Sunday, April 14, 2024

Anonymous 2024 Oscar Ballot #5

With the 96th Academy Awards upon us this weekend on March 10th, Will Mavity and I spoke to several Academy voters about what they are voting for and why. Here’s the first, secondthird and fourth anonymous voters we heard from and now, here is our fifth and final one. We didn’t conduct as many post-nominations this year but we hope you’ve enjoyed reading them regardless. 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:
Oppenheimer.” It was an epic, cinematic, artsy, Hollywood prestige picture made with excellence across every craft – and it was a worldwide hit. Case closed. “Barbie” was my #2 here. In many ways, it is an equally compelling case and a more surprising film overall. How “Barbie” captivated an audience in person is so rare and essential to cinema thriving. These awards exist primarily to promote the film business – It’s too clever by half, if any, but these two films won in a year when Barbenheimer saved the movie business.

Best Director:
There are no wrong answers here, but Christopher Nolan has done so much to advance the cause of cinema with his filmmaking. He is a brand unto himself and moves the marketplace whenever he puts a new film out. This is arguably his best film (although I prefer “Dunkirk” by a tad). Nolan epitomizes excellence and ignites the audience. That deserves more respect than we often give it.

Best Actress:
Lily Gladstone. This good of a performance in a movie this big from an indigenous actor as intelligent and beguiling as the Mona Lisa will likely not happen again in our lifetime. She deserves it.

Best Actor:
Cillian Murphy. Paul Giamatti makes it look too easy, even if it isn’t. Murphy is working his ass off in the role of his lifetime. He plays the title role of the, I presume, Best Picture winner. Let’s not get too cute. Sometimes, the obvious answer is also the right one.

Best Supporting Actress:
Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “The Holdovers.” Because she’s simply marvelous from beginning to end.

Best Supporting Actor:
Ryan Gosling. The most memorable, talked about, surprising, and delightful supporting performance of the year.

Best Original Screenplay:
It should be “Barbie,” but because it’s not nominated here, I voted for “Past Lives.” Celine Song is one of those new filmmakers who has arrived. And somehow, she feels already like a seasoned pro—a new film from an old soul.The HoldoversBest Adapted Screenplay:
I went with Tony McNamara. “Poor Things” was the film that made me say, “What a writer!” the most. Cord Jefferson would be my runner-up. He made a beautiful film. Until there’s a Best New Filmmaker award, screenplays will be drawn to writer-directors who have arrived on the filmmaking scene. It’s important to represent writers to the world as talented, charismatic artists who dress well.

Best Animated Feature:
All these movies are excellent, demonstrating the power and range of animated cinema. But the sheer scale of “Across The Spider-Verse’s” maximalist cinematic innovation and accomplishment—and the depth of its cultural impact—is on another level from the rest of the field. And to think it’s only Part One, and they still have one more film to make. It’s hard to imagine it getting much better than this.

Best Documentary Feature:
20 Days in Mariupol” for political reasons but also because it’s damn good filmmaking.

Best International Feature Film:
Anatomy of a Fall” is simply irresistible. It’s only one of the best—oh wait, it’s not nominated. Dmamit. *Sigh* Juan Antonio got my vote for “Society Of The Snow.” Underrated film that should’ve been more widely celebrated.

Best Cinematography:
Rodrigo Prieto for “Killers Of The Flower Moon.” A Latino cinematographer who shot two completely different, insanely striking Best-Picture nominees. The images in Scorsese’s film are inviting and horrifying all at once.

Best Costume Design:
Poor Things.” Shoulders are back on this one but “Barbie” was a very close second here.

Best Film Editing:
Oppenheimer” just swept the competition this year.BarbieBest Makeup & Hairstyling:
Poor Things” for being subtle but expressive. And then there’s Willem Dafoe, where the work is anything but subtle, but my god, the makeup certainly told me everything I needed to know about that character.

Best Production Design:
Barbie” So joyous and inventive in its world-building. Eye-popping work.

Best Original Score:
Ludwig for “Oppenheimer.” Duh.

Best Original Song:
“I’m Just Ken” was the most memorable song of the year with one hell of a dancing musical number to go along with it.

Best Sound:
Oppenheimer’s” sound is expressive and bold, and can you believe it? You can hear the dialogue in one of his films this time!

Best Visual Effects:
It’s a tough call, but “The Creative” has the most innovative work, which will leave a lasting impact on the business.

Best Animated Short Film:
“Our Uniform” is both the shortest and the best-animated film of the year. It is simple and brave, intimate and fun. Yegane Moghaddam stuck her neck out and made something playful, innovative, courageous, thought-provoking, simple, and singular—the epitome of excellence in animation.

Best Documentary Short Film:
Abstain, didn’t see enough in time.

Best Live Action Short Film:
Abstained again because I don’t like voting for these unless I can see all of them.

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

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