Diversity questions have certainly been asked with regards to the Oscar nominations this year (and the reader will see below that there are several African American / non-White candidates that IMHO would have been worthy of nominations).
HOWEVER, this year the Oscar competition is really quite fascinating because while I could certainly add an actor/actress/movie or two to several of the nomination categories (why not make the list of nominees "up to 10" in all the major categories?), _a lot_ of the competitions -- Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay (both Original and Adapted) -- are IMHO essentially tossups. This was a very good year for excellence in American / English language cinema!
As in previous years, I've already offered up my own list ("Denny Awards" as it were ;-) for what I believe were the most compelling films and performances (male and female) among those that I saw in the past year.
But this here would be my take on the 2015 Oscars:
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
WILL WIN - J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
SHOULD WIN - J.K. Simmons in Whiplash or perhaps Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Forest Whitaker in Repentance.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
WILL WIN - Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
SHOULD WIN - Laura Dern in Wild
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Bharati Achrekar as "auntie" in The Lunchbox (orig. Dabba) ;-)
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
WILL WIN - Michael Keaton in Birdman, but IMHO this category this year is a complete tossup
SHOULD WIN - ANY of the 5 nominees + Brendan Gleeson in Calvary, Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler or Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel (this was a year of A LOT of remarkable leading role performances)
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Brendan Gleeson in Calvary, Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Kevin Kline in My Old Lady, Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox (orig. Dabba) and even Geová Manoel dos Santos in August Winds (orig. Ventos de Agosto) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
WILL WIN - Julianne Moore in Still Alice
SHOULD WIN - AGAIN A TOSS UP. Of the nominees, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Rosalind Pike in Gone Girl and Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything are most deserving of a win but even Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights had an Oscar worthy performance.
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Gugu Mbatha-Raw in both Belle AND Beyond the Lights, Keira Knightly in Begin Again
BEST ORIGINAL SCREEN PLAY
WILL WIN - Boyhood
SHOULD WIN - Of the nominated Birdman, Boyhood or The Grand Budapest Hotel are IMHO most deserving of the win, but then I'd also add Babadook, Repentance or Calvary
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Babadook, Repentance, Calvary, Belle, Begin Again, The Lunchbox (orig. Dabba), August Winds (orig. Ventos de Agosto)
BEST ADAPTED SCREEN PLAY
WILL WIN - The Theory of Everything
SHOULD WIN - Gone Girl (! - how did THIS film NOT get nomimated in THIS category!)
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - A Most Wanted Man, My Old Lady
WILL WIN - Birdman
SHOULD WIN - Birdman or The Grand Budapest Hotel or then also Repentance, Calvary, Nightcrawler, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (!)
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Miss Christina (orig. Domnisoara Christina), A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Repentance, Calvary
WILL WIN - Richard Linklater for Boyhood
SHOULD WIN - Again basically a tossup. Of the nominated Richard Linklater for Boyhood, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman are IMHO most deserving of a win, but then also Clint Eastwood for American Sniper made a masterful film that could have easily earned him an Oscar in this category as well.
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Clint Eastwood for American Sniper
BEST PICTUREWILL WIN - Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel or Birdman IMHO any of these could win
SHOULD WIN - The Grand Budapest Hotel (in a very good field, IMHO it's simply "the greatest of them all" ;-)
DESERVED CONSIDERATION - Repentance, Calvary, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, Begin Again
Again, there were some remarkably good films made this year!