THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - 2014 FILM STILL - Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead this year’s pack of Oscar contenders, nabbing nine nods a piece at yesterday’s nominations announcement in Los Angeles.

The two comedies will contend with The Imitation Game (eight nominations) and frontrunner Boyhood (six nominations) in the Best Picture competition.

Also nominated for the top prize: The Theory of Everything, American Sniper, Whiplash and Selma.

If there’s any controversy about the batch of nominees – and there always is – it concerns the relative snubbing of Selma, which only managed one other nomination, for Best Song.

By denying Selma‘s star David Oyelowo a nomination,  the Academy ensured this would be the first ceremony in 20 years without a person of colour in any of the acting categories.

Its helmer, Ava DuVarney, would have been the first black woman to nab a Best Director nomination, but her spot was instead handed over to Bennett Miller, whose Foxcatcher was nonetheless left out of the Best Picture race.

Miller will instead go up against Boyhood‘s Richard Linklater, Birdman‘s Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s Wes Anderson and The Imitation Game‘s Morten Tyldum.

Other major snubs include the near-shutout of Gone Girl and the curious exclusion of The Lego Movie from the Best Animated Feature competition and Life Itself from Best Documentary.

2015 will be the first year since 1999 that no women are nominated in the screenwriting categories. There’ll be many winners at the coming Academy Awards, but diversity is not one of them.

But it’s not all bad news: this writer’s favourite film of the past year, The Grand Budapest Hotel, managed to become the earliest-in-the-year release since The Silence of the Lambs back in 1991 to receive a Best Picture nod. So much for the long-held belief that contenders need to be unveiled in the last few months of the year.

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.

Best Picture

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

Best Director

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

Best Actor

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

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

Best Supporting Actor

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

Best Supporting Actress

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jason Hall, American Sniper
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Best Documentary Feature

Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

Best Film Editing

American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

Best Music – Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner
Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

Best Music – Original Song

Everything Is Awesome, The LEGO Movie
Glory, Selma
Grateful, Beyond the Lights
I’m Not Gonna Miss You, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Lost Stars, Begin Again

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods,
Mr. Turner

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Documentary Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

Best Short Film – Animated

The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Short Film – Live Action

Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh
The Phone Call