Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Anonymous 2024 Oscar Ballot #3

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 and second one and now we have the third. 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 loved the lineup this year. Ten films, and I can honestly say I like all of them. They’re not just great movies, but many directors are creating great cinematic moments that will live on for audiences. Even the way people write the scripts. Like, I read the “Oppenheimer” script and was just like, “freaking hell, this is fantastic screenwriting!” There is a movement towards making very cinematic films that beg to be seen in a movie theater. If cinema is going to outlast streaming, it must make moves that make you go “wow” when you see them. Even “Past Lives,” which is very small, is atmospheric and does not push its emotions on the viewer. With streaming, everything has to be upfront with dialogue all the time, not subtle, and not interested in visual storytelling. So many movies this year are interesting in innovatively doing that. I even watched “Maestro” a second time, and it played even better on a re-watch. “American Fiction” may be my least-ranked film, but I still think it’s a good movie. I think it’s a solid year for film.

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

Best Director:
Jonathan Glazer had such a proactive directorial vision for that movie. He’s someone who you can tell is part of the process of making movies very early. Watching it might be one of the worst things you’ll ever experience, but there’s bold artistry in that presentation, which is memorable and undeniable.

Best Actress:
I went with Lily Gladstone. But Sandra was so nuanced. I went with Lily because she was on such an emotional trajectory all throughout those 3 and a half hours. She stood alongside Hollywood’s biggest stars in that movie and shined so much more than either. That scream she has at one point after her sister is killed has just really stuck with me. No offense to the other performances, but this is a year with many great performances and achievements.

Best Actor:
Cillian Murphy. The dynamics of telling a story without talking much and just watching an actor’s face is so underrated. Cillian does so much with just his eyes; his whole body language changes, and in the moments when he’s really on top of the world, he makes you feel every emotion. Later in the interrogation scene, he’s heartbreaking. Very moving, with a lot going on beneath the surface.

Best Supporting Actress:
Da’Vine Joy Randolph. I really enjoyed “The Holdovers,” and I love how her performance changes significantly throughout the film. She is the one in the shadows at first, but then she becomes more and more of an emotional regulator for the characters and the film as a whole.

Best Supporting Actor:
I went with Ryan Gosling in “Barbie.” It was just a very charming performance and very vulgar at the same time. The way he acted against type, with a lot of comedy, is something you rarely see actors of his stature do. Sometimes, you need to remember how hard it is to do comedy. I also really liked Sterling K. Brown for this reason, but honestly, I wish there was a way the dog in “Anatomy Of A Fall” could have been nominated. That’s the true supporting performance of the year!

Best Original Screenplay:
Anatomy Of A Fall.” The way that it just changes perspective and juggles so many nuanced characters. It’s a whodunnit, sure, but it’s also so much more than that.OppenheimerBest Adapted Screenplay:
Oppenheimer.” Easy choice. I’ve never seen a screenplay written like that before.

Best Animated Feature:
It’s a tough one, but I went with “The Boy And The Heron.” “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” was visually imaginative but a tad too long, and the storytelling was a little uneven. Miyazaki has this sense of poetry and emotions in his storytelling that is simply unmatched.

Best Documentary Feature:
Four Daughters” affected me in a powerful way. There are very different films nominated here, and I liked them all; I felt that the doc branch made a statement this year by focusing on the films’ quality rather than the campaign’s quality, and I applaud them for that.

Best International Feature Film:
Would love to see “The Zone Of Interest” pull a “Parasite” and get the double-win.

Best Cinematography:
Poor Things.” The whole visual style of the film was just so overwhelming and creative. A lot of that also comes from the production design. I love Lanthimos’ style overall. But then he opened it up in different ways we haven’t seen before. The way they made the scenes drift in and out of different perspectives was very imaginative.

Best Costume Design:
I love “Barbie” for its in-your-face Pinkness. I liked the way the costumes became such big parts of the characters. It wasn’t just Barbie’s clothes but also costumes in the real world and the contrast between those. It could’ve become really annoying to look at art, but they turned it into a cinematic vision where you’re like, “Wow, this is a world that’s fun to look at.”

Best Film Editing:
Oppenheimer’s” handling of all these different timelines was highly impressive. It also cut together the visions of these abstract images so we could be inside Oppenheimer’s head in a way that felt so organic. Doing something like that must be hard. Complex stories from real life, combined with abstractions, played out in separate timelines. That’s an easy winner.Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Maestro.” The way it made Leonard Bernstein come alive through makeup felt very natural and organic. Then, the other characters, like Carey Mulligan, had these touches to make her look older, and at the end, when she’s ill, she looks so fragile. Makeup was such a part of character-building here.

Best Production Design:
As I said earlier with cinematography, “Poor Things.”

Best Original Score:
Oppenheimer.” I listened to all of the scores, but Ludwig’s ability to mix melodic elements with more experimental bits worked in a way I could’ve never imagined. The classical instruments merged with these electronic sounds in a way that felt very organic and benefited the story. That film wouldn’t have worked without that score. There are quite a few bangers on that soundtrack. When you listen on its own, you really realize how many intricate details there are and why it’s been rightfully praised.

Best Original Song:
“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” was emotional.

Best Sound:
The Zone Of Interest.” This year’s daring sonic statement.

Best Visual Effects:
I considered voting for “Godzilla Minus One” because of the stories of how so few people made something so extraordinary work, but I went with “The Creator.” How that film crafted its visual effects was innovative, and more productions should take note. The visual language of the film was like Terrence Malick merged with Michael Bay. It was a really original vision where I believed in all the technology they created for this world. The movie has many other issues, but the visual effects were extraordinary.

Best Animated Short Film:
I abstained, as I didn’t have the time to watch all of these.

Best Documentary Short Film:
“The Last Repair Shop” was so satisfying.

Best Live Action Short Film:
The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar.” Wes Anderson is really good at making short films, just as he is at feature-length films.

Please let us know your thoughts on our Twitter account and be sure to listen to our final Oscar predictions podcast episode here. Please click 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 Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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