While I don't feel like I can truly judge the nominations this year, considering I haven't seen most of the "awards favorites", I still have some opinions:
-BRADLEY COOPER FUCK YES! Definitely my favorite performance of the year.
-Paul Thomas Anderson - Adapted Screenplay for Inherent Vice (I just saw this today, and it might make my Top 10 of 2014).
-Big Hero 6 for Animated Feature
-Interstellar for Production Design, Sound Design & Visual Effects (Hey...at least it's something!)
-The Fucking Grand Budapest Hotel. Seriously, what the fuck?! Am I the only one who didn't like it?
-Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl. Aside from the stupid fucking screenplay, she was the worst part of the movie. I would have been okay with Ben Affleck scoring a nod, or even David Fincher (there are some really striking, beautiful shots), but I just can't with Pike.
-I can't comment on the other nominees because I haven't seen any of the other nominated movies (which makes me really sad) - out of 8 nominees, I've only seen 2 of them (and I hated 1 of those).
-Too many to count, really. Never a bad thing when there are too many movies/performances to consider, but this year the critics and I were on different pages. Here are just some of the movies/people I feel deserved recognition:
-Under the Skin - For something, anything! Best Picture, Editing, Screenplay, Sound Design (that one should have been a given), Cinematography....ANYTHING!
-Jake Gyllenhaal. Nightcrawler is a strong film (not in my personal Top 10, but it's still good), but his performance is really great. While I'm happy that Cooper snuck in a nomination, I'm sad that Gyllenhaal is the one he pushed out. Renee Russo gave a fantastic supporting performance, too.
-Essie Davis for The Babadook. Rare for a horror movie to have that much of an impact and most of it can be credited to her.
-Joaquin Phoenix. He's perfect in Inherent Vice (and PTA really should have received a directing nomination, too, but I will settle for the screenplay one).
-Screenplay for The Skeleton Twins (an actor nod for Bill Hader would have been a beautiful thing, too)
-Tom Hardy. Wasn't the biggest fan of Locke (I liked it, but I didn't love it), but his performance was mesmerizing.
-Christopher Nolan for Interstellar. Hoyte van Hoytema for cinematography. Seriously, it's one hell of a film - how on Earth do these two not get recognized by The Academy?
-I have many more, but I'll just write one more. One that is a bit "out there": Shailene Woodley for The Fault in Our Stars. For real.