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For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot…

For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot...

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.

Best Picture:
1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Amour
3. Holy Motors
4. Magic Mike
5. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Director:
1. Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
2. Leos Carax, Holy Motors
3. Michael Haneke, Amour
4. Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Actor:
1. Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
2. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
3. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
4. Jack Black, Bernie
5. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

Best Actress:
1. Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
2. Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
3. Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Ann Dowd, Compliance
5. Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
2. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
3. Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
4. Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained
5. Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister
2. Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
3. Edith Scob, Holy Motors
4. Jennifer Ehle, Zero Dark Thirty
5. Judi Dench, Skyfall

Best Original Screenplay:
1. Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
2. Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
3. Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
4. Reid Carolin, Magic Mike
5. Sarah Polley, Take This Waltz

Best Adapted Screenplay:
1. Tony Kushner, Lincoln
2. Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
3. Richard Linklater & Skip Hollandsworth, Bernie
4. Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises

Best Foreign Language Film:
1. Amour
2. No
3. Sister
4. Beyond The Hills
5. War Witch

Best Documentary Feature:
1. How To Survive a Plague
2. The Invisible War
3. This is Not a Film
4. The House I Live In
5. The Gatekeepers

Best Animated Feature*:
1. Frankenweenie
2. ParaNorman
3. Brave
4. Abstain
5. Abstain

Best Film Editing:
1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. The Master
3. Holy Motors
4. How to Survive a Plague
5. The Dark Knight Rises

Best Cinematography:
1. The Master
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Life of Pi
4. Beasts of the Southern Wild
5. On the Road

Best Art Direction:
1. The Master
2. Anna Karenina
3. Lincoln
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Prometheus

Best Costume Design:
1. Anna Karenina
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. Django Unchained
4. The Master
5. Magic Mike

Best Original Score:
1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
2. The Master
3. On the Road
4. Life of Pi
5. Anna Karenina

Best Original Song:
1. “Dull Tool” (This is 40)
2. “Skyfall” (Skyfall)
3. “Freedom” (Django Unchained)
4. “Abraham’s Daughter” (The Hunger Games)
5. “Ladies of Tampa” (Magic Mike)

Best Sound Editing**:
1. The Dark Knight Rises
2. Skyfall
3. Prometheus
4. Django Unchained
5. Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing**:
1. Django Unchained
2. Skyfall
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Prometheus
5. Life of Pi

Best Visual Effects**:
1. Life of Pi
2. Prometheus
3. Cloud Atlas
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Best Makeup & Hairstyling**:
1. Lincoln
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
3. Les Miserables

*- Please note I’ve only seen three good animated feature films released in 2012 (and have not seen “Wreck-It Ralph”).
**-Please note my “expertise” in these categories is much more limited than in the others.


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