While the high-profile film “Life Itself” based on the life of the late Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert failed to get an Oscar nomination for best documentary, several other films with ties to Chicago did receive nominations:
Best Documentary: “Finding Vivian Maier,” based on the life of the late nanny/photographer who received worldwide acclaim posthumously through her “street photography” (primarily shot via a Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera), unearthed via 100,000 negatives. Most of the photographs were taken in Chicago and New York. The team behind the film includes co-directors Charlie Siskel (Chicagoan and nephew of the late Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel) and Chicago historian/photographer John Maloof (who discovered the long-lost negatives in a box he purchased at a local auction while researching a book).
We were just nominated for an Academy Award!!! Congrats to all involved!!!— Finding Vivian Maier (@VivianMaierFilm) January 15, 2015
Best Actor: Steve Carell, for “Foxcatcher” — Carell has early career roots in Chicago, having performed at The Second City in the 1990s.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore, for “The Imitation Game” —Born in Chicago, his mother Susan Sher once served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff. Graham told thehollywoodreporter.com: “I’ve been working on this film for five years, pretty much every day of my life for five years … To have been involved with this film has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. I’ve been obsessed with Alan Turing since I was a teenager so to be involved with a film about him is everything I could have dreamed of.”
Best Original Song: Common —the singer/actor/rapper/poet was born and raised in Chicago, and shares the nomination with fellow artist John Legend for “Glory” from the film “Selma”
blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”> Blessing! Thank U to @theacademy 4 nominating “Glory” by me and @johnlegend for @selmamovie especially on MLK bday! http://t.co/l01ATakaYG — COMMON (@common) January 15, 2015
Best foreign film nominee “Ida,” is distributed by Chicago’s Music Box Films.
Bill Zwecker: Chicago writer obsessed with “Imitation Game” story