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by Peter Knegt
January 2, 2013 1:16 PM
17 Comments
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For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot...

"Holy Motors."
At this very moment, the nearly 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are in the midst of filling out their nomination ballots (if they haven't already), which are due this Friday (after a last-minute 24-hour extension). For this Oscar prognosticator, it brings forth the annual daydream of having his own ballot.

After a year-end blitz of screenings and screeners that suggests a consensus of what deserves to get nominated, it's always disappointing to see that this rarely ends up being the actual case (see these current predictions compared to the rest of this article). This speaks to both how subjective any opinion can be, whether my own or that of the collective voice of the Academy, and how political the awards game really is in the end.

READ MORE: A Complete Guide To 2012-13 Awards Season

Sadly, the films with the most merit might not end up getting checked off because they simply didn't have enough money to campaign. Of course, there's nothing new about this for anyone who follows Oscarology. But I, for one, usually still manage to enter an awards season under the wistful pretense that this year the best (wo)men might really win. And then by January cynical dismay pops up when it becomes clear that while sometimes they do, more often they don't.

So it seems like a fun idea to counter this by offering up 2013's first "For Your Consideration" column as one that's very true to its name: what my own ballot would look like if I magically were to have one (and I was magically able to vote in every category, which no Academy member actually does).

This is not to suggest that this one opinion is more worthy than any other. Quite the contrary, as what's listed here is drastically more subjective than whatever the Academy comes up with, considering it's approximately just 1/6000th as many voices. Take it is as my own personal "for your consideration" ad, advocating for films that have perhaps fallen by the wayside in the midst of this onslaught of awards precursors (though also, optimistically, noting quite a few films that will very likely make Oscar's cut -- namely "Zero Dark Thirty," my favorite film of 2012).

Do note that the following ballot does keep in line with those Academy rules. My best documentary, best makeup, best visual effects and best foreign film ballots only list films that made the Academy's shortlists, while my original song and score picks come only from those considered eligible by Academy committees (thus resulting in Alexandre Desplat's "Moonrise Kindgom" score and Kylie Minogue's "Who We Were" from "Holy Motors" being left off).

With that in mind, turn to the next page for my imaginary Academy Award ballot, for what it's worth. Please feel free to post your own in the comments section of this page.

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17 Comments

  • John Doe | January 3, 2013 1:49 AMReply

    Ann Dowd is a supporting Actress in Compliance, and not a leading actress.

  • Peter Knegt | January 3, 2013 5:15 PM

    She's campaigning in supporting but belongs in lead (so does Helen Hunt, for that matter). Academy voters can choose to vote for them in either one.

  • bob hawk | January 3, 2013 12:22 AMReply

    Well, as far as MAGIC MIKE for a best picture nom, I'm not even going to go there. (Chacun a son gout, indeed!) But, as much as you're not at all enamored of ARGO, it should definitely be one of the five for best editing -- albeit I think that ZERO DARK THIRTY has (and should have) that one locked up for the win. And thanks for including Dario Marianelli's gorgeous (but never overdone) score for ANNA KARENINA.

  • bob hawk | January 4, 2013 12:37 AM

    Oh, Peter . . . I don't hate MAGIC MIKE at all. I enjoyed it very much, and have been a Soderbergh fan ever since the world premiere of SEX, LIES . . ., and I love his eclecticism, and his AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE (Spalding Gray doc) was on my 10 best list of 2010, and I think TRAFFIC should have won best picture of 2000 (and was so happy about his directing Oscar for that film). However, MM as one of the FIVE best films of last year???? Well, whatever, I'm glad it spoke to you so strongly, and that you love it.

  • Peter Knegt | January 3, 2013 5:16 PM

    All this Magic Mike hate... I know I'm in a (sizeable) minority, but I loved that film.

  • shdrew | January 2, 2013 10:36 PMReply

    Finally, someone mentions Samuel L. Jackson!!! I just saw "Django Unchained" last week; and can't for the life of me understand why Jackson isn't receiving accolades. I thought he was amazing in the film, and gave his best performance since Pulp Fiction.

  • Kate Butler | January 2, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    You're right! How to Survive a Plague should be nominated for film editing. When I think of all the footage they had to go through, and the masterful result, this is a category I hadn't considered for this film. The film should also win for Best Doc because its entertaining, educational, upsetting and uplifting all at the same time, all things the other films didn't do for me.

  • Kate Butler | January 2, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    You're right! How to Survive a Plague should be nominated for film editing. When I think of all the footage they had to go through, and the masterful result, this is a category I hadn't considered for this film. The film should also win for Best Doc because its entertaining, educational, upsetting and uplifting all at the same time, all things the other films didn't do for me.

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  • Kate Butler | January 2, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    You're right! How to Survive a Plague should be nominated for film editing. When I think of all the footage they had to go through, and the masterful result, this is a category I hadn't considered for this film. The film should also win for Best Doc because its entertaining, educational, upsetting and uplifting all at the same time, all things the other films didn't do for me.

  • Kate Butler | January 2, 2013 5:56 PMReply

    You're right! How to Survive a Plague should be nominated for film editing. When I think of all the footage they had to go through, and the masterful result, this is a category I hadn't considered for this film. The film should also win for Best Doc because its entertaining, educational, upsetting and uplifting all at the same time, all things the other films didn't do for me.

  • Klaus Meyer | January 2, 2013 4:39 PMReply

    The right ones never get nominated because there is too much hype and money spent to get an nomination. Better that the company's put up their names and categories for consideration on a ballot sheet and the voters (who must see all pictures or else one give a false vote) vote from that list in each category. That way no money is spent getting nominations by companies and all is much fairer. However we are never going to get it happening as the powers that be don't have any brains to even consider this approach.

  • hog wash | January 2, 2013 3:03 PMReply

    Peter, Nicole Kidman does not deserve an Oscar nomination for The Paperboy- mediocre on every level. Anne Hathaway gives one of the best performances by a supporting actress this year. Trust me, Hathaway does more in 20 to 30 minutes than most actors do in 2 hours. The highly overrated Michelle Williams continues to give the same painfully depressing performances, and, sadly, that is all she can do as an actress. I am tired of seeing her receive great reviews for crying all the time. P.S. Michelle was not believable , whatsoever, as Marilyn Monroe. Talk about a fake performance that received an Oscar nomination.

  • Tyler Belk | January 2, 2013 3:00 PMReply

    Magic Mike for best picture? How about McConaughey's other movie, Killer Joe? I thought it was the best low-budget thriller I have seen in a long, long time, but it will definitely get the oscar snub this year.

  • Tyler Belk | January 2, 2013 3:00 PMReply

    Magic Mike for best picture? How about McConaughey's other movie, Killer Joe? I thought it was the best low-budget thriller I have seen in a long, long time, but it will definitely get the oscar snub this year.

  • Genadijus | January 2, 2013 2:58 PMReply

    Academy members don't care about Your imagination....

  • Peter Knegt | January 2, 2013 6:41 PM

    I most definitely agree.