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.
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.