Oscars 2015: 'Birdman,' 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Lead Nominees

Thursday, January 15th 2015, 9:22 am
By: News On 6

"Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" lead this year's crop of Oscars nominees with nine nods each, including best picture.

Nominees were announced by actor Chris Pine, filmmakers J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuaron and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. For the first time in Academy history, all 24 categories were announced live on television.

The best picture nominees are "American Sniper," "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "Selma," "The Theory of Everything" and "Whiplash."

The best animated feature film nominees are "Big Hero 6," "The Box Trolls," "How to Train Your Dragon 2," "Song of the Sea" and "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya."

Box office heavyweight "The Lego Movie," which received a Golden Globe nod, was absent from the list.

However, the catchy "Everything is Awesome" from "The Lego Movie" is in the running for best original song. It's up against "Glory," the Golden Globe-winning song from "Selma," along with "Lost Stars" from "Begin Again," "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from "Glen Campbell...I'll Be Mine," "Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights." It's a touch nomination for Campbell, who's battling Alzheimer's disease.

This year's ceremony on Feb. 22 will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris live from Dolby Theatre in Hollywood starting at 7 p.m. ET on ABC. The "Gone Girl" star is no stranger to emcee duties having hosted the Tony Awards four times and the Primetime Emmys twice. It's his first time hosting the Oscars.

"It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year's Academy Awards. I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show," Harris said following the announcement last year. "To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true."

Oscars ratings have been on the up and up as of late. The 2014 Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, attracted roughly 43 million viewers, marking the the most-watched entertainment telecast in a decade. "12 Years a Slave" took the best picture title at last year's Academy Awards.