Belfast Telegraph

Oscars Nomination: Northern Ireland film Boogaloo and Graham nominated for Academy Award

A Northern Ireland filmmaker has been nominated for an Oscar at the coveted 87th Academy Awards.

Boogaloo and Graham was among the final 10 live action shorts whittled down from 140 entries in the short film live action category

Boogaloo and Graham - directed by Michael Lennox, written by Ronan Blaney and produced by Brian J Falconer - is set in 1970s Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Screen funded production follows two young boys as they discover the facts of life aided by the help of their pet chickens.

It will be up against Aya, Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak), Parvaneh and The Phone Call.

The Live Action Short category was won by Belfast director Terry George in 2012 for The Shore.

The Oscars will be televised on February 22 and actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the event which is broadcast to more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Meanwhile Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch will go head-to-head in the race to be named best actor at this year's Oscars after they were both recognised for their portrayals of pioneering scientists.

Redmayne, whose performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything has already won him a Golden Globe, is among the early favourites to carry off the statuette.

As well as Cumberbatch, who played code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Redmayne is up against Steve Carell, nominated for Foxcatcher, American Sniper's Bradley Cooper and Birdman's Michael Keaton for the award.

The early odds suggest Redmayne faces stiff competition from Keaton in the race to be named Best Actor.

The US star is 4-5 to win, just marginally ahead of Redmayne at 10-11, according to bookmaker William Hill.

The firm's spokesman, Rupert Adams, said: "The betting suggests that five of the six major awards have nailed-on winners, whilst the Best Actor betting suggests a High Noon-style mano a mano between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, either of whom could draw first."

Redmayne's co-star in The Theory Of Everything, Felicity Jones, and Rosamund Pike are both nominated for the leading actress gong.

Jones, who played Professor Hawking's wife, and Gone Girl star Pike face competition from Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and Marion Cotillard.

Keira Knightley, who stars alongside Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, is nominated for the best supporting actress award alongside Oscars veteran Meryl Streep - who is shortlisted for a 19th time.

The other nominees are Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Emma Stone.

The nominees for supporting actor are Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo and JK Simmons.

Both The Theory Of Everything and The Imitation Game are in contention to be named best film along with American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma and Whiplash.

Among those who were tipped for a nomination but missed out are actors Ralph Fiennes and David Oyelowo, both critically acclaimed for their work in The Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma respectively, and Nick Hornby whose work on the screenplay of Wild went unrecognised.

Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston also missed out despite impressing the critics with her performance in Cake.

Other notable nominations include two for French composer Alexandre Desplat, who is recognised for his original score for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game.

The nominations were announced this afternoon during a press conference in Beverley Hills with the ceremony to follow on February 22.

Cumberbatch said: "I am knocked for six by this. So excited and honoured to receive this recognition.

"It's wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents who are both actors and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life."

Redmayne told Sky News: "You know, as you can imagine, it's our job as actors to tell interesting stories about interesting people.

"They don't come more extraordinary than Stephen Hawking.

"When I was first cast, the most important thing was to educate myself. I went to a clinic in London and met with a specialist there who introduced me to people suffering from motor neurone disease and they were so generous and kind."

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