A look at the best picture nominees at the 87th Academy Awards.

AMERICAN SNIPER

Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

Synopsis: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Oscar nominations: 6
Categories: Best Film, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis

Synopsis: A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

Oscar nominations: 9
Categories: Best Film, Best Actor (Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Stone), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Screenplay.

BOYHOOD

Director Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Synopsis: The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.

Categories: Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Ethan Hawke), Best Supporting Actress (Arquette), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan

Synopsis: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Oscar nominations: 9
Categories: Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Original Screenplay.

THE IMITATION GAME

Director: Morten Tyldum
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

Synopsis: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Oscar nominations: 8
Categories: Best Film, Best Actor (Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress (Knightley), Best Director, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Adapted Screenplay.

SELMA

Director: Ava DuVernay
Cast: David Oyelowo, Tim Roth

Synopsis: A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

Oscar nominations: 2
Categories: Best Film, Best Original Song

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Director: James Marsh
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

Synopsis: A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Oscar nominations: 5
Categories: Best Film, Best Actor (Redmayne), Best Actress (Jones), Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay.

WHIPLASH

Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons

Synopsis: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

Oscar nominations: 5
Categories: Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Simmons), Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

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