Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu may be on his way of becoming the second Latino, and second consecutive Mexican to win the Academy Award for best director.

The “Birdman” director, who was the first Mexican to be nominated in the directing category for his 2007 film, “Babel,” was nominated along with Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”), Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”), Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”).

Alfonso Cuarón, who is also Mexican-born, won the statute last year for directing "Gravity." 

González Iñárritu's exuberant comedy, “Birdman,” starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone, was tied for the most Oscar nominations with “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Each film received nine nods, including a nomination for best picture.

The eight best picture nominees are "American Sniper," "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "Selma," "The Theory of Everything" and "Whiplash."

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The eight best-picture nominees left out two wild cards that might have added a dose of creepiness to the category: the Jake Gyllenhaal-thriller "Nightcrawler" and the tragic wrestling drama, "Foxcatcher." 

Keaton, Norton and Stone all received nominations in the best actor, best supporting actor and best supporting actress categories, respectively.

The Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who won for “Gravity” last year, added another nomination for his work in “Birdman.” He was joined by Robert Yeoman (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Lukasz Zal and Ryzard Lenczewski (“Ida”), Dick Pope (“Mr. Turner”) and Roger Deakins (“Unbroken”).

"Wild Tales" earned Argentina its seventh nomination for best foreign-language film. The other nominees in that category were "Ida" (Poland), "Leviathan" (Russia), "Tangerines" (Estonia) and "Timbuktu" (Mauritania).

Keaton's fellow nominees for best actor are Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper”), Steve Carell ("Foxcatcher"), Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game") and Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"). 

Marion Cotillard for the French-language "Two Days, One Night" was the surprise nominee in best actress. She was joined by Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl") and Reese Witherspoon ("Wild"). Jennifer Aniston's pained and grieving performance in "Cake" was left on the outside.

All of this year’s nominees in the acting categories are white. David Oweloyo, who has generated buzz with his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma," as well as the rest of that movie's cast and its director, Ava DuVernay, were sunbbed.

All the nominees for best director are male.

One of the most notable snubs came in the best animation category, usually a fairly uncontroversial category. Despite critical and box office love, "The Lego Movie" failed to join nominees "Big Hero 6," ''The Boxtrolls," ''How to Train Your Dragon 2," ''Song of the Sea" and "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya."

This year's favorites — "Boyhood," ''Birdman" — have been largely locked in as front runners throughout much of Hollywood's lengthy awards season. While studios have focused more and more at other times of the year on easily-marketed blockbusters, Oscar season increasingly exists apart from the regular business of the movies, in its own high-falutin, red-carpeted realm.

Ratings for the show itself have been on the rise. Last year's Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, drew 43 million viewers, making it the most-watched entertainment telecast in a decade. "12 Years a Slave" took home best picture. 

This year's ceremony on Feb. 22 will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Best documentary nods went to "CitizenFour," ''Finding Vivian Maier," ''Last Days in Vietnam," ''The Salt of the Earth" and "Virunga," which is the second Oscar nomination for a Netflix production after last year's documentary, "The Square."

The Oscar nominations were announced in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

Based reporting by the Associated Press.

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