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Oscar Roundup: Hard-earned nods, some snubs, and a lack of diversity overall




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Nominations for the Academy Awards were announced early Thursday. The list is brought to you by the letter B -- for Boyhood, Budapest and, of course, Birdman.

“Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” dominated the nominee lists with nine nominations each.

For a roundup of the nominees, Take Two began Thursday's Oscar-centric show with a conversation with our nominee for Best Arts and Entertainment Radio Journalist (wink) -- The Frame’s John Horn.

Horn joined the show Thursday morning to talk about some well-deserved nods and some snubs, including one big surprise this year -- a lack of diversity among the nominees in the acting categories. In fact, not a single actor of color received a nomination for best actor/actress or supporting actor/actress.

Here are the Best Actor nominees:

And the nominees for Best Actress:

The Best Supporting Actress nominees:

And the nominees for Best Supporting Actor:

It was also a surprise to some that the film Selma did not receive any nominations for performances. But it did pick up one for best picture of the year.

Watch the trailer for "Selma:"

Here are the Best Picture nominees:

Many films honored with nominations this year were very difficult to shoot. One in particular is "Boyhood," widely considered one of the front-runners for Best Picture after taking home the Golden Globe statue for Best Picture, Drama days ago. The film was shot over the course of twelve years with the same cast.

Another Best Picture nominee, “The Imitation Game,” was also tough to get produced. The film's screenplay topped the annual Black List for best unproduced Hollywood scripts in 2011 before a bidding war erupted amid several studios and the film was eventually made. The film received eight Academy Award nominations.

That’s quite a feat, considering that two of the producers behind it are complete newcomers to filmmaking. Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky joined Take Two Thursday to talk about the challenges they faced in getting the film made.

Watch the trailer for "The Imitation Game:"

It's no secret that films in the animated category are typically very labor intensive and hard to produce. But the stop-motion film “The Boxtrolls” was particularly grueling to make. The hard work of Laika animation studios paid off, though, and the film is nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Travis Knight is the head of Laika pictures and he joined Take Two to about receiving recognition for his team’s dedication to the art of stop-motion animation.

And a film nominated in the Best Documentary Category was not only difficult to make, but also dangerous to shoot. “Virunga” documents a group of rangers in war-torn Congo, who risk their lives to help protect the planet's last remaining mountain gorillas. The film’s director, Orlando von Einsiedel, is a former professional snowboarder turned first-time filmmaker. He joined Take Two to talk about the constant threat the film’s main characters are under, and their dedication to their cause.

Watch the trailer for "Virunga:"

Be sure to listen to Take Two's chats with many of the guests mentioned above, as well as with nominees for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Whiplash."

For more on all the other 2015 Academy Award nominations, check in with Southern California Public Radio's The Frame here.