Why Selma Matters Today

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood were showered with honors as the Academy of Arts and Sciences confirmed what’s been whispered for months: Those are the films to beat at the 87th Oscar show, set for February 22.

Both took nominations for best director and best picture. In all, Oscar voters named eight best picture nominees, including Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, and Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.

Selma and Whiplash have ceased to be surprises, as both have popped up with awards and nominations through the season. But each comes from a relatively new director—Mr. Chazelle is a first-timer—making their best picture nominations notable.





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