came out this morning. By all accounts it's a pretty good list, featuring a wide cut of the most acclaimed films of the year. And Matthew McConaughey stands a chance to win his first Oscar!
The question, of course, is how these nominees were even selected. Is it a public vote? Is it a shadowy cabal? Is it just a computer? Realistically, it's a combination of all three.
The good folks at mental_floss have explained in detail how a film goes from a submission to a nominee. The process is surprisingly complicated, involving voting blocs and formulas that set the threshold for potential nominee. This explains why some of the technical categories only get three or four nominees in some years.
If you were ever curious about what happens in this mysterious process [and why Inside Llewyn Davis was robbed! -ed.], give mental_floss's article a read for a clearer look. As for the final voting, that's an entirely different and much more political contest.