Monday, April 15, 2024

Anonymous 2024 Oscar Ballot #1

Oscar voting is officially over for the 96th Academy Awards, and now we are just patiently waiting until the awards are handed out on March 10th. Will Mavity and I spoke to several Academy voters about what they are voting for and why. We’ll be posting some of those thoughts for your amusement in the lead-up to the Oscars. Always keep in mind, as you read these, that they represent only a tiny fraction of the 9,000+ people who vote on the Oscar winners. While these may help provide some insight into how voters make their selections, they are far from the be-all-end-all of what will actually happen at the Oscars.


Best Picture:
I not only saw all the nominees for Best Picture, but I saw all the nominees in every category except for the shorts this year, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt “Oppenheimer” is truly something special. Not only is it the best film of the year, but it’s an enduring cinematic achievement that will live far beyond this year and sit rightfully among some of the best winners of all time.

Best Director:
Easily Christopher Nolan. He’s deserved it for many years, and the stars finally aligned for him this year, where audiences, critics, and the industry have all agreed.

Best Actress:
This might surprise you, but I’m going with Sandra Hüller. I believe she had the most challenging role of all of the nominees in how she had to find the balance between making us believe her character was guilty or not. And that scene she has with her character’s husband toward the end? Very powerful.

Best Actor:
No question in my mind, it has to be Cillian Murphy. He carried that mammoth film on his back and held us in a trance for three hours with an understated but complex performance. He’s also been overdue for some recognition, plus I just really love the movie. If you love the movie, how can you not go for him?

Best Supporting Actress:
I know Da’Vine Joy Randolph is going to win for “The Holdovers,” but I wasn’t a fan of that movie. I went with Emily Blunt even though she likely has no chance. I feel she’s been overlooked for far too long and it’s time we finally aknowledged how versatile an actress she’s always been and continues to be here.

Best Supporting Actor:
What Robert Downey Jr. did in shedding his usual Tony Stark shtick we’ve seen him do for over a decade was refreshing and chilling. He captured that Salieri quality in his character so well. He’s going to win this and he deserves it.

Best Original Screenplay:
I don’t think there’s a film this year where I wanted to talk with someone more about it after it was over than “Anatomy Of A Fall.” Hours upon hours spent going over not only the central question of the film but also how it broke down this marriage and its gender dynamics made for some great discussion, which is what all great, original films should do.Best Adapted Screenplay:
If you haven’t figured it out by now, “Oppenheimer” is the single greatest directing, writing, and producing achievement of the year. Nolan’s approach to biography is nothing short of revolutionary and inspiring on a number of levels to any filmmaker out there during a time when other biopics are so formulaic.

Best Animated Feature:
This one is close. All year, I thought it would be “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse,” and that’s what I was going to vote for. But then I saw “The Boy And The Heron” late and was completely gobsmacked. “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” is an incredible visual and sonic masterpiece (and Daniel Pemberton’s score should’ve been nominated), but Miyazaki is one of the all-time great storytellers, and this may be our last chance to reward him.

Best Documentary Feature:
If the point of the category is to shine a spotlight on important issues, which I feel it has become in recent years, “20 Days In Mariupol” is the obvious choice. What those filmmakers captured is beyond heroic.

Best International Feature Film:
It really pains me that “Anatomy Of A Fall” isn’t here. But “The Zone Of Interest” is a deserving winner and will not be forgotten anytime soon by those who dare to watch it.

Best Cinematography:
It has to be “Oppenheimer.” When you create black and white IMAX film stock that didn’t previously exist so you can project images like that on such a big screen, this is a no-brainer.

Best Costume Design:
Poor Things.” The best overall designed film of the year.

Best Film Editing:
Oppenheimer.” Fastest three hours I’ve experienced in a long time and riveting every cut of the way.Poor ThingsBest Makeup & Hairstyling:
Poor Things.” What “Maestro” did was impressive but I wasn’t the biggest fan of that movie and how many times are we going to reward makeup for old age prosthetics?

Best Production Design:
Easily “Poor Things.”

Best Original Score:
Sound and score should be handed out at the same moment because the marriage between those two in “Oppenheimer” is beyond perfection.

Best Original Song:
I went with “I’m Just Ken,” but mainly because I couldn’t remember where “What Was I Made For?” played in “Barbie,” but I certainly remember that fun musical number.

Best Sound:
Nobody is working with sound the way Christopher Nolan is. His films have been recognized for their sound before, and I know some people have a hard time hearing some of his films sometimes, but that was not the case here.

Best Visual Effects:
I feel it should be mandatory to vote only if you see all the bake-offs for the shortlisted categories. I saw this because, initially watching the movie, I wouldn’t have said “Godzilla Minus One,” but after watching the bake-off presentation, I don’t know how I could say anything else. I also didn’t know the director was the head of the VFX department on that film, so that’s pretty cool and a great way to honor him.

Please let us know your thoughts on our Twitter account and be sure to listen to our final Oscar predictions podcast episode coming this Sunday. Please click here for more important upcoming dates this awards season and here for the most recent tally of awards season winners for the current year.

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

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

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