Friday, December 26, 2008

Academy Ballots Are in the Mail

It's the day after Christmas which means but one thing: you're out returning gifts the Oscar ballots are getting shipped out!
  • Who do you suppose fills them out first? (I mean besides Sally Kirkland)
  • What do you suppose they're ranking as #1?
  • Freeze the buzz. What happens after, say, a week from now hardly matters. Most ballots are returned quickly.
Would you give back all your presents for a chance to fill one of those puppies out?


Anonymous said...

Living in the the ghettoass commercial market of Norristown, PA, I would say msot likely no. SImply becuase I haven't seen all the films i still feel I need to see. Not to mention I made out like a bandit this christmas!

PPO-10 said...

When I was younger and had aspirations, I used to consider which branch of the Academy I'd join after invitations to both: the Directors are responsible for a nomination that gets on the news, but the Writers get to nominate in TWO categories. Now that I'm old, I just want a job, please.

I think I would give away every present I've ever received plus everything in my wallet ($5 and various half-used public transit cards from numerous cities) to fill out an acting nomination ballot.

My red-state parents only get the NY Post so I can't speak for everyone, but Lumenick gave RevRoad a glowing review today, and if everyone else followed suit, perhaps they're right to open on Christmas. Sasha Stone always says the Academy likes to fill out ballots right away, so some nice raves staring them in the face a couple of days before the ballots go out cannot hurt, right?

I think I usually picked the Writers Branch before falling asleep.

Alex Constantin said...

How does KATE WINSLET's ballot look like??? :P

just the #1s... let's see...

Best Picture: Revolutionary Road...

Best Director: the husband

Best Actor: Leo Leo Leo

Best Actress: Me Me Me for Revolutionary Road

Best Supp. Actor: Michael Shannon

Best Supp. Actress: [dilemma... You can bloody suck it, Kathy Bates, I'm voting for myself again. didn't show that ass and tit for nuthin'] Kate Winlet - The Reader.

now who is MICHELLE voting for?...

Robert said...

Lately I've been getting more and more of a gut feeling that WALL-E will make the cut. I can see it getting a decent amount of #1 votes. It really does have a passionate fan base

Anonymous said...

1. Buzz right now? CCoBB opened solidly. Doubt DIDN'T.

2. Number ones?
Picture: Slumdog, WALL.E, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon (maybe not enough in some cases), Milk.

Director: Fincher, Boyle, van Sant, Nolan

Actor: Langella, Rourke, Penn

Actress: Streep, Hathaway, Hawkins

Supporting Actor: Ledger, Patel (you'd better believe it)

Supporting Actress: Cruz, Tomei, Davis, DeWitt (hopedicting)

Michael B. said...

I made a bet with an Academy Member, at my work, that is part of the producing branch. I said that The Dark Knight will get a Best Picture nomination, and she said it won't.

If I win, she will take my to a few academy screenings and let me "advise" her on filling out her final ballot--The one that the voter gets to vote in every category, sans a few.

So I just hope Academy Members place The Dark Knight in their #1 spot and it gets a nomination.

Anonymous said...

Ben Button opened big at the BO. I expect it to completely dominate nominations' morning.


arkaan why u wanna terrify me with notions that there are people out there who think that DEV PATEL gave not one of but THE BEST performance of the year. He's all right and everything but it's like nominating, i dunno, one of the Narnia boys. The supporting actor award as the BEST prefix and all...


anon BB is definitely a lock. as we suspected two locks (BB & slumdog) and the other 3 spots some combo of these 4 movies (frost/nixon, milk, wall e, the dark knight)

Sally Belle said...

I would...yes...but my presents suck anyway.

I got to be SAG nominating committee one year. It was awesome. I took it so seriously you would have thought the fate of the world rested on my choices!

Please stop with the Wall-E. It is not Best Picture. Not. It is however, Best Animated PIcture.

alex said...

Yeah, Sally! :)

WALL-E really didn't do it for me - at least not on a Best Picture scale. I'm hoping Slumdog Millionaire - however "overrated" it's become - cleans up on the 22nd. There's no film I'm rooting harder for.

Anonymous said...

Yes about this NOT WALL-E FOR BP!

The movie is really good and it's great to have an animated, family friendly picture thinking outside the box but once the humans arrive, the movie loses a lot of what it built and critics seem to ignore that huge of a flaw. It's a good movie and for sure the best animated picture of the year but NOT BP material. If Pixar couldn't do it with the much superiors Finding Nemo and Ratatouille, I don't wanna Wall-E going Beauty and the Beast on us.

Billy D said...

Benjamin Button will be big (Cate??) and Streep/Davis will be Doubt's only noms, I'm predicting.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I think that Rosemarie Dewitt is pulling a lot of number one placements, which will get her in under the wire. I imagine that those who like her, will like her a lot.

I say that category confusion/lack of number one placements shuts out Winslet in supporting. Amy Adams won't get in either. It's going to be Cruz, Davis, Dewitt, Henson and Tomei.

I honestly feel that the Academy will wise up and NOT nominate Dev Patel. But he could turn up in lead and surprise. S. Actor is going to be Brolin, Franco, Downey Jr., Hoffman and Ledger.

In best actor, Eastwood and DiCaprio will both be shut out. Pitt, Jenkins, Langella, Penn and Rourke are probably the five.

Best actress is Anne Hathaway, Sally Hawkins (too many critics prizes to miss), Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. Both Jolie and Hawkins are vulnerable to be replaced by Leo and/or Scott Thomas. But I don't see that happening.

Best picture...Wall-E will pull enough number ones to get in. Then it's Benjamin Button and Slumdog as locks. Frost/Nixon is almost a lock. So is Milk, but unfortunately, between the two of them, Milk feels more vulnerable.

And leave Sally Kirkland alone...she can't help it.

Leah P. said...

heck to the yes

Anonymous said...

i think streep could be a shocker and miss out on a best actress nomination. very mixed reviews. i think winslet will end up winning best actress for the reader.

Anonymous said...

I have to say "Doubt" might be the biggest dissapointment of the year. Am I alone in my thinking of this? I enjoyed the acting in general, but the hutzpah(sp?) juts wasn't there.

Anonymous said...

Just saw "Curious Case" and can't decided if that or Slumdog is worse. Overlong, pretentious, cold. Blanchett and Pitt have zero chemistry and there's even a CGI Butterfly representing a dead person that gets killed by Hurricane Katrina. It's "Evening" bad. How can crap movies like Curious and Slumdgod garner more awards love than Rachel Getting Married or Milk or Synecdoche? I just don't get it.
- Sean C.

Anonymous said...

Patel is awesome, and I would have no problem with a leading nomination - I'd rank him ahead of Richard Jenkins anyway. I just think he's incredibly charming, I believe his love of Latika throughout the film (which a lot said was underdeveloped) and he holds it together - I believe he would know those answers (which is key to actually enjoying the film).

Secondly, why? Slumdog will have long coattails. You mentioned a point when a particular performer dominates, as Ledger is doing, it leads to surprise inclusions and exclusions. Compare that to 2002. The surprise exclusion? Dennis Quaid, who saw his film falter. This year, it's Michael Shannon, who's seen his film have a bizarre time of it. The inclusions? John C. Reilly, who came in on Chicago's long coattails. Slumdog's gonna have coattails. People love it - it's energy and ethusiasm and fantastic colours and great songs and it's ethnic but also very American. So Patel's not gonna be number one on many lists, but he's gonna be the main contender of "he was quite good and I LOVED THE FILM" which should get him nominated.

So maybe not number ones, but I think the system works in his favour, which is why I mentioned him.

Anonymous said...

Synecdoche, New York is the cinematic equivalent of watching a guy masturbate on his deathbed. At best, he dies right after ejaculation. At worst, he can't get his penis hard. It is the worst film I've seen this year.

I haven't seen Mamma Mia, though. I have seen Valkyrie

Anonymous said...

"i think streep could be a shocker and miss out on a best actress nomination. very mixed reviews. i think winslet will end up winning best actress for the reader."

Yeah... said that about la Lange in 1994. I think the ballots could be:

1. Slumdog Millionaire - DUH!
2. Milk - Gay love and politic
3. The Curious Case of B. B. - Epic movie and good box office
4. The Dark Knight - AKA We need audience!!!
5. Between Doubt (Actors love it) and Frost/Nixon

1. Danny Boyle
2. Gus Van Sant
3. David Ficher
4. Christopher Nolan
5. Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon couldn't out of the top 8!

1. Sean penn - Maybe next winner?
2. Mickey Rourke - The Comeback of the year
3. Frank Langella - Veteran vote
4. Brad Pitt - This year's Brangelina
5. Surprise nominee... Jenkins, Eastwood, DiCaprio or other?

1. Meryl streep - Even with mixed reviews... Remember "Music from the HEart"?
2. Anne Hathaway - We need an IT girl... Fantastic performance
3. Angelina Jolie - Sorry for last year's snub
4. Melissa Leo - The indie actress and well know in actors branch
5. Between Sally Hawkins and Kate Winslet (But I think Hawkins will win)

Supporting Actor:

1. Heath Ledger - DUH!
2. Josh Brolin - Two consecutives year for Body of work
3. Dev Patel - British and Asiatic spot + BEst Picture Nominee + Young Blood
4. James Franco - Fantastic year + Talented and gorgeous young actor.
5. Between Philip S. Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr. - One of them, not both.

Supporting Actress:

1. Penelope Cruz - She and Javier Bardem in red carpet?! That would be awesome.
2. Kate Winslet - Split votes in Lead Category and Winslet's year campaign
3. Viola Davis - The best of the group
4. Taraji p. Henson - The heart of the film
5. Rosemarie DeWitt - In Oscars there's always a surprising nomination... Sorry Marisa!

Bernardo said...

So which locks can we say we have in the Big 8?

Slumdog Millionaire & Benjamin Button

I can't picture Frost/Nixon getting that many #1 placements... it's very probable though. Milk is not a lock. 2005 showed us that the HFPA is not AMPAS. However, last year showed us that it can be more important than the Guilds (HFPA Favourite Atonement over Guild favourite Into the Wild). I'm saying Frost/Nixon, Milk, WALL·E and Dark Knight battling out. (Don't count out The Reader, though)

Danny Boyle & David Fincher

Christopher Nolan and Gus Van Sant seem quite probable too. They seem to love their Ron Howard too!

Penn, Rourke and Langella

Jenkins, Pitt, Eastwood and DiCaprio are fighting for those last two spots.

Meryl Streep

I think Streep is the only lock with Hathaway looking very probable. Hawkins, Leo, Scott-Thomas, Winslet and Jolie are possibilities (Winslet, Jolie and Hawkins for me). Blanchett may be huge surprise.

Ledger and Hoffman

Brolin is almost a lock. Franco, Downey Jr and Patel fighting for those last two spots.

Davis and Cruz

If Revolutionary Road wasn't here and Winslet was going Lead for The Reader she'd be a lock... In this category she's only fighting against category confusion. Henson, Tomei, Adams and DeWitt are fighting for those last 2 spots. Right now I'm saying Henson and Adams.


Is it me or is the Original category extremely open right now? I'd say Milk is very probable. The other 4 could vary... Rachel getting Married, The Visitor, Happy-Go-Lucky, WALL·E, The Wrestler and Vicky Cristina Barcelona are all possibilities. However, I wouldn't count out GRAN TORINO. Remember how Letters from Iwo Jima ended up here?

Adapted Locks: Benjamin Button, Slumdog and Frost/Nixon.

I'm saying The Reader and Doubt. The Dark Knight and Rev Road are spoilers

Anonymous said...

Sean C, it was a hummingbird. If you're going to criticise the movie at least do it right.

adam k. said...

I'm also feeling a gut feeling for WALL•E. I just bought it and watched it again, and while yes, the arrival of the humans does take the greatness down a notch, it's not a huge flaw, and the movie's still über-adorable, relevant, and much better than most of the other contenders.

If the part with the humans never came, there'd be practically no story, so it's hard to judge the movie too harshly for it.

I was also thinking how even though Frost/Nixon is doing very well with precursors, there aren't really very many categories it can score in. The only ones that feel like true locks are actor and screenplay. Beyond that, it gets very murky. Maybe director. Maybe editing. Score? Doubtful. How much cross-branch support will it really have? I really think it could find itself with only 2 or 3 nominations, making way for WALL•E and The Dark Knight.

My main fear now is that Milk will be snubbed, which would really suck, even if it was for WALL•E. But I don't think it'll happen. I've heard a lot of industry types gushing over the film. And it seems to have been gaining steam ever since it's globe snub.

So I say Slumdog, WALL•E and Dark Knight get in on #1 votes, Button rides massive cross-branch support, and #1 votes from the many many people who worked on it, and Milk gets big support from biopic lovers and the (admittedly small) gay contingent in the academy, along with solid respect and goodwill across the academy. I'm thinking/hoping Frost/Nixon will get lots of votes, but just not enough #1 and #2 to get it through, with people assuming it's getting in and thus putting it at the bottom of their ballots.

And anything beyond those 6 is just not happening.

I also have a feeling that a lot of people will put Dev Patel in lead, and he may shock there by taking the last spot. With Leo, Clint, and even Jenkins to some extent twisting in the wind, there's a spot open in the lead category, ripe for the taking. And that would be cool with me, as it allows Franco a spot in supporting. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

picture: slumdog, benjamin button, milk, wall-e, the dark knight
I'm not sure about the last two but I feel like wall-e will get more number 1 spots than something like frost/nixon....frost/nixon was good but did people really like THAT much? The same thing might happen to it that probably happened to Dreamgirls (a lot of #4 or #5 spots = no nomination). I could be wrong.
remember tommy lee jones getting a nomination for in the valley of elah instead of no country for old men? and leo getting a nomination for blood diamond instead of the departed? there seems to be a trend of an actor in the position of getting a nomination getting it for an unexpected movie. I'm not sure who it could be this year.....I was gonna mention Kate Winslet perhaps picking up a lead nomination for the reader instead of revolutionary road but now that I think about it it sounds a little improbable...especially since she's being bileld as supporting. For director, who will be the artsy foreign pick??? and on another note, Andrew Stanton could be a surprise nomination...although I'm not sure exactly what the director does in an animated film (hopefully the academy does.)
for some other random thoughts, sally hawkins BETTER get nominated, and... nothing else popped into my head.
actor: rourke, penn, langella, jenkins, eastwood
I'll stop babblling.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I didn't read adam k.'s note until after I wrote my (similar) one. I agree with you, adam k.!

Glenn said...

I wouldn't give up my christmas presents to vote. I got Mad Men on DVD and $1500 in cash for a trip to NYC. All I would really want is the screeners and the chance to see Academy screenings.

Anonymous said...

Heck yeah I'd give up my Christmas presents to vote, but also because Christmas sucked this year. Haha.

I agree with most everyone saying that BB and Slumdog are locks. The first due to a great opening and the latter because of the critical acclaim and awards it's been racking up.

I actually saw Slumdog Millionaire again today with a bunch of people. First time was in a sold0out theater in Times Square. This time a small, but still packed theater in the suburbs. Both times the audience applauded in the end. So the thing about the "Dev Patel" nomination is less about him deserving a nomination (though if you look at the critic awards he has won a good number of "Breakthrough" or "Young Actor" awards), but more of a film that A LOT of people love deserving nominations anywhere and everywhere it can get. Will be interesting to see how many nominations it will get.

Picture, Director, Screenplay, Score, Song seem like locks to me with Supporting Actor and Editing in play as well.

Anonymous said...

Question, I'm a bit obsessed with electoral systems (boring I know but I can't help myself). And this can extend to the Oscars.

Does anyone know if the Oscars are based on preferential voting or simple first past the post (i.e. you get one vote and the one with the most wins)



Nominations are based on preferential voting (ranked) in the category that that academy member is allowed to vote in (actors have 5 categories they can vote in, directors 2 because everyone nominates for their own category plus best picture)

nominations for some specialized categories work a little differently because some categories use "committees" that screen the submission (like foreign film, animation, documentary) etcetera...

too bad all categories aren't required to screen the submissions ;)

Anonymous said...

How does CATE BLANCHETT ballott look like ?

Just the nr 1 :

Best Picture : The Curios Case of Benjamin Button

Best Director : Cate Blanchett (I secretly directed it ALL BY MYSELF)

Best Actor : Cate Blanchett (yes Brad Pitt and me are the same person, hey if I can play Bob Dylan and that Hepburn woman I can also be Brad Pitt)

Best Actress : Cate Blanchett DUH !!

Best Supporting Actor : Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Tilda who ?)

Best Supporting Actress : Cate Blanchett - Indiana Jones and the whatever title (I learned Russian with Putin for this flick - how method of me)

Best Adapted Screenplay : Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (now that's an Oscar Clint is not gonna win)

Best Composer : Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (take that, Meryl - you can't write music, can you ?)

The rest is of no interest for Cate The Great

Anonymous said...

cate lol

Anonymous said...

Just my two cents ...Danny Boyle should not get nominated for slumdog millionaire. The staging and details of the young kids is so authentic that it was entirely done by his co-director, Loveleen Tandon. He probably had never seen Mumbai like that much less have an idea about staging it the way it is in the film. Also the film gets its emotional core because of youngest Jamal played by Ayush Mahesh Khedekar ...the only serious reason why you care about Jamal in the first place. So nominating Dev Patel is plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

Cate, would n't you nominate yourself for best costume design, as you look simply divine in the outfits from Benjamin Button + Indiana Jones + hair & make up too.

Seriously though, Dev Patel nominated for an Oscar, i wish it would n't be true, but it may actually happen. I think i'm going to throw up.

Anonymous said...

Complete sidenote: Grey Gardens, the remake, is being released on HBO.

It's surprising to see how many people hate the idea of a Dev Patel nomination, honestly. If you actually buy the film, you buy it because of him (and of Boyle's directorial excellence). Of course, if you don't buy the film, then that's another thing all together.

Anonymous said...

I think Patel's performance is vry good, but maybe is just me; so I think his nomination will be well deserving.

I remember the case about Tommy Lee Jones last year, so maybe we have the possibility that Josh Brolin could be SNUBBED for Milk in the supporting, but instead, he GETS a WTF?! Oscar Nomination for Best Lead Actor for "W". I know is a LONG SHOT, but maybe the academy members could give him a lead nomination especially for:

*He could be a next star
*Body of work in the lst 2 years
*Physical transformation
*Real life character
*political background
*Like Tommy Lee Jones he received raves even when the film has mixed reviews.

Myabe Brolin's possible BAFTA nomination would be for Lead Actor, so might help him

Anonymous said...

01. Slumdog millionaire (Lock)
02. Frost/Nixon (Lock)
03. Gran Torino (The surprise nomination)
04. Milk
05. The curious case of Benjamin Button

01. Danny Boyle (Lock)
02. Ron Howard (Lock)
03. Clint Eastwood (Surprise nomination)
04. David Fincher
05. Christopher Nolan

01. Sean Penn (Lock)
02. Frank Langella (Lock)
03. Mickey Rourke (Lock)
04. Clint Eastwood (Surprise nomination)
05. Dustin Hoffman (Surprise nomination)

01. Anne Hathaway (Lock)
02. Meryl Streep (Lock)
03. Angelina Jolie (Lock)
04. Sally Hawkins
05. Melissa Leo

01. Heath Ledger (Lock)
02. Robert Downey Jr. (Lock)
03. Dev Patel
04. Eddie Marsan (Surprise nomination)
05. Philip Seymour Hoffman

01. Viola Davis (Lock)
02. Penélope Cruz (Lock)
03. Kate Winslet (Lock)
04. Marisa Tomei
05. Taraji P. Henson

FROST/NIXON - 5 Nominations
Picture, Director, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing
Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Music, Editing, Sound mixing, Costumes, Make-up, Visual Effects, Sound editing
MILK - 5 Nominations
Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Original screenplay, Editing
GRAN TORINO - 7 Nominations
Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay, Song, Editing, Sound Mixing
Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Song, Editing


anonymous is trying to give me nightmares with the GRan Torino stuff

Anonymous said...

Best Picture
01. Slumdog Millionaire
02. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
03. Milk
04. Frost/Nixon
05. The Dark Knight

Best Director
01. Danny Boyle
02. David Fincher
03. Gus Van Sant
04. Christopher Nolan
05. Darren Aronofsky

Best Actor
01. Sean Penn
02. Mickey Rourke
03. Frank Langella
04. Richard Jenkins
05. Clint Eastwood

Best Actress
01. Anne Hathaway
02. Meryl Streep
03. Sally Hawkins
04. Kate Winslet
05. Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor
01. Heath Ledger
02. Josh Brolin
03. Robert Downey Jr.
04. Philip Seymour Hoffman
05. Dev Patel

Best Supporting Actress
01. Penélope Cruz
02. Viola Davis
03. Marisa Tomei
04. Kate Winslet
05. Taraji P. Henson