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Well that clears up a few things…

The Oscar race this year seemed stack with an awful lot of uncertainty. In a year where a lot of the sexy names couldn’t seem to latch on, and one where so many good-but-not-great contenders were standing around the edge of the ring, settling on even five final contenders seemed to be a tricky endeavour. Now though, in a ten-day stretch where the final groups of award bodies weighed-in and revealed their selections for the class of 2014, we have a sharper image.

In the corner of this sharper image stands Clint Eastwood…and in a small way, this disappoints me. Clint used to be my guy – a director whose work I eagerly anticipated and chased down the moment it arrived in town. For the last several years though, he has disappointed me time and again. After GRAN TORINO, HEREAFTER, J. EDGAR, and JERSEY BOYS, I told myself that i was done with him and that only universal acclaim (or an Oscar nomination) would get me back int he seat for one of his films. Well now it looks like I might as well pick my chair because AMERICAN SNIPER is likely headed to the big dance.

Eastwood’s latest has been cropping up time and again over the last few months – making both the AFI and NBR year-end best-of. This week, the film has to be considered a serious contender as both The Producers’ Guild and The Directors’ Guild named it as a nominee for their prize. Its mention on the latter is especially telling since The DGA is an especially accurate prognosticator of the directors – and indeed the films – that Oscar will honour. What’s more, in the short era of an expanded Best Picture field, only one movie has landed a DGA nomination and not scored an Oscar nomination for Best Picture (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO in 2011).

Also in this sharper image we now look upon, one title we do not see is SELMA. While the film is getting wide acclaim and small swaths of love from various awards bodies, the film might have broke too late. Besides the picture not being locked until very late, the film doesn’t seem to have been given enough of a push from Paramount…which is surprising given its chances with the right campaign. As much as the Oscar race is about favoritism and about politics, it’s also about marketing – both good and bad. The marketing of SELMA to the people who steer Oscar voters has been piss poor, and it hasn’t been helped by a whisper campaign about its factual inaccuracies. The team behind SELMA might be listening to the nominees announced on Thursday morning and wonder “what if?”

Or…because a lot of these voting bodies had to turn in ballots before Oscar voters had to turn in theirs, it’s possible that those last few days and weeks were enough for the film to make its mark.

So with The Writers’ Guild, Producers’ Guild, BAFTA, and Directors’ Guild naming their nominees, here’s where the race for best picture stands.

Book ’em: BIRDMAN, BOYHOOD, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, THE IMITATION GAME

Likely: AMERICAN SNIPER, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

In The Fight: WHIPLASH, NIGHTCRAWLER

Need Help: FOXCATCHER, GONE GIRL, SELMA,

Out: INTO THE WOODS, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, UNBROKEN, WILD

The full list of final nominees from the various awarding bodies can be found below.

Directors Guild Awards Nominees

AMERICAN SNIPER (Clint Eastwood)
BOYHOOD (Richard Linklater)
BIRDMAN (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Wes Anderson)
THE IMITATION GAME (Morten Tyldum)

Producers Guild Awards Nominees

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
FOXCATCHER
GONE GIRL
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
NIGHTCRAWLER
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
WHIPLASH

Writers Guild Awards Nominees

Best Original Screenplay:
BOYHOOD
FOXCATCHER
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
NIGHTCRAWLER
WHIPLASH

Best Adapted Screenplay:
AMERICAN SNIPER
GONE GIRL
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
THE IMITATION GAME
WILD

BAFTA Nominees

BEST FILM
BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
THE IMITATION GAME Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
’71 YANN DEMANGE, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
THE IMITATION GAME Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
PADDINGTON Paul King, David Heyman
PRIDE Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
UNDER THE SKIN Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
ELAINE CONSTANTINE (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
GREGORY BURKE (Writer), YANN DEMANGE (Director) ’71
HONG KHAOU (Writer/Director) Lilting
PAUL KATIS (Director/Producer), ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story
STEPHEN BERESFORD (Writer), DAVID LIVINGSTONE (Producer) Pride

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
IDA Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska
LEVIATHAN Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
THE LUNCHBOX Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
TRASH Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

DOCUMENTARY
20 FEET FROM STARDOM Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
CITIZENFOUR Laura Poitras
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
VIRUNGA Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

ANIMATED FILM
BIG HERO 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams
THE BOXTROLLS Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
THE LEGO MOVIE Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

DIRECTOR
BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wes Anderson
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING James Marsh
WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wes Anderson
NIGHTCRAWLER Dan Gilroy
WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
AMERICAN SNIPER Jason Hall
GONE GIRL Gillian Flynn
THE IMITATION GAME Graham Moore
PADDINGTON Paul King
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Anthony McCarten

LEADING ACTOR
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH The Imitation Game
EDDIE REDMAYNE The Theory of Everything
JAKE GYLLENHAAL Nightcrawler
MICHAEL KEATON Birdman
RALPH FIENNES The Grand Budapest Hotel

LEADING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS Big Eyes
FELICITY JONES The Theory of Everything
JULIANNE MOORE Still Alice
REESE WITHERSPOON Wild
ROSAMUND PIKE Gone Girl

SUPPORTING ACTOR
EDWARD NORTON Birdman
ETHAN HAWKE Boyhood
J.K. SIMMONS Whiplash
MARK RUFFALO Foxcatcher
STEVE CARELL Foxcatcher

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
EMMA STONE Birdman
IMELDA STAUNTON Pride
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY The Imitation Game
PATRICIA ARQUETTE Boyhood
RENE RUSSO Nightcrawler

ORIGINAL MUSIC
BIRDMAN Antonio Sanchez
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Alexandre Desplat
INTERSTELLAR Hans Zimmer
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Jóhann Jóhannsson
UNDER THE SKIN Mica Levi

CINEMATOGRAPHY
BIRDMAN Emmanuel Lubezki
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Robert Yeoman
IDA Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
INTERSTELLAR Hoyte van Hoytema
MR. TURNER Dick Pope

EDITING
Due to a tie in voting in this category, there are six nominations
BIRDMAN Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Barney Pilling
THE IMITATION GAME William Goldenberg
NIGHTCRAWLER John Gilroy
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Jinx Godfrey
WHIPLASH Tom Cross

PRODUCTION DESIGN
BIG EYES Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
THE IMITATION GAME Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
INTERSTELLAR Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
MR. TURNER Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

COSTUME DESIGN
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Milena Canonero
THE IMITATION GAME Sammy Sheldon Differ
INTO THE WOODS Colleen Atwood
MR. TURNER Jacqueline Durran
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Steven Noble

MAKE UP & HAIR
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Frances Hannon
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
INTO THE WOODS Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
MR. TURNER Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Jan Sewell

SOUND
AMERICAN SNIPER Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
BIRDMAN Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
THE IMITATION GAME John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
WHIPLASH Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
INTERSTELLAR Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
THE BIGGER PICTURE Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
MONKEY LOVE EXPERIMENTS Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
MY DAD Marcus Armitage

BRITISH SHORT FILM
BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
THE KÁRMÁN LINE Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
SLAP Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
THREE BROTHERS Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
GUGU MBATHA-RAW
JACK O’CONNELL
MARGOT ROBBIE
MILES TELLER
SHAILENE WOODLEY