Disclaimer: I am not an actual Oscar voter. Besides, it is prohibited as per Academy’s rules to release your ballot. 🙂
Anyway, five more days before the big night, and the voting for the Oscars were already closed. As we just wait for that moment until that envelopes are opened, some races are still up in the air. What wins Best Foreign Language Film? Is Jennifer Lawrence a 2x winner by Sunday or Lupita Nyong’o takes one home? And which between American Hustle, Gravity,and 12 Years a Slave will join the elite Best Picture winner list.
But before any of that, let’s veer away from predicting first and choose your favorites from this year’s list. Granted that if you have an Oscar ballot in front of you, how would you pick the winners? Personally speaking, picking the winners is a combination of many factors: spreading the wealth, favorite actor/actress, category fraud, favorite film, and lastly, the one you think is actually the best. So I’ll be sharing with you my picks from this year’s bunch in 21 different categories.
BEST PICTURE: Her
Since this is preferential voting, you can see my detailed rankings and explanations here, but if it was like the old way of counting the most ballots, I’d totally give this Spike Jonze film my vote. It’s just on an altogether different film watching experience for me.
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
I have my issues with Gravity as a film, but it’s nothing compared to the achievement and input that Cuaron put into this masterpiece of his. It’s such a towering directorial experience that elicits awe and respect not only from his peers but also from the voting public.
Complete rankings: Cuaron | Scorsese | McQueen | Russell | Payne
BEST ACTOR: Leonardo di Caprio, Wolf of Wall Street
Annoying fanboys aside, di Caprio gives a performance that doesn’t only match his acting skills but also puts his God given charisma as a part of his portrayal. He went balls to the wall with this one, and it’s only a dream to see the Academy reward this type of acting.
Complete rankings: Di Caprio | Ejiofor | Bale | Dern | McConaughey
BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Say what you want about Woody Allen, but roles to women in their 40s rarely appear as truthful and naked as this one. In Jasmine, Blanchett makes good use of her usually awkward histrionic acting by playing a character that suits both her physicality and acting style.
Complete rankings: Blanchett | Streep | Adams | Bullock | Dench
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
I am so-so with Dallas as a whole, but Leto is one of the most exciting factors about this film. His performance might have been shed with the thick make up and the women clothes, but there’s a scene midway where he strips all of that and there lies his character, different from what he looks like, but still pulling off the same amount of gravitas.
Complete rankings: Leto | Abdi | Cooper | Hill | Fassbender
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Truth be told, Julia Roberts gives the best performance from this line up, but I can’t at her category frauding her way in here. Plus she’s an Oscar winner already, and it’s not necessary to give her double Oscars. Thus, I’m giving my vote to Sally Hawkins who held her own against a dominating Blanchett.
Complete rankings: Hawkins | Roberts | Lawrence | Nyong’o | Squibb
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Spike Jonze, Her
The only one I think that came close is Inside Llewyn Davis, but I don’t think AMPAS knows that film exists so yeah. Plus, Her, manages to bring its audience in a world where only few others can do.
Complete rankings: Her | American Hustle | Nebraska | Blue Jasmine | Dallas Buyers Club
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Well this is the only place to reward this beautiful film. Plus points because the words never lost their spark even after a rewatch months since its premiere.
Complete rankings: Before Midnight | Wolf of Wall Street | Philomena | 12 Years a Slave | Captain Phillips
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Great Beauty
It’s one contemplative film that gave justice to what it showed to its audience. Great Beauty might be boring for some, but I think it totally lives up to its title.
Complete rankings: The Great Beauty | Omar | The Hunt | The Broken Circle Breakdown | n/s: The Missing Picture
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Ernest & Celestine
This animated film totally swept me off my feet. It’s just one of those surprising movie watching moments where I was smiling and was pleasantly surprised after.
Complete rankings: Ernest & Celestine | Frozen | The Croods | Despicable Me 2 | n/s: The Wind Rises
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: The Act of Killing
Riveting. That’s what it is. One of the best parts of watching documentaries in general doesn’t solely rely on how it leaves an impact on you, but how it took you there. The Act of Killing achieves both of that, and it deserves my vote.
Complete rankings: The Act of Killing | The Square | 20 Feet From Stardom | Cutie and the Boxer | Dirty Wars
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Her
I just love how it introduces a world of its own not only with the story but with the visuals as well. It’s a whole city on its own, and its production design doesn’t sound as forced or as showy as the other contenders.
Complete rankings: Her | American Hustle | The Great Gatsby | 12 Years a Slave | Gravity
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gravity
The first fifteen minutes of the film should seal this Oscar already. Plus, Emmanuel Lubezki is fucking overdue for his work. Like really. He should have gotten one years ago, but better late than ever.
Complete rankings: Gravity | Inside Llewyn Davis | The Grandmaster | Prisoners | Nebraska
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: American Hustle
I totally digged the whole 70s environment that this film showcased, thanks to a lot of factors including the showy costume design by Michael Wilkinson.
Complete rankings: American Hustle | The Great Gatsby | 12 Years a Slave | The Grandmaster | The Invisible Woman
BEST FILM EDITING: Captain Phillips
Sure it’s the showiest editing from the whole bunch, but the last thirty minutes screams editing, and while you alreayd know what’s gonna happen, it still lived up to its intense delivery.
Complete rankings: Captain Phillips | Gravity | American Hustle | 12 Years a Slave | Dallas Buyers Club
BEST HAIRSTYLING AND MAKE UP: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa
American Hustle should have won this in a cakewalk, but hey it wasn’t even nominated. Dallas will be winning this, but I’m all for the craziness that will ensue if Jackass ends up as an Oscar winning film. Besides, it really has intricate make up transformation.
Complete rankings: Bad Grandpa | Dallas Buyers Club | Lone Ranger
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Her
Oscar winner Arcade Fire! Well it’s not gonna happen, but I would have loved that to happen.
Complete rankings: Her | Philomena | Saving Mr. Banks | The Book Thief | Gravity
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: The Moon Song (Her)
This is a wasted opportunity to reward Alone Yet Not Alone. I still can’t forgive you Academy for giving up the chance to give the global spotlight to an old paraplegic woman to hear this epic song for all the world to hear. God bless good sis Joni. Anyway, my vote goes to The Moon Song. Such a lovely lullaby.
Complete rankings: The Moon Song | Happy | Let It Go | Ordinary Love
BEST SOUND EDITING: Captain Phillips
BEST SOUND MIXING: Gravity
Gave them one vote apiece for the technical achievements (particularly the sound) contributed to an enjoyable time at the movies. Won’t even bother to rank them.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Gravity
Like really. This is as easy as ABC. Great company though. And RIP Pacific Rim’s deserved Oscar nod here.
Complete rankings: Gravity | Star Trek Into Darkness | Iron Man 3 | The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug | The Lone Ranger
There you have it! What would your votes look like? And how many of these will match the actual Oscar winners (doubt it will be a lot, but I hope even half would happen)? Post your choices as well!
You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl