RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The nominations for all 24 Oscar categories were announced this morning at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. And NPR's Mandalit del Barco is there in the thick of it by the way. Good morning, Mandalit.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Good morning. Yes, amongst all the journalists from around the world.
MONTAGNE: Right so let us start with what movie, you know, came out the best this morning?
DEL BARCO: Well, looking purely at the numbers, "Birdman" or "The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance," as it's called, got nine nominations, including one for Michael Keaton as best actor. Now, you'll remember Michael Keaton, years ago, played "Batman." And in this movie, he portrays an aging actor who once played a superhero known as "Birdman."
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BIRDMAN")
MICHAEL KEATON: (As Riggin) We had it all.
(As Birdman) You were a movie star, remember?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: (As character) Who is this guy?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: (As character) He used to be Birdman.
KEATON: (As Birdman) I liked that poster.
EDWARD NORTON: (As Mike) You wrote this adaptation?
KEATON: (As Riggin) I did, yeah.
NORTON: (As Mike) And you're directing and starring in...
KEATON: (As Riggin) Yeah.
NORTON: (As Mike) ...Your adaptation? That's ambitious.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Are you afraid people will say you're doing this play to battle the impression that you're a washed-up, comic strip character?
KEATON: (As Riggin) Absolutely not. That's why 20 years ago I said no to Birdman 4.
MONTAGNE: All right so "Birdman," what else?
DEL BARCO: Now, the movie that got nine nominations was "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson's comedy. Also nominated for best picture was "American Sniper" produced by Clint Eastwood and "Whiplash," "The Imitation Game," "The Theory Of Everything," "Selma" and "Boyhood," Richard Linklater's ambitious film which was made bit by bit over 12 years. We watched the actors Ellar Coltrane and Linklater's daughter, Lorelei, grow up on screen. Ethan Hawke plays their father, Patricia Arquette their mother. They were both nominated for best actors in today - this morning. And from the beginning of the movie, these two characters are split up. And here's a clip from the movie in which Arquette talks to her son about why she remarried.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BOYHOOD")
ELLAR COLTRANE: (As Mason) Why'd you even marry him? He's such a jerk.
PATRICIA ARQUETTE: (Mom) Well, Bill has his good qualities. You know, nobody's perfect. And now we have a family.
COLTRANE: (As Mason) We already had a family.
MONTAGNE: OK, so "Boyhood" up for best picture, in other words. In terms of who was nominated among the actors and actresses, you spoke of a couple, but tell us some of the other highlights?
DEL BARCO: Here are some other ones. Benedict Cumberbatch - who's been in just about everything these days - he was nominated for his role in "The Imitation Game," Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen Hawking in "The Theory Of Everything." And in terms of actresses, perennial Oscar winner Meryl Streep was nominated for her role in the musical "Into The Woods." She's up against Marion Cotillard in "Two Days, One Night," Felicity Jones in "The Theory Of Everything," Rosamund Pike in "Gone Girl," Reese Witherspoon in "Wild," and Julianne Moore in "Still Alice." Now, Julianne Moore is considered to be the favorite in that category.
MONTAGNE: And finally, Mandalit, it's always worth mentioning who did not get nominated. It's interesting and sometimes sad - the snubs.
DEL BARCO: Right, yes. Well, Renee, everything is not awesome for "The Lego Movie" which did not get nominated for best animated feature despite being both a critical and commercial success. Author Gillian Flynn did not get nominated for adapting her best-selling thriller "Gone Girl" into a screenplay. Jennifer Aniston got snubbed for her role in the movie "Cake." And perhaps most noteworthy is the movie "Selma." This is a clip from the movie.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SELMA")
DAVID OYELOWO: (As Martin Luther King Jr.) Mr. President, in the South, there have been thousands of racially motivated murders. We need your help.
TOM WILKINSON: (As President Lyndon B. Johnson) Dr. King, this thing's just going to have to wait.
OYELOWO: (As Martin Luther King Jr.) It cannot wait.
WILKINSON: (As President Lyndon B. Johnson) You got one big issue, I got 101.
OYELOWO: (As Martin Luther King Jr.) Selma it is.
DEL BARCO: Now, while "Selma" did get a best picture nomination, the director, Ava DuVernay, would've been the first African-American woman to be nominated, but she was not. And neither was the star of the film, David Oyelowo. It seemed like the academy might have been moving in the direction of being more inclusive after "12 Years A Slave" was nominated for nine Oscars last year. It ultimately won three. But this year, you don't see diversity as perhaps being something the academy voters are thinking about, Renee, also interesting to consider that against the backdrop of a lot of news that's happening around the country over the past year.
MONTAGNE: And that's Mandalit del Barco with this year's Oscar nominations announced this morning in Beverly Hills. Thanks very much.
DEL BARCO: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.