This year’s Oscars to lack diversity and excitement

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Eddie Sheehy, Arts and Entertainment Editor

With the announcement today of the official Oscar nominees, the annual film celebration is practically together. The academy awards, which will air on February 22, have a host in Neil Patrick Harris, and now a list of nominees, which are stirring up quite a bit of controversy.

For starters, of the films that were actually nominated, it’s not too hard to figure out who the winners will be (expect my list of Oscar predictions to be out sooner rather then later). Films like “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory Of Everything” for Best Picture are no surprise, but others like “Whiplash” and “American Sniper” were seemingly out of nowhere. Those two films were perhaps the smallest surprises however, in an announcement that can best be described as puzzling.

You could sum up this award season as the year of snubs. Clint Eastwood was denied a Best Director nomination despite “American Sniper” receiving 6 other nods. Recent Golden Globe winner Amy Adams also failed to receive praise for her role in the movie “Big Eyes,” while other major snubs included “Gone Girl” for Best Picture, David Oyelowo for “Selma,” Jake Gylenhal for “Nightcrawler” and “Life Itself” for best documentary. Perhaps the most infuriating snub of all however, came from the Best Animated Feature category, with the absence of “The LEGO Movie.”

Another controversial aspect of this year’s nominee’s is the lack of diversity amongst the potential winners. This year, all 20 of the acting nominees are white, as are four out of the five directors, and there is not a single woman nominated for director, cinematographer or screenwriter. Now, I’m not in favor of nominating someone for an award just because of his or her gender or race, but this year there really were some talented people who deserved to be nominated, chief among them being Ava DuVernay for “Selma,” who would have been the first black female nominee in the Directing Category.

All of this controversy and all of these snubs come together to form what many feared. This is going to be one of the most boring Oscars in recent memory. The potential nominees this year were already less engaging to your average movie going audiences, and with all of this controversy, I fear that this could be the least watched Oscars in a long time.

We all knew that following up last year’s selfie and pizza laden awards was going to be tough, but I don’t think any of us expected it to look this brutal.