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For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot

For Your Consideration: If I Had An Oscar Ballot

Tomorrow marks the last day for the 6,000 or so members of the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand in their
nomination ballots. 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

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 2014’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 my 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.

With that in mind, below is 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. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Her
3. Before Midnight
4. Frances Ha
5. Gravity

Best Director:
1. Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Spike Jonze, Her
3. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
4. Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
5. Sarah Polley, Stories We Tell

Best Actor:
1. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Joaquin Phoenix, Her
3. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
4. Mads Mikkelson, The Hunt
5. Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty

Best Actress:
1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
2. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
3. Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
4. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
5. Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Best Supporting Actor:
1. James Franco, Spring Breakers
2. Matthew McConaughey, Mud
3. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
4. Dane DeHaan, Kill Your Darlings
5. John Goodman, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
3. Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color
4. Scarlett Johannson, Don Jon
5. Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Original Screenplay:
1. Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Spike Jonze, Her
3. Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
4. Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
5. Asghar Farhadi, The Past

Best Adapted Screenplay:
1. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
2. Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix, Blue is the Warmest Color
3. John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
4. Francois Ozon, In The House
5. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12

Best Foreign Language Film:
1. The Great Beauty
2. The Hunt
3. The Missing Picture
4. The Broken Circle Breakdown
5. Omar

Best Documentary Feature:
1. Stories We Tell
2. The Act of Killing
3. The Square
4. Cutie and the Boxer
5. God Loves Uganda

Best Animated Feature*:
1. The Wind Rises
2. Frozen
3. Abstain
4. Abstain
5. Abstain

Best Film Editing:
1. Gravity
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Her
4. Captain Phillips
5. Stories We Tell

Best Cinematography:
1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Her
3. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
4. Gravity
5. 12 Years a Slave

Best Production Design:
1. Her
2. Gravity
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
4. 12 Years a Slave
5. The Conjuring

Best Costume Design:
1. The Great Gatsby
2. American Hustle
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
4. Laurence Anyways
5. Blue Jasmine

Best Original Score:
1. Her
2. Gravity
3. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
4. All Is Lost
5. 12 Years a Slave

Best Original Song:
1. “The Moon Song” (Her)
2. “So You Know What It’s Like” (Short Term 12)
3. “Young and Beautiful” (The Great Gatsby)
4. “Oblivion” (Oblivion)
5. “Let It Go” (Frozen)

Best Sound Editing**:
1. Gravity
2. All Is Lost
3. Captain Phillips
4. The Conjuring
5. Pacific Rim

Best Sound Mixing**:
1. Gravity
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. All Is Lost
4. Captain Phillips
5. World War Z

Best Visual Effects**:
1. Gravity
2. Pacific Rim
3. Oblivion
4. Iron Man 3
5. World War Z

Best Makeup & Hairstyling**:
1. Bad Grandpa
2. American Hustle
3. The Lone Ranger

*- Please note I’ve only seen two good animated feature films released in 2013.
**-Please note my “expertise” in these categories is much more limited than in the others.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Writer and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

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