy members were less impressed by Aniston’s performance. On Oscar night, they said, let her eat Cake at home.

Golden Globes 2015 - Boyhood
IFC FilmsEllar Coltrane as Mason Evans Jr. in Boyhood

 Nominees: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman. Richard Linklater, Boyhood. Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher. Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game.

Recently, the five Director nominees have been drawn from the larger list of Best Picture finalists. That didn’t happen this year, as Miller nudged out (I’m guessing) Eastwood. The wild, verdant imaginations of Anderson and Iñárritu will not win them this award: Budapest may get Best Original Screenplay, and Birdman might have to settle for Keaton’s Best Actor award. Linklater should win for Boyhood.

Snubs: With eight nominations for Best Picture and only five for Director, this is the Academy’s truly elite category. And, like a gentleman’s club with a restricted membership, it still doesn’t admit black women. Ava DuVernay surely proved her bona fides with Selma: she pushed a stalled project into production, got an epic vibe on a $20-million budget, expertly managed dozens of speaking parts and marshaled hundreds of extras — all that stuff usually considered the job of real men. But the Academy must have thought this achievement wasn’t as hard as Tyldum’s. The Norwegian director got Benedict Cumberbatch to give a really good performance!

BEST PICTURE Nominees: American Sniper. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Boyhood. The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Imitation Game. Selma. The Theory of Everything. Whiplash.

As a critic who likes to see his personal prejudices validated by others, I can’t complain about this Gang of Eight: six of the movies made my lists of 10 best films or performances. But basically the Academy served up one unabashedly Hollywood movie, American Sniper, and seven art-house films. Of these, the most cinematically wondrous is The Grand Budapest Hotel. And the marathon of warmth, growing pains and family values is Boyhood: your Oscar winner for Best Picture.

Snubs: Foxcatcher, one of the year’s few Oscar-y biopics that didn’t aim for inspiration, won a Director’s prize for Miller at Cannes last year, and a Director’s nomination here, but was too chilly and remote to find either a substantial audience — only $8.8 million at the domestic box office — or a rooting interest from the full Academy membership that votes for Best Picture. Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of the late-year biopics, did connect with paying customers: $103 million in its first three weeks of release. But this epic of a soldier’s endurance on land and sea in World War II disappointed most critics and, obviously, the Oscar voters. And Nightcrawler was the only end-of-year contender that was not a biopic. Its deft portrait of a sociopath on the rise may have troubled Academy viewers. Not being able to embrace Gyllenhaal’s winsome creep, they punished him and the movie. These are the Oscars, Jake and writer-director Dan Gilroy. Next time, mind your manners and wear tuxedos.

Read next: Oscars 2015 Best Picture Nominees: Read the Original Reviews

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the nationality of the director Morten Tyldum. He is Norwegian.

TIME movies

Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch Are Oscars Texting Buddies

Steve Granitz—WireImage Eddie Redmayne poses in the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 11, 2015 in California.

Redmayne has already won a Golden Globe for his turn as Stephen Hawking

How did Eddie Redmayne discover he had received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything? “I’m currently staying in a hotel in Los Angeles and I was fast asleep,” says the Brit. “There was suddenly a rap on the door, I stumbled out of bed in my towel, and opened the door, and my manager was standing there brandishing a telephone, screaming down the phone. So I was hoping that was a good thing.”

“We haven’t spoken, but we have texted,” says Redmayne. “There was many an exclamation mark being used. We’ve come up together and Ben is a good friend, and such an amazing actor. Benedict is so extraordinary in Imitation Game. It is a genuine honor to be amongst that group of actors.”

And how will Redmayne be celebrating his nomination? “Gosh,” he says. “It is still like 6 or 7 in the morning. So, I’m wondering what point one is allowed to start drinking.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

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