If I had a ballot

Posted by · 8:56 am · December 15th, 2010

The year is winding down.  Today, as part of the week’s on-going year-in-review specials, I’m offering up my annual “if I had a ballot” post.

In years past I’ve tended to defer to studio campaigns for category placement, but this year I figured, “Screw it.”  After all, if I actually had a ballot I could call the shots.  So I have.

You’re familiar with my Best Picture line-up by now.  I’ve opted out of the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary categories because there are a few films I’d rather have seen before making that call, but otherwise, it’s the usual Oscar fields with an ensemble category tacked on.

Feel free to post up your own selections, if you have them, in the comments section below.  And remember to check back Friday as I close up shop on 2010 with my list of superlatives.  For now, check out my personal ballot after the jump.

Best Picture
“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Catfish” (Rogue)
“Enter the Void” (IFC Films)
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (Producers Distribution Agency)
“A Prophet” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Shutter Island” (Paramount Pictures)
“The Social Network” (Columbia Pictures)
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney Pictures)
“The Way Back” (Newmarket Films/Wrekin Hill Entertainment)

Best Director
Mike Leigh, “Another Year”
Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
Gaspar Noé, “Enter the Void”
Banksy, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
Jacques Audiard, “A Prophet”

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
James Franco, “127 Hours”
Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”
Tahar Rahim, “A Prophet”

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Julianne Moore, “The Kids Are All Right”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”

Best Supporting Actor
Niels Arestrup, “A Prophet”
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Colin Farrell, “The Way Back”
Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
Rebecca Hall, “Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974”
Bryce Dallas Howard, “Hereafter”
Lesley Manville, “Another Year”
Miranda Richardson, “Made in Dagenham”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“I Love You Phillip Morris” (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa)
“Shutter Island” (Laeta Kalogridis)
“The Social Network” (Aaron Sorkin)
“Toy Story 3” (Michael Arndt)
“True Grit” (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)

Best Original Screenplay
“Another Year” (Mike Leigh)
“Black Swan” (Andres Heinz, Mark Heyman, John J. McLaughlin)
“Blue Valentine” (Joey Curtis, Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne)
“Four Lions” (Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Morris)
“A Prophet” (Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit)

Best Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland” (Robert Stromberg; Karen O’Hara, Peter Young)
“Inception” (Guy Dyas; Lisa Chugg, Paul Healy, Douglas A. Mowat)
“The King’s Speech” (Eve Stewart; Judy Farr)
“Shutter Island” (Dante Ferretti; Francesca Lo Schiavo)
“TRON Legacy” (Darren Gilford; Lin MacDonald)

Best Cinematography
“Black Swan” (Matthew Libatique)
“Enter the Void” (Benoît Debie)
“127 Hours” (Enrique Chediak, Anthony Dod Mantle)
“A Prophet” (Stéphane Fontaine)
“Shutter Island” (Robert Richardson)

Best Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” (Colleen Atwood)
“Robin Hood” (Janty Yates)
“The Tempest” (Sandy Powell)
“TRON Legacy” (Michael Wilkinson)
“True Grit” (Mary Zophres)

Best Film Editing
“Black Swan” (Andrew Weisblum)
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (Tom Fulford, Chris King)
“Inception” (Lee Smith)
“127 Hours” (Jon Harris)
“Shutter Island” (Thelma Schoonmaker)

Best Makeup
“Shutter Island”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

Best Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” (John Powell)
“The Illusionist” (Sylvain Chomet)
“Inception” (Hans Zimmer)
“The Social Network” (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)
“TRON Legacy” (Daft Punk)

Best Music (Original Song)
“Me and Tennessee” from “Country Strong”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
“Shine” from “Waiting for Superman”

Best Sound Editing
“Black Swan”
“127 Hours”
“Robin Hood”
“TRON Legacy”

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Swan”
“The Social Network”
“TRON Legacy”
“The Way Back”

Best Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Black Swan”
“Enter the Void”
“TRON Legacy”

Best Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon” (DreamWorks SKG)
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Ensemble
“Another Year”
“Four Lions”
“Shutter Island”
“The Social Network”
“The Way Back”

“Black Swan” – 9
“Shutter Island” – 7
“Inception” – 6
“A Prophet” – 6
“The Social Network” – 6
“TRON Legacy” – 6
“Another Year” – 5
“The Way Back” – 5
“Enter the Void” – 4
“127 Hours” – 4
“Toy Story 3” – 4
“True Grit” – 4
“Alice in Wonderland” – 3
“Blue Valentine” – 3
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” – 3
“Four Lions” – 2
“How to Train Your Dragon” – 2
“The Kids Are All Right” – 2
“Biutiful” – 1
“Winter’s Bone” – 1
“Catfish” – 1
“Country Strong” – 1
“The Fighter” – 1
“Hereafter” – 1
“I Love You Phillip Morris” – 1
“The Illusionist” – 1
“The King’s Speech” – 1
“Made in Dagenham” – 1
“Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974” – 1
“Robin Hood” – 1
“Tangled” – 1
“The Tempest” – 1
“Waiting for Superman” – 1
“The Wolfman” – 1

[Photo: Paramount Pictures]

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73 responses so far

  • 1 12-15-2010 at 1:19 pm

    Maxim said...

    “You’re completely missing the point, which is that non-US released films that have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film are not permitted to compete in other categories in the year of their eventual US release. ”

    Guy, my sincere appologies this time. This rule is complete news to me. Needless to say it so dumb I would have never guessed it. I take back what I said. Rules need changed.

  • 2 12-15-2010 at 1:21 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’ll get it right yet. Thanks Chad.

  • 3 12-15-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Danny: We talked about it on the podcast. Suffice it to say I did NOT like the film, but Howard really sparked for me.

    DiCaprio and Scorsese really were close, but it was crowded terrain. It was between Marty and Aronofsky for the fifth director slot and between Leo and Bridges for the fifth actor slot. Tough choices.

  • 4 12-15-2010 at 1:25 pm

    Ken said...

    I haven’t seen True Grit, Another Year, The Black Swan, The Way Back, The Inside Job, or Carlos, but have seen just about everything else. Not sure I should quite make a top 10 of the year yet, but I don’t think anything will be able to unseat Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which kind of amazed me with how much I loved that movie.

    Looks like Of Gods and Men will be in the gray area, as it won’t get a US release this year and won’t be eligible next year (given that it’ll almost certainly be nominated in the Foreign Language category). But that’d be my #2 if it qualified.

  • 5 12-15-2010 at 1:36 pm

    Jeremy said...

    Kudos on the Bryce Dallas Howard nod.

    I’m assuming you haven’t seen “Harry Potter”? My fanboy bias aside, it’s my clear #1 for Art Direction, and it would easily make my top five for Cinematography as well.

  • 6 12-15-2010 at 1:36 pm

    SJG said...

    The only category I have particularly strong feelings about this year is Best Actor, which should be (in order of preference):

    Leonardo DiCaprio, “Shutter Island”
    Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
    Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
    James Franco, “127 Hours”
    Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”

    Screw nominating Duvall and Bridges just because they’re older and everyone likes them. Not that they gave bad performances, but this has been a particularly good year for actors, and I think it’s definitely unfair that Leonardo DiCaprio, who should win, has been almost totally left out of the discussion. Jesse Eisenberg is only gaining ground now because of how well the movie is doing with the critics awards, when he should be considered the clear frontrunner (even though DiCaprio should win).

    And even though I haven’t seen The Fighter, I suspect Wahlberg should be getting more attention than he is and I would like to think that he deserves a nomination more than Gosling.

  • 7 12-15-2010 at 1:39 pm

    SJG said...

    I just noticed my order of preference is also alphabetical. It’s destiny.

  • 8 12-15-2010 at 1:49 pm

    Rashad said...

    “I hate the idea that a film is punished for getting a FL nomination.”

    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

  • 9 12-15-2010 at 2:11 pm

    Lance said...

    They should really push for Bankse to get nominated. I believe that would be the first time for a director of a documentary. What a story that would make. Are they even eligible?

  • 10 12-15-2010 at 2:16 pm

    Cinemateo said...

    While I think Steinfeld is locked and ready to go in Supporting for the Oscars (mostly due to her young age), I can’t help but think Oscar voters will also place enough votes for Manville in Supporting to get her a nomination (as you’ve done here). Something similar (but opposite) to Winslet 2 years ago – b/c you can certainly argue her role is supporting and it’s looking more and more like she’s just not going to get in for lead.

  • 11 12-15-2010 at 2:19 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Nice, Chad, way to correct us both… Revolver was the UK dist I think…

  • 12 12-15-2010 at 2:29 pm

    BrianA said...


    Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was fortunate enough to get a wide US release in the same year as its international release. It was also in a genre that is easier for US audiences to tolerate vis-a-vis subtitles. Most competitors in the foreign language category have not yet had a US release during their year of eligibility for the Best Foreign Language Film award.

    The point is that submitted films that are NOT nominated are eligible in a subsequent year when they get their US release. But those that ARE nominated are ineligible when released subsequently in the US. This, in effect, penalizes the nominees in comparison with submitted-but-not-nominated films.

  • 13 12-15-2010 at 3:16 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Banksy: Errol Morris, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore and Werner Herzog couldn’t even manage Best Director nominations for their documentaries. What chance does Banksy have?

  • 14 12-15-2010 at 3:17 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Whoops, I meant @ Lance.

  • 15 12-15-2010 at 5:31 pm

    Jasper said...

    While I disliked Catfish and absolutely hated Enter the Void (except for its excellent cinematography), I really do like these choices. I like seeing Steinfeld in the lead category (though I would have replaced her with Emma Stone, but whatever) and I’m super pleased to see Bryce Dallas Howard’s name show up too.

    Also, did you see Splice? I feel like that should be a lock for make-up (along with The Wolfman and Alice), but it isn’t getting nearly enough attention as it deserves.

  • 16 12-15-2010 at 5:51 pm

    MCA said...

    Still don’t get the appeal of Garfield in The Social Network. Every time I saw him on screen it was as if he was wearing a giant sticker on his forehead that read, “I’m acting.”

    Other than that, some very inspired choices, Kris.

  • 17 12-15-2010 at 6:20 pm

    Douglas said...

    No Jim Carrey??

  • 18 12-15-2010 at 7:05 pm

    billybil said...

    Kris – have I told you lately I love you? I love you particularly for these nominations:
    Best Picture: A Prophet
    Best Director: Jacques Audiard
    Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”
    Best Actor: Tahar Rahim, “A Prophet”
    Best Actress: Julianne Moore, “The Kids Are All Right”
    Best Supporting Actor: Colin Farrell, “The Way Back”
    Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
    Best Adapted Screenplay: I Love You Phillip Morris” (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa) [Gosh Darn I wish this was a year in which Carrey’s performance could be getting more award attention!!]
    Best Original Screenplay: “Four Lions” (Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Morris)
    Best Original Screenplay: “A Prophet” (Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit)
    Best Animated Feature: “Tangled” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Best Ensemble: “Four Lions” [I LOVE this movie getting recognized in this way! It seems the very definition of this award!]

    Here’s where you bruised my love a little:
    Best Supporting Actress: Miranda Richardson, “Made in Dagenham” [She’s always great but no way was this top 5 the year for me.]
    Best Costume Design: Robin Hood” (Janty Yates)

    So obviously I’m feeling the love for you more than not right now.

  • 19 12-15-2010 at 8:31 pm

    RyanT said...

    No Scott Pilgrim love even in the tech categories like Sound, Editing, or Visual Effects?

    Other than that though, I kinda love your list.

  • 20 12-15-2010 at 8:45 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Shocked, utterly shocked at no David Fincher. Waaaaaaah??? And I still remain flustered at all the “A Prophet” love. For me it’s plainly a 2009 film and it doesn’t come close to making the Top 15 there, although I do agree with you about Rahim.

    And to the person up above who cited “Tangled” for Original Screenplay, I believe it would fall under Adapted.

  • 21 12-16-2010 at 10:59 am

    T.J. Larson said...

    I still need to see Carlos, Enter The Void, Inside Job, True Grit, Mr. Nobody, Night Catches Us, Another Year, Amigo, The King’s Speech, Biutiful, The Way Back, Fair Game, Never Let Me Go, Tears of Gaza, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu, Tabloid, Monsters, Four Lions, I Love You, Philip Morris, The Fighter, Alamar, Wild Grass, Marwencol, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Uncle Boonme, Client 9, Buried, and Let Me In, among many more.

    With that in mind:

    Lebanon (Samuel Maoz) *
    Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)
    La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (Frederick Wiseman)
    Putty Hill (Matthew Porterfield)
    A Prophet (Jacques Audiard)
    Animal Kingdom (David Michod)
    The Social Network (David Fincher)
    Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik)
    Boxing Gym (Frederick Wiseman)
    Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)

    Samuel Maoz -Lebanon *
    Matthew Porterfield -Putty Hill
    Frederick Wiseman -La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet & Boxing Gym
    Derek Cianfrance -Blue Valentine
    David Michod -Animal Kingdom

    Ryan Gosling -Blue Valentine *
    Tahar Rahim -A Prophet
    Jesse Eisenberg -The Social Network
    Casey Affleck -The Killer Inside Me
    Aaron Eckhart -Rabbit Hole

    Michelle Williams -Blue Valentine *
    Jennifer Lawrence -Winter’s Bone
    Nicole Kidman -Rabbit Hole
    Natalie Portman -Black Swan
    Annette Bening -The Kids Are All Right

    Charles Sauers -Putty Hill *
    John Hawkes -Winter’s Bone
    Ben Mendehlson -Animal Kingdom
    Niels Arestrup -A Prophet
    Yoav Donat -Lebanon

    Jackie Weaver -Animal Kingdom *
    Dale Dickey -Winter’s Bone
    Julie Ferrier -Micmacs
    Zoe Vance -Putty Hill
    Olivia Williams -The Ghost Writer

    Blue Valentine -Derek Cianfrance *
    Animal Kingdom -David Michôd
    Lebanon -Samuel Maoz
    Micmacs -Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant
    Putty Hill -Matthew Porterfield

    The Social Network -Aaron Sorkin *
    Winter’s Bone -Debra Granik & Anne Rosselini
    Toy Story 3 -John Lasseter, Michael Arndt, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
    The Ghost Writer – Robert Harris & Roman Polanski
    The American -Rowan Joffe

    Meek’s Cutoff -Chris Blauvelt *
    Micmacs -Tetsuo Nagata
    Black Swan -Matthew Libatique
    Boxing Gym -John Davey
    The American -Martin Ruhe

    La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet & Boxing Gym -Frederick Wiseman *
    Lebanon -Arik Leibovitch
    The Social Network -Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall
    127 Hours -Jon Harris
    Camp Victory, Afghanistan -Carol Dysinger

    The Ghost Writer -Alexandre Desplat *
    The Social Network -Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
    The American -Herbert Grönemeyer
    Micmacs -Raphaël Beau
    Black Swan –Clint Mansell

    Obviously was not a fan of Inception or Shutter Island and was underwhelmed by 127 Hours, The Kids Are All Right, Red Riding, and The Town.

  • 22 12-18-2010 at 12:24 pm

    john said...

    In response to the argument over the ineligibility of foreign films which were nominated in the year prior, I have to agree with Maxim’s original argument that once they are nominated at the Oscars, they are ineligible to contend again. While this does result in a movie like A PROPHET getting cheated of a proper run at the Oscars, it has the consolation prize of the Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film, which is a large part of the reason that so many people have seen it and can be angry about it not competing properly. Although I see the injustice that the movie never gets to take a proper run at the Awards gauntlet, it means we don’t get the syndrome of movies showing up two years in a row at the Oscars which happened all the time in the 60’s and 70s. When I was first getting into the Oscars, this trend always seemed weird to me, so I support the Academy’s current rule.

    As it is, the Foreign film category forces its voters to see all the contending movies (as I understand the system), thus allowing movies which would never get attention a fair run at the category.

    The category whose rules bug me these days are the Best Song category. First of all, the rule that a movie cannot contend if it was not written directly for the film is a bit strict. Certainly, if the song has debuted elsewhere, then sure, it shouldn’t be deemed Original. However, blocking songs which were purchased by the filmmakers and premeired in the film seems to be overreaching. COUNTRY STRONG, I believe, had been on somebody’s album two years ago, so fair game that it’s not eligible. On the other hand, “The Climb” was debuted in little Miley’s movie last year, so it should have had a fair shot at the win. Given that they have a hard enough time finding songs to nominate, I see no reason they should be thus keeping out competition. Also, the 8.25 rule seems a little steep. Sure, limit the number of nominees if there are not enough eligible songs, in the way the Animated Feature category limits itself. But if Bruce has a good eligible song in THE WRESTLER that doesn;t make the cut even though you’ve got two spots open, then there’s a problem.

    Supoorting some of the shout-outs:
    Loved the Make-Up in SPLICE. That should win.
    Loved Rebecca Hall in THE TOWN, would like to see her int he running (Blake Lively was no slouch, either)
    Did DiCaprio do something to pee off all critics, bloggers, and award-bestowers. He gave two of his best performances. The man deserves a fair shot at the Best Actor prize.

  • 23 12-18-2010 at 12:38 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Distributors could release the foreign films the year they are (or hope to be) up for the Best Foreign Oscar though, if they feel they have a good enough movie that can stand on its own only without that om in its back pocket. For example, like, Crouching Tiger and Pan’s Labyrinth, they were both up for the best Foreign Oscar but had a full release that year doing very well (CTHD did extremely well) and got other “mainstream” noms and awards as well.