Oscars 2015: My Nominations Ballot

Oscar nominations are announced Thursday morning. Leading up to them, I have the same process every year. I start with a subjective article, follow it up with an objective article, and then we get the truth. Today is the subjective article: what I would nominate in every category if I got to nominate everything. Tomorrow is what I think is actually going to be nominated, personal choices aside. And then the nominations are announced and we’re left with what is.

Dealing with today’s article — it’s pretty self explanatory. In a perfect world, based on the almost 350 movies I saw this year, this is what I’d nominate. I’m not gonna go too much in depth on this, because to me, I’d rather spend time thinking about what’s gonna get nominated. Mostly I’m just gonna let the nominees speak for themselves.

Here we go:

We begin with Best Picture. This is always tricksy, because there could be 5 nominees, there could be 10 nominees. There could be 6 nominees. So the way I do this is, I pick my top five choices, and then rank 6-10. So if there are 8 nominees for Best Picture like there were last year, then my top eight choices become my personal list.

Technically, on an official ballot, you pick and rank a top five, and then they do their thing and get the nominees. This isn’t that. I’m taking what will be the eventual full list of nominees and making them out to be the ones I like the most.

My Best Picture Nominees

Inside Out

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Steve Jobs

6. Room

7. The Revenant

8. Brooklyn

9. Sicario

10. The Hateful Eight

Essentially my top ten list. Star Wars is out, because no. Some rearranging, because I think The Revenant fits better (and because I like it a lot more after seeing it again after my top ten list went up), and The Hateful Eight I don’t need to see nominated.

If I’m casting a win vote, it’s tough, since Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is my favorite film of the year. But if we’re betting based on what could actually win based on the actual nominees… ooh, that’s tough. I don’t know. Fortunately I don’t have to pick a winner here. Let’s just stick with my #1 and move on.

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My Best Director Nominees

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott, The Martian

Denis Villeneuve, Sicario

Sincere apologies for Laszlo Nemes and Son of Saul. That was #6.

Me and Earl, I don’t need to put here. Inside Out was animated. Three of the five make sense. I loved Room dearly, so I’m showing that some love, and I gave Ridley a nomination because he’s awesome.

Right now, I may actually vote Inarritu, if not Miller, for all that insanity he put up there on screen.

.

My Best Actor Nominees

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul

Jacob Tremblay, Room

Tremblay is a lead, I don’t care what the Academy wants to do. The other three are going to be nominated, for good reason. And Geza Rohrig is stunning in Son of Saul, and it’s his stoicism that has to carry the movie, and he does it beautifully.

Right now, the vote is Fassbender.

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My Best Actress Nominees

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Rooney Mara, Carol

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

I honestly didn’t have a fifth nominee. I wasn’t over the moon with Carol and the performances in that, but I really had nothing else, and I thought Rooney Mara was solid enough. So she’s number five. The only other real option I had was Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which I guess I could have gone with. Mostly I wanted to make the point that Rooney Mara is really the lead of Carol. Like Vikander and The Danish Girl. Either way, the other four are clearly the top four of the year.

Right now, the vote is Larson, though honestly, Ronan and Vikander are also perfectly good alternatives.

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Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy

Benicio Del Toro, Sicario

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

This was tough. There are a lot of really solid performances. Dano is kind of a lead, but I can consider him supporting enough to put him here. Del Toro is for sure. Rylance is for sure. Stallone won me over and I like the symmetry of him getting nominated for Rocky one more time. And Hardy is… it was between him or the Spotlight nominees, and I think between Revenant, Legend and Mad Max, I’ll throw him a nomination.

Right now, my vote is Del Toro.

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Best Supporting Actress

Joan Allen, Room

Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Julie Walters, Brooklyn

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Winslet was for sure. She’s my vote. She’s the only one I could definitely say I’d vote for. Julie Walters was awesome, so I put her on. Vikander was great and I had no one else, so she went on. I thought Joan Allen was terrific in Room, so she’s on. And Jennifer Jason Leigh was at least very memorable. So she was five. Tough category this year.

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Best Original Screenplay

Ex Machina

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Sicario

Spotlight

This was slightly difficult, actually. But these were my highest ranked original screenplays, so there we go. The only two alternatives were Bridge of Spies and Son of Saul. But Ex Machina was really solid, so I swapped that on instead.

The vote is… ooh, that’s interesting. It’s actually Spotlight.

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Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

The Revenant

Room

Steve Jobs

This entire category is a no-brainer.

The winner is Steve Jobs. Room is a close second.

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Best Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Sicario

Four of the five are self-explanatory and Room is getting some love because I love it.

Mad Max has to be the vote.

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Best Cinematography

Carol

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

Son of Saul

Four of these will be nominated. They’re gorgeous. Carol, using Super 16, Mad Max for all its insanity, The Revenant for Chivo, Sicario for Deakins, and Son of Saul for its steadfast restraint and focus solely on its main character. Brilliant.

I vote for Deakins, because get the man a fucking statue. Even if it might not have been my favorite effort of the five.

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Best Original Score

Carol

Crimson Peak

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This is one of those situations where I had nine or ten potential choices but could only pick five. The Danish Girl just barely missed a spot. As did Brooklyn. Major shout out to Sicario. It’s very ominous and mood setting. I just didn’t have enough spots. Also shout out to Spotlight.

Otherwise, I couldn’t not pick John Williams or Ennio Morricone. Inside Out was beautiful, Crimson Peak is one of the most underrated scores of the year, and Carol is both a nice score and Carter Burwell has never been nominated. So those are my choices.

Right now, I have no idea what the vote is. Let’s call it Morricone, because that would be fun.

.

Best Original Song

“So Long,” from Concussion

“Fighting Stronger,” from Creed

“Hey Baby Doll,” from Danny Collins

“Feels Like Summer,” from Shaun the Sheep Movie

“Writing’s on the Wall,” from Spectre

Leon Bridges, yes. Creed, I wanted to give it something else and all the songs this year sucked. So sure. “Hey Baby Doll” I thought was hilarious. It’s a spot on Neil Diamond pastiche, and is catchy. So fuck it. Let’s put it on there. And the last two were the two songs I enjoyed best.

The vote, somehow, is Spectre. I blame the songs more than anything.

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Best Production Design

Brooklyn

Crimson Peak

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Easy five. I had more choices than this, but I liked these best.

I might say Hateful Eight is my choice, since Mad Max takes place mostly in the desert and stuff, and Hateful Eight manages to make one room the entire film. On that note, Room is a solid choice, but after the first half, it goes to regular locations.

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Best Costume Design

Brooklyn

Cinderella

Crimson Peak

The Danish Girl

The Hateful Eight

Easy five. Cinderella was lush and vibrant. Brooklyn perfectly fit the period and had enough costumes that popped for me to remember it. The Danish Girl should make perfect sense. Crimson Peak looked gorgeous all around. And I love westerns, so I’m going with Hateful Eight. Revenant was nice, but Hateful Eight is my choice.

Crimson Peak is my vote.

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Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Black Mass

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Your likely category. This seems pretty obvious.

The Revenant is the vote.

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Best Visual Effects

Ant-Man

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Mad Max and Star Wars are no-brainers. I like space movies, so The Martian gets props. Ex Machina — they did a hell of a job with Vikander’s character, so I’ll vote for that. And Ant-Man did some cool shrinking stuff. So I’ll vote for them.

Mad Max is the vote.

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Best Sound Editing

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Gonna just pick the same five on both, since it’s hard for me to really think about sound categories.

Sorry about Sicario. That nearly missed on both of these.

Mad Max is the vote.

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Best Sound Mixing

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Same five as Editing. Mad Max is still the vote.

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Best Animated Feature

Anomalisa

Inside Out

The Peanuts Movie

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There

Basically the same as the presumed category, but with Marnie instead of Good Dinosaur. No surprise there.

Inside Out is the vote, though I love Anomalisa.

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Best Foreign Language Film

The Brand New Testament

Mustang

Son of Saul

Theeb

A War

Son of Saul is the vote. Let’s get that out of the way first.

I really liked Mustang. Theeb was solid.

The Brand New Testament looks crazy, so I’ll vote for it. And A War seems most interesting of the remaining ones (of which I’ve only seen one, Labyrinth of Lies, and didn’t really care one way or the other about it).

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Best Documentary Feature

Amy

Going Clear

The Hunting Ground

The Look of Silence

Where to Invade Next

Having seen 13 of the 15 nominees, I actually feel qualified to pick this category this year.

Amy, The Look of Silence and Where to Invade Next are for sure the best three shortlisted documentaries. Going Clear was a lot of fun and more interesting than the remaining bunch. And The Hunting Ground is important. So that’s #5.

Where to Invade Next is my vote.

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My Best Documentary Short Nominees

50 Feet from Syria

Body Team 12

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

Minerita

My Enemy, My Brother

These five sounded most interesting to me of the shortlist.

Haven’t seen any, so I can’t rightly vote.

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My Best Live-Action Short Nominees

Ave Maria

Contrapelo

Everything Will Be Okay

Shok

Stutterer

I went with the five that seemed like they’d be most interesting to me in the end. No idea.

Can’t vote.

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My Best Animated Short Nominees

Bear Story

Carface

If I Was God…

Prologue

World of Tomorrow

Of the shortlist… We Can’t Live Without Cosmos was weird. An Object at Rest was cute, but lost me in the second half. Sanjay’s Super Team looked nice, but was whatever. Haven’t seen Love in the Time of March Madness, but that’s not particularly up my alley. My Home looks kinda nice. Maybe when I see it, I’ll think it’s top five.

Prologue looks gorgeously animated, so even though I haven’t seen it, I’d put it top five. If I Was God looks cute, so sure. Carface looks amazing. World of Tomorrow is a fucked up Don Hertzfeldt special. Loved that. And Bear Story — holy fuck.

Bear Story should, and probably will, win this category, based on what I’ve seen so far.

– – – – – – – – – –

So those are my nominees. Tomorrow I guess what’s gonna actually be nominated.

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One response

  1. lacourseauxetoiles

    If Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was your favorite film of the year and if you personally would have had it win Best Picture, then why wouldn’t you have nominated it for any of the other Oscars?

    December 8, 2017 at 11:04 am

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