Saturday, March 25, 2023

Anonymous 2023 Oscar Ballots

Oscar voting is officially over for the 95th Academy Awards, and now we are just waiting for the awards to be handed out this Sunday. Will Mavity and I spoke to several Academy voters about what they are voting for and why which we have edited and posted down below for your amusement. As you read these, remember these are only a tiny fraction of ballots out of the 9,000+ people who vote. While these may give some insight into voters’ minds, they are far from the be-all-end-all of what will actually happen at the Oscars.

Voter #1 – Member At LargeEverything Everywhere All At Once

The Academy Awards are not that important anymore as a business. People have more ways than ever to still watch these movies without having to go to the theater, but as far as recognizing good work, that’s why they’re still around. It’s just different from what it was originally created for and used to be for the industry. To win Best Picture, you have to have the broad support of the acting branch. If your film has an ensemble of terrific performances, people are more likely to vote for your movies. People also like seeing a narrative that developed along the season to be fulfilled.

Best Picture:
1. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” – I saw it at SXSW last year. I didn’t get it initially as a middle-aged white man. I recognized there was certainly a lot of movie in there, but it didn’t resonate with me. And then it was one of the craziest Q&As I’d ever seen. It turned into a sort of group therapy thing with the audience. And then I saw it twice more. And then it wasn’t until the third viewing that it finally clicked. It’s exhilarating to see a generation of films made that are not designed to speak to me as a white guy that I have to work to get into emotionally to appreciate. But I think it’s a fantastic achievement. The ability to put that movie together is something special.
2. “Tár” – Cate Blanchett’s performance was such a stunning achievement. And the way Todd Field directed that movie was so deliberate and masterful. You can tell he studied and worships at the altar of Stanley Kubrick.
3. “Women Talking
4. “All Quiet On The Western Front
5. “Top Gun: Maverick” – This one checked off all the boxes for everything you needed and wanted it to be.
6. “Elvis
7. “Triangle Of Sadness
8. “The Fabelmans” – I enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me out of my seat.
9. “Avatar: The Way Of Water
10. “The Banshees Of Inisherin” – I actually despise that movie. I got incensed by these two characters I totally disliked. I want to buy some therapy for both of them and call it a day. Maybe I don’t get it because it’s an Irish thing, but they’re both such jerks. I’m glad it worked for others but not for me.

Best Director:
The Daniels. I think “Tár” would’ve gotten my vote in any other year. But I’m so blown away by the achievement of “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Everything the Daniels do, they swing for the fences. And it doesn’t always land, but it mostly does, and I want to reward that kind of balls-to-the-wall filmmaking.

Best Actress:
This is the only Oscar I genuinely care about. It is Michelle Yeoh’s time. I love Cate. She gave an extraordinary performance, but If Michelle doesn’t win, I will throw things at the TV.

Best Actor:
It should be Brendan Fraser. I have some complicated feelings about “The Whale” but not about him. I thought he was extraordinary. And I’m a sucker for a good comeback story.

Best Supporting Actress:
My partner and I had the most vehement disagreement over this category. He wants it to go to Stephanie Hsu. I’m voting for Jamie Lee Curtis. We’ve had some heated passionate conversations about this, and I just keep coming back to the fact that Jamie has never won. And he’s like, “How can you vote for this over Jobu Tupaki?!” Watch me! But in all honesty, I’ll be thrilled for any of these five women to win. This may be the toughest category this year.

Best Supporting Actor:
It’s not even a race. Ke Huy Quan

Best Original Screenplay:
This is me trying to spread the love a little bit here. I’m voting for The Daniels in every other way I can. But I was riveted by “Tár” for the entire viewing experience. In its own unique way, it’s as ballsy in its storytelling as “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”

Best Adapted Screenplay:
I think Sarah Polley should’ve gotten more attention for her directing, and this is a way to reward that, so I’m going with “Women Talking.”

Best Animated Feature:
I found “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” to be so fresh and emotional. It’s really inventive storytelling that should be recognized. I also thought it was a genius move to bring Isabella Rossellini into it.

Best Documentary Feature:
I was so moved by “A House Made Of Splinters” It was such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. I know many people who feel very strongly about “All That Breathes,” but this one felt so timely.

Best International Feature Film:
Unless “The Quiet Girl” completely floors me (it’s the only one I still haven’t seen yet), I’m voting for “All Quiet On The Western Front.” I couldn’t stop talking about “Close” after I saw it, and then I saw Edward Berger’s film, and now there’s no doubt in my mind.

Best Cinematography:
In each one of these five films, the cinematography is so integral to the storytelling. They’re all beautiful and would be worthy winners. But the fact that Mandy Walker would be the first female winner is enough for me to go with “Elvis.”

Best Costume Design:
Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris” is literally a movie about costumes, so I’m going with that one.

Best Film Editing:
I’ve been talking to some editor friends in the industry about this, and the consensus seems to be “Top Gun: Maverick.” I think I’m going to do that too—impeccably structured film and satisfying on every level. It deserves to get recognized.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
If you don’t believe Brendan Fraser is 600 lbs in “The Whale,” the entire movie doesn’t work. And I didn’t not believe that for a second.

Best Production Design:
I’m back and forth between “Elvis” and “Babylon” for this one. I called a production designer friend to help me with this because I wanted to ensure I wasn’t equating the best with most production design. Ultimately, I decided on “Elvis.” A lot of energy was given to every specific detail in that film for its complete re-creation over multiple decades.

Best Original Score:
If you listen to Son Lux talk about their process, they gave the Daniels their entire catalog from their band; Daniels helped edit it and then remade it based on the Daniels’ notes– they were on the movie for over a year. In most movies, there is a clear delineation between the score and songs, but not so much here. It’s extraordinary.

Best Original Song:
This is another one I had a heated convo with my partner about. He wants it to go to Rihanna. I fundamentally believe if a song is integrated into the film instead of the credits and is integral to the film, it should always get the advantage, so I’m going with “RRR.”

Best Sound:
If you really pop the hood, listen to and dissect any track from “Avatar: The Way Of Water,” you’ll find that it’s very nuanced. It was working very subtly. Every decision is unique for each track, especially for the language of the Talokan. I’m also trying to right a historic wrong here from the first “Avatar” since it lost both categories to “The Hurt Locker.”

Best Visual Effects:
Avatar: The Way Of Water.” Next.

Best Animated Short Film:
“Ice Merchants.” Really inventive work here. If I hadn’t watched the films and voted on the titles alone, it would’ve been “My Year Of Dicks.”

Best Documentary Short Film:
“Haulout” is easily the best in the category. When he opens the door, and you see all those creatures out there, I yelled, “Holy shit!” I love that kind of minimalism and unique storytelling. Compare that with “Stranger At The Gate.” You can’t. They got lucky with a compelling story. And it’s point-and-shoot. This, on the other hand, is pure cinema.

Best Live Action Short Film:
“The Red Suitcase.” Her performance was extraordinary. I didn’t know where it was going when it started, and I was just riveted the whole time.

Voter #2 – A Member Of The Sound Branch

Best Picture:
I watched part of “All Quiet On The Western Front,” and I just decided I didn’t need to see body parts flying around, so I shut it off. “Babylon” was just so over the top, and I don’t like to think of Hollywood when I watch movies. I want to escape. I didn’t understand the love for “The Banshees Of Inisherin.” It was a miserable waste of time and money. Two guys used to be friends, and now they aren’t? What’s the point of that? “Top Gun: Maverick” was ok. The story wasn’t the greatest. It didn’t seem to elicit much in the viewer except excitement from the flying sequences. “Avatar: The Way Of Water” was a fun ride. And that’s a valid reason for liking a film. James Cameron certainly knows how to take us out of our bleak reality and transport us. “Tár” was a great film. It was extremely well done for what it was. But I have to admit; I didn’t like the premise. Cate Blanchett does a great job, as she always does. I wouldn’t say I liked that she was this predatory lesbian. And I read reviews about the real person it’s based on, and she didn’t seem to be like that. It’s engaging but depressing. I appreciated that the music was actually played live. I thought Austin Butler’s performance was simply amazing in “Elvis.” However, I wasn’t too thrilled with Tom Hanks’ portrayal. That took me out of the movie multiple times. Now we can get to the films I love. I adored Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans.” “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is most likely going to sweep. When I saw it, it gave me this new world and this message about how we are all probably multiple people inside. I thought it was a great expression of that. Guys are flying through the air, landing on dildos in their butts. How did these two guys come up with all this? It was astonishing. And I loved “Women Talking.” It was about a group of women I previously had no idea about. It’s a very powerful film, especially the ending. I only wish we’d gotten to see the expression on the men’s faces when they see all the women have left. And unfortunately, I haven’t seen “Triangle Of Sadness.”

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. The Fabelmans
  3. Women Talking
  4. Avatar: The Way Of Water
  5. Tár
  6. Elvis
  7. Top Gun: Maverick
  8. All Quiet On The Western Front
  9. The Banshees Of Inisherin
  10. Triangle Of Sadness

Best Director:
I thought Steven Spielberg’s bravery in presenting that story was so admirable. That scene where he discovers his mom is in love with his father’s best friend is an amazing piece of cinema. We don’t always know people’s demons or how hard things were for someone we perceive as famous. Colbert had an interview with him the other night, and I know it was a very long and tough journey for him to make that film.

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett was fantastic, but I’m voting for Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Andrea Riseborough is fine in “To Leslie,” but I’m very upset Danielle Deadwyler didn’t get in. I would have voted for her. “Till” was an amazing, nuanced movie that really made you feel a lot. I’m not sure what happened there. The way it handled the violence and bravery of this mother was exemplary, but she isn’t even on the ballot. Ana de Armas is ok. She’s playing a recognizable famous person, and she cries a lot. What else is there?

Best Actor:
Brendan Fraser’s performance in “The Whale” was so fantastic. That was a hard one to watch, but he made it watchable. Bill Nighy was also fantastic in “Living,” and I’m glad he’s finally getting recognition. He might get it just because he’s older, and when is he ever going to get one if not now? Well, my vote goes to Fraser.

Best Supporting Actress:
Angela Bassett for me. Though I think Jamie Lee Curtis will win. You have to ask…are people voting for the performance or that person’s career?

Best Supporting Actor:
I’m voting for Ke Huy Quan. What a great performance and personal story. I also met Brian Tyree Henry, who was so nice. It’s funny how that influences my vote. People complained about Andrea Riseborough’s nomination for soliciting votes but everyone does that.

Best Original Screenplay:
It’s tough…I love “The Fabelmans,” but the Daniels wrote something so original.

Best Adapted Screenplay”
I liked the adaptation of “Ikiru” for “Living.” But I’m voting for “Women Talking” so we can have more women winners. It’s also more well-put together than the other nominees.

Best Cinematography:
I thought “Bardo” was the most creative, but I’ll probably vote for “Elvis.” Mandy Walker would make history as the first female winner in this category, and that’s something I want to see.

Best Editing:
Everything Everywhere All At Once.” No doubt about it. Though, “Tár” is seamlessly stitched together.

Best Original Score:
The Fabelmans.” Who couldn’t vote for John Williams?

Best Sound:
Avatar: The Way Of Water.” Though shoutout to “Elvis” because when you experience it, part of the reason why it works so well is because of how the music affects you.

Best International Feature Film:
The Quiet Girl” was all in the Irish language, which was nice to hear, and had a knockout of an ending. “Argentina, 1985” looked too intense for me, so I didn’t watch it.

Voter #3 – A Member Of The Visual Effects BranchTop Gun: Maverick

Best Picture:

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once” – This was the first movie I saw after all the lockdown stuff. It was so imaginative—such a fun film. And I like what the Daniels are doing with their careers in general.
  2. Top Gun: Maverick” Not that it’s the most cinematically groundbreaking movie out there, but it was what everyone needed this year…a reason to get back in theaters, a good hit of nostalgia, solid storytelling…to make a movie that’s by all accounts better than the original is kind of miraculous.
  3. All Quiet On The Western Front” – Generally not a big fan of movies that end up really immersing you in pain. At the same time, “All Quiet On The Western Front” is a film that immerses you in pain for a reason—selling the notion that war is terrible. My dad is British, and the British love their war history. I’ve been immersed in stories of how war is bad my whole life, but I think many people don’t have the kind of visceral sense of just how destructive war can be. It’s good to ground everyone. The war reports in Ukraine aren’t that different from what we see here.

Avatar: The Way Of Water” is unfortunately in the last spot for me. It’s bizarre for someone who works in visual effects. I think the first two hours of this three-hour movie were necessary to work up any emotional connection to any characters, whereas usually, you’d want that to happen in the first thirty minutes. Every movie this year was too slow except “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” All the bottom films in my ranking are there because they were too long. I really did enjoy “The Banshees Of Inisherin” in parts, but tit didn’t rise to the top for me.

Best Director:
The Daniels are my favorite. But a very close second is Steve Spielberg. Telling a story that’s so close to him as “The Fabelmans” in an entertaining way but also very classic filmmaking was really well done. But I don’t think anyone did anything as innovative as what the Daniels did. I met one of them, and one thing he said to me was kind of nice, the way they made that movie was the model for how movies should be made in the future…small teams, streamlined production schedules, but not trying to work people to the bone, ensuring that every piece of creative energy goes onto the screen. So many movies today are not that. They spend so much energy to make up for laziness, and it ends up on the cutting room floor. The way the Daniels said they wanted to make a movie with their friends and treat them kindly. You feel that effect throughout the film.

Best Actress:
Michelle Yeoh. That’s an easy one. Cate Blanchett did a great job on “Tár.” I have a few friends who are composers who don’t resonate with that performance. I could put her ahead of Michelle based purely on that performance. But hearing from my friends’ perspective on how she could’ve done more with that role, Michelle did more in terms of living up to her potential for a part.

Best Actor:
I know everybody loves “Elvis,” and everybody loves Austin Butler. But he was more of a vessel for the story than carrying the story himself. That’s why I’m going with Colin Farrell. I felt like he brought much of his personality to “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” whereas Butler was working off a pre-existing human being’s life, mannerisms, singing voice, etc.

Best Supporting Actress:
Kerry Condon, with Jamie Lee Curtis as a close second. Her role is such a caricature, though, whereas Kerry’s role is a little more authentic—almost a coin toss for me.

Best Supporting Actor:
Ke Huy Quan. It’s not even a close call. The fact that he does “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones” and does nothing, and he comes into this role and does such a variety of turns that are so different in the movie is remarkable. What a story!

Best Original Screenplay:
Everything Everywhere All At Once.”

Best Adapted Screenplay:
I feel like it has to be “All Quiet On The Western Front.” It’s kind of a weak year for the category.

Best Animated Feature:
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” was cute, but it dragged on too long. “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” is a flat-out masterpiece compared to the other “Pinocchio” movie from this year. I took my kid to them both and asked him which he preferred, and he funnily preferred the Disney one because it was more fun. We went to talk to Guillermo del Toro, who sees my son, and he just ignored all the other important people around him and went to my son and gave him this five-minute stop-motion lesson with the Geppetto puppet. He’s such a warm presence with a childlike sense of wonder when he discusses his movies. Have to give it to him.

Best Documentary Feature:
Fire Of Love” was just so immersive. It’s tough, but I think I’m maybe leaning toward “Navalny.”

Best International Feature Film:
All Quiet On The Western Front.”

Best Cinematography:
I was shocked “Top Gun: Maverick” didn’t make it in here. I’m glad it at least got in for Best Visual Effects. “All Quiet On The Western Front” is gorgeous, but it’s also so miserable. I thought the work in “Elvis” was really good. I wasn’t a big fan of that movie, but I thought it had great cinematography. I ended up settling on “All Quiet On The Western Front.”

Best Costume Design:
This is really hard. I’ll probably go with “Babylon,” but “Elvis” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” are close for me.

Best Film Editing:
Between “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” I’m flipping a coin. They’re both my favorite pieces of editing this year. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” felt like you were watching a music video. “Top Gun: Maverick” was like watching a cinematic blockbuster—both kinds of perfection in what each one was doing. I don’t know how to choose between those two, so I probably won’t.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
I hate doing this because I didn’t like “Elvis” as a movie, but it was probably the most effective from a hair and makeup standpoint.

Best Production Design:
Babylon” was way too long, but the production design was so much fun. As someone who works in films, the scenes about being on location and in studios felt so authentic and period-appropriate.

Best Original Score:
The score for “All Quiet On The Western Front” carried much of the film. You’ve got these experimental elements like the snare, and then other parts are exactly what you’d expect for the kind of movie this is, but it’s an excellent version of what you’d expect.

Best Sound:
Top Gun: Maverick’s” work here is flawless.

Best Visual Effects:
I’m voting for “Top Gun: Maverick.” I always love visual effects that support a story. And, of course, “Avatar: The Way Of Water” wouldn’t exist without its visual effects. But regarding support, I like movies where the visual effects don’t take center stage. There are over 2000 visual effects shots in that movie. They shot many real planes and then did things that wouldn’t have been practically possible without CGI. And Paramount told everyone it was all done without CGI, and of course, everyone believed it. That’s how seamless it was! “Avatar: The Way Of Water” will win. This I know. And there is extraordinary work in there. But there are shots in there with a live-action element and a CGI element, and at times it wasn’t perfect, whereas “Top Gun: Maverick” was perfect.

​Voter #4 – A Member Of The Sound BranchAll Quiet On The Western Front

Best Picture:
This year had films with generally high quality and lots of variety. Some really original films too. “Avatar: The Way Of Water” was the only one that didn’t work for me. And “Elvis” a little bit. Those two were quite uneven. But the rest of them were excellent.

With “Avatar: The Way Of Water,” it felt like we’d heard that story before. As a visual spectacle, it’s phenomenal, which is why I voted for it in Best Visual Effects. But I just thought it was the same story again, and it felt tiring. It’s one of the movies this year that saved cinema. So I’m ok with people praising it.

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once” – I’ve seen it four times. The good thing about it coming out so early, you had time to go back and revisit it throughout the year. Sometimes you watch movies a couple of times to see how it holds up when you vote, but you’re watching them more closely. Every time you see it, you can see and feel something new. That’s quite spectacular, and so is the movie.
  2. All Quiet On The Western Front” – If I had watched this film on Netflix, I wouldn’t have voted for it. But I saw it in an Atmos theater, and it was mindblowing because everything in the film is so cinematic. Not just sound and visuals but how the director uses faces to tell stories. A lot of times in the cinema, there’s little dialogue, and it’s all about these faces. If I’d seen this on a small screen, I don’t know if I would’ve had the same experience at home. I wish everyone had the chance to see it in theaters.
  3. Tár” – Todd Field has moved onto the next level here. It took him far too long to make a new movie, but he came back successfully, and this showed he’s really the kind of person who knows how to tell stories in cinema. The film’s dynamism, the complexity of all the characters, and even the supporting characters were exquisite.
  4. Women Talking” 
  5. Triangle Of Sadness
  6. The Fabelmans
  7. Top Gun: Maverick
  8. The Banshees Of Inisherin” (If it was another year, this would’ve been higher)
  9. Elvis
  10. Avatar: The Way Of Water

Best Director:
The Daniels.

Best Actress:
Michelle Yeoh. I think it was a dumb decision for Michelle Williams to go lead. Otherwise, she’d likely win a Supporting Actress Oscar this year for “The Fabelmans.”

Best Actor:
Brendan Fraser. I think Colin was decent. Austin Butler was also pretty good. But I just had tears in my eyes with Brendan. He was just so emotional and refined. Of course, there’s always this thing with an actor wearing a fatsuit that gives them a leg up, but Brendan did so many complex emotions in his face and with his voice. It wrecked me.

Best Supporting Actress:
This was a little hard. I’m ultimately going with Stephanie Hsu. Although I really liked Angela Bassett in an uneven film. She had so much power behind her performance. But upon rewatching “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” you really appreciate Stephanie’s layered performance—the tragedy of being a lost daughter, a supervillain, and something in between. There’s humor, but there’s also tragic seriousness and this kind of melancholy to it. She hit all those different notes. After watching her four times, I finally voted for her. I wouldn’t have if I had just seen it once, though.

Best Supporting Actor:
I almost went for Barry Keoghan, but this is definitely Ke Huy Quan.

Best Original Screenplay:
Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Women Talking.” Why were those actors not nominated? I would’ve voted for any of them!

Best Animated Feature:
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” is a lovely film.

Best International Feature Film:
All Quiet On The Western Front

Best Cinematography:
All Quiet On The Western Front

Best Costume Design:
The costumes in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” are spectacular.

Best Film Editing:
Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
If people watch “All Quiet On The Western Front” on a small screen, they lose so much of the storytelling involving faces and how the war impacts them. All these details are of someone bleeding out of the ears or a red eye that has gone to the side. All these small details really add up.

Best Production Design:
The way “Babylon” caught the look from back then and utilized all these different locations should allow it to walk away the winner here. When you see these Hollywood stories, I think it often becomes corny. Here it felt vibrant, and how the different scenes played out in the sets felt so surprising and energizing. It’s an uneven film, but the way it looked was so wonderful.

Best Original Score:
It’s funny because I thought the score for “All Quiet On The Western Front” was distracting the first time I saw the film. I’m a big soundtrack geek, and the score has this bold, creative, emotional sound that doesn’t become overly sentimental. I also liked “Babylon,” but it felt a bit uneven…a lot like the film…a lot of great energy and ideas. But a little too much. I’ll love it if Son Lux wins, though. I would’ve voted for “The Batman” if it had made it in. That was one of the worst omissions of the year for me.

Best Sound:
It was between “All Quiet On The Western Front” and “The Batman.” It’s funny how the two leading contenders in this category are pro and anti-war. I feel like with “Top Gun: Maverick,” you see a jet and hear a jet. Ok fine. But what’s so special about “The Batman” is that it has all these subject layers. It’s more evocative and emotional instead of action driven. And then “All Quiet On The Western Front” is a work of art. So refined. They take all the cliches of how a war movie should sound and make it unique and terrifying. It doesn’t sound like “Saving Private Ryan,” but it has the same kind of impact. I’m going to go with that.

Voter #5 – A Member Of The Director’s BranchElvis

Best Picture:

  1. All Quiet On The Western Front
  2. Elvis
  3. Avatar: The Way Of Water
  4. Top Gun: Maverick
  5. The Fabelmans
  6. The Banshees Of Inisherin
  7. Tár
  8. Triangle Of Sadness
  9. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  10. Women Talking

Best Director:
Steven Spielberg. It’s a legacy win. I would’ve voted for Baz Luhrmann if he were here. There’s a lot of virtue to be found in what the Daniels did, but it was too convoluted for me. I still fully expect them to win, but the most direction doesn’t always mean it’s the best direction.

Best Actress:
Even as someone who doesn’t like “Everything Everywhere All At Once” all that much, I’m sticking with Michelle Yeoh. Cate Blanchett gave a monumental performance in “Tár,” but we’ve been here before with her. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Michelle to give her this moment finally. Blanchett’s speech at the Critics Choice Awards did not win her any favors in my circles.

Best Actor:
It’s time to honor Colin Farrell. There’s such humility to him. How can you not like the guy? Austin Butler didn’t impress me. But I can tell you right now Brendan Fraser is going to win.

Best Supporting Actress:
I just want to see Jamie Lee Curtis win, and after her SAG speech the other night, I know a lot of people who want to see that moment for her again. Angela Bassett is not going to win for a Marvel movie. Kerry owned “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” but sentimentality is winning out here for me with Curtis.

Best Supporting Actor:
I thought Paul Dano was terrific in “The Fabelmans” and think he should’ve been here instead of Judd Hirsch. Brian Tyree Henry is incredible in “Causeway” as he entirely bears his soul. Barry Keoghan and Brendan Gleeson were great, as was Ke Huy Quan, who is going to win. But Brian got my vote.

Best Original Screenplay:
The Banshees Of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay:
All Quiet On The Western Front.” To me there is no competition.

Best Animated Feature:
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.” “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On” isn’t even animation. How did it get in here?

Best Documentary Feature:
Going with “Navalny.” It was thrilling, gripping and timely.

Best International Feature Film:
I’m spreading the love and going with “Argentina, 1985” since I’m voting for “All Quiet On The Western Front” elsewhere.

Best Cinematography:
It took another viewing for me to appreciate fully, but the creativity of the work in “Bardo” is astonishing.

Best Costume Design:
Elvis.” Catherine Martin is the queen of this category.

Best Film Editing:
Elvis” again. The film with the most editing usually wins, but I thought “Everything Everywhere All At Once” wasn’t cohesive.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Another one for “Elvis.” I realized after the fact I probably should’ve voted for “The Batman.”

Best Production Design:
Going with “Avatar: The Way Of Water.” Nothing beats the stunning creation of that entire world.

Best Original Score:
All Quiet On The Western Front.” “Babylon” is a terrible movie, and many members within the Academy hate it. No matter how good the score is on its own, that hate will extend to each of its nominations.

Best Original Song:
Naatu Naatu from “RRR.” That’s going all the way, and it rightfully should. It will bring the house down when they perform it. Diane Warren should win at some point, but this is not it.

Best Sound:
All Quiet On The Western Front

Best Visual Effects:
Avatar: The Way Of Water.” No contest.

Voter #6 – A Member Of The Documentary BranchThe Banshees Of Insiherin

Best Picture:
I like to consider the project’s scale. That is what Best Picture should represent. I’m less inclined to go for something small like “The Banshees Of Inisherin.” I was in awe of the craft on display in “All Quiet On The Western Front.” It was more accessible than “Dunkirk,” and it kept you grounded in the film’s humanity. I’m not a fan of “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” and I do not know a single person in my professional circle who has made it through the film.

Best Director:
Like Denis Villeneuve last year, how could Edward Berger miss when all the other departments beneath him got recognized? In his absence, I’m voting for Todd Field. His work was perfect.

Best Actress:
Cate all the way. It’s a masterclass in acting. Ana de Armas is being overlooked. Say what you want about the film, but her work is so courageous and bold.

Best Actor:
Everyone is worthy of winning, but I’m going with Colin Farrell. He’s such a versatile actor who can transform himself with any role he takes on.

Best Supporting Actress:
Kerry Condon ultimately got my vote. I don’t like to have sentimentality or career considerations weigh into my decision-making, but if I did, it would be for Jamie Lee Curtis.

Best Supporting Actor:
Brendan Gleeson. He’s being penalized for restraining his performance, and it’s unfair. Barry may be showier, but to me, he’s actually the film’s weakest performance.

Best Original Screenplay:
The Banshees Of Inisherin” is cohesive and flawless. It’s a near-perfect film. “Tár” would be my second choice.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Went with “All Quiet On The Western Front.” How “Top Gun: Maverick” got in here for the worst quality it was eligible for is beyond me.

Best Animated Feature:
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”

Best Documentary Feature:
It saddens me that “A House Made Of Splinters” and “All That Breathes” don’t have the resources to compete because all five nominated films are outstanding. “Navalny” sends the most vital message and should, and likely will, win.

Best International Feature Film:
Close” is a, no pun intended, close no. 2, but this belongs to “All Quiet On The Western Front.”

Best Cinematography:
Elvis” was breathtaking. “Bardo” was gorgeous, too, but it was a little too intimate.

Best Costume Design:
Elvis.”

Best Film Editing:
The direction by Baz Luhrmann in “Elvis” can be bombastic, but the editing helped to ground it. It was showy but purposeful work.

Best Production Design:
Babylon” or “Elvis.” I can’t remember which one I voted for but it go to either one and I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Best Original Score:
Carter Burrell has been so consistent in his career, and he should be recognized more, so I went with him.

Best Original Song:
Naatu Natuu 100%. I would’ve voted for “RRR” if it were nominated in any category, but this is the only one, so of course, I’m going to vote for it. I think it will win because anyone who loves this movie will vote for it here because it’s the only option.

Best Sound:
Elvis” is impressively mixed. “The Batman” is exquisite work, but maybe a bit too long. “Avatar: The Way Of Water” is better suited to be recognized for its visual effects work. As you know, I love “All Quiet On The Western Front,” but “Top Gun: Maverick’s” dynamic range was remarkable. It’s the whole package.

Best Visual Effects:
Avatar: The Way Of Water” is a no-brainer here. It blew me away.

You can follow Matt & Will and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars & Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture@mavericksmovies

Matt Neglia
Matt Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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