Sunday, April 14, 2024

Anonymous 2024 Oscar Ballot #2

With the 96th Academy Awards fast approaching on March 10th, Will Mavity and I spoke to several Academy voters about what they are voting for and why. Here’s the first one and now we have the second. 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 did not bother to see “Maestro.” Two people I trust in the industry told me very strongly, “Don’t waste your time,” so I didn’t. Overall, I thought this was an ok Best Picture lineup. I was kind of mixed on the bottom half as I felt “Anatomy Of A Fall” was so slow. From a pacing perspective, it just felt like a slog to get through. Everyone seems to love “Oppenheimer,” and I’m no exception. “Poor Things” was super impressive and unique.

  1. Oppenheimer
  2. The Holdovers
  3. Poor Things
  4. Killers Of The Flower Moon
  5. Barbie
  6. American Fiction
  7. The Zone Of Interest
  8. Past Lives
  9. Anatomy Of A Fall
  10. Maestro

Best Director:
I really struggled with this category, but I ultimately went with Yorgos Lanthimos. “Poor Things” was just such a creative and whacky world to immerse yourself in and so engaging. It was a tight decision. I wanted to go for Nolan. However, I thought he made some poor choices. I was left horribly disappointed with the result of the Trinity test. The movie builds to this monumental moment, and then it doesn’t even look like a nuclear bomb. They were so opposed to using visual effects for anything. Cut off your nose to spite your face. There were so many out-of-focus scenes in there, too, which I found distracting. All these other brilliant decisions, though wrapped up in a pretty terrific movie overall, left me conflicted.

Best Actress:
Lily Gladstone. This was another hard call, but Bella was such an over-the-top comedic character to play that it felt less challenging than what Lily did.

Best Actor:
Cillian Murphy. He just sunk into that character so well.

Best Supporting Actress:
Emily Blunt. I enjoyed “The Holdovers” quite a bit. I don’t know why it didn’t end up on my Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress list, but I guess that just goes to show you how much I like “Oppenheimer.”

Best Supporting Actor:
Very very difficult but I went with Ryan Gosling. I think Robert Downey Jr. was amazing as well. This was pretty tough between the top three with Mark Ruffalo’s whacky performance up there. This is why those academy screenings are good. Gosling talked about how he thought the role would play from a societal standpoint, which really spoke to me.

Best Original Screenplay:
The Holdovers.” I think “Anatomy Of A Fall” will take it. It seems to be a lot of people’s picks.
The HoldoversBest Adapted Screenplay:
American Fiction.” Hilarious, heartfelt, and really smart.

Best Animated Feature:
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse.” My kids loved it. I loved it. I hated that it was a two-parter, but you can’t deny the level of ingenuity and quality storytelling on display.

Best Documentary Feature:
20 Days In Mariupol.” Gutsy, important filmmaking.

Best International Feature Film:
The Zone Of Interest.” Nothing else compares.

Best Cinematography:
Oppenheimer,” even though it drove me crazy how many out-of-focus shots there were.

Best Costume Design:
When I first saw “Poor Things,” I thought this would be a shoo-in for me. But for “Barbie,” it must’ve been so hard to achieve what they did at the scale they did with so many designs.

Best Film Editing:
Oppenheimer.” I was waffled between that and “Killers Of The Flower Moon,” but I liked Nolan’s film just a bit more.
BarbieBest Makeup & Hairstyling:
Poor Things.” The work on Willem Dafoe alone sealed the deal for me.

Best Production Design:
Similar to Costume Design, I went with “Barbie.” And they built lots of little miniatures, which is a lost art I wish more productions would utilize.

Best Original Score:
Oppenheimer.” No question.

Best Original Song:
“What Was I Made For?” It is meaningful, resonates, and gets me emotional just thinking about it.

Best Sound:
I thought they did a lot of cool shit in “Oppenheimer,” even in the kind of slow, quiet moments. The sound still managed to stand out in a way that supported the story.

Best Visual Effects:
I just thought “Godzilla Minus One” was a good movie. The amount of work they did with as small a team as they had was mind-blowing. I watched the bake-off remotely and saw them talk about how the guy who was the compositing stimulator went home on the weekends and fucked around with water and came back and told the director, oh, “We should do more of this.” This is how VFX used to be before it became this widget factory. It was so heartfelt, and it just felt like everyone was happy to be there. And it supported the story, and the story was a good one. I really believe it’s not just the quality but how the film decides to use them that makes a difference. A very close second was “The Creator.”

Best Animated Short Film:
Ninety-Five Senses.” I watched these all quickly back to back, and that was the one that stuck out to me the most.

Best Documentary Short Film:
I abstained because I didn’t have a chance to watch them.

Best Live Action Short Film:
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar.” Even while making a short film, Wes Anderson is still Wes Anderson. How can you not pick 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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

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

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Reviews