Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My "Team Experience Awards" Ballot

The Oscar nominations drop this Thursday morning, and people are almost as excited about those as they are about the Team Experience Awards, for which all the regular contributors to Nathaniel R's cinephiliac smorgasbord The Film Experience have been polled for their ranked favorites in 18 categories. The industrious and debonair Amir Soltani, whose tastes I can never pigeonhole and whose recommendations I always take seriously, has crunched all the numbers into a winner's list, which ought to go live on Tuesday night. But we've also been invited (read: encouraged) to post our individual ballots on our own sites.

I'm sort of going to do that. Bear in mind what many of you will already know: awards ballots are often unreliable as pure indicators of a voter's taste, distorted either by lingering indecisions, bothersome omissions in viewing, or a tactic of suppressing total outliers in favor of promoting your favorite underdogs among more probable contenders. I suppressed my urge to vote the latter way, even when a Best Picture vote for Southwest is a strategic waste that a Bling Ring or Touch of Sin might have parlayed to better advantage. Still, I'm noodling a bit with my finalized acting ballots and with my actual Top Ten of 2013 (though maybe you noticed that Top Tens for 2012 are now posted??).  So, in those cases and a couple others I have decided to post my drafted longlists of contenders, keeping you in slightly longer suspense about my definitive favorites.

I'm under contract to post a series of Best of 2013 features for another site, so I can't get lost in my usual wormhole of unfulfilled promises, if that's any consolation. None of this is to say that I'm perfectly confident I didn't blow something major in one of the other categories. In fact, I'm sure I'd have generated different rankings and even different films on different days. But this is more or less what I submitted, culled from the best lists I could find of films that opened commercially in the U.S. during 2013. Thanks to Amir for some clarifications as far as release dates, and to Mike D'Angelo for his wonderfully comprehensive index of movies that played commercially in New York City.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. At Berkeley
2. The Act of Killing
3. The Missing Picture
4. Brave Miss World
5. Leviathan
(with apologies to close sixth-placer Let the Fire Burn)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
1. Gravity
2. The Great Gatsby
3. World War Z
4. Post Tenebras Lux
5. Man of Steel
(with Oblivion the only other film I seriously weighed)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
-. F. Murray Abraham, Inside Llewyn Davis
-. Alec Baldwin, Blue Jasmine
-. Alfredo Castro, No
-. David Dastmalchian, Prisoners
-. James Franco, Spring Breakers
-. James Gandolfini, Enough Said
-. Sean Gilder, The Selfish Giant
-. John Henshaw, The Angels' Share
-. Peter Kazungu, Paradise: Love
-. Stacy Keach, Nebraska
-. Yiftach Klein, Fill the Void
-. Fran Kranz, Much Ado About Nothing
-. Lance LeGault, Prince Avalanche
-. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
-. Joseph Lorenz, Paradise: Hope
-. Louis CK, American Hustle
-. Ben Mendelsohn, The Place Beyond the Pines
-. David Oyelowo, Lee Daniels' The Butler
-. Gary Skjoldmose Porter, A Hijacking
-. Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
1. Mother of George
2. The Bling Ring
3. American Hustle
4. Passion
5. The Great Gatsby

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. The Selfish Giant (adapted)
2. In the Fog (adapted)
3. Frances Ha (original)
4. Inside Llewyn Davis (original)
5. Blue Caprice (original)
(close runners-up included I Killed My Mother, Frozen, Like Someone in Love, and A Touch of Sin, and some Academy threats I'm still waffling on, such as American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, and Her)

BEST ACTOR
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. Aniello Arena, Reality
-. Niels Arestrup, Our Children
-. Christian Bale, Out of the Furnace
-. Israel Broussard, The Bling Ring
-. Conner Chapman, The Selfish Giant
-. Andrzej Chyra, In the Name of...
-. Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
-. Bruce Dern, Nebraska
-. Paul Eenhoorn, This Is Martin Bonner
-. Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures
-. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
-. Gael García Bernal, No
-. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
-. Hugh Jackman, Prisoners
-. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
-. Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt
-. Ali Mosaffa, The Past
-. Robert Redford, All Is Lost
-. Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now
-. Shaun Thomas, The Selfish Giant
-. Isaiah Washington, Blue Caprice

BEST SOUND DESIGN
1. Spring Breakers
2. Blue Caprice
3. World War Z
4. Berberian Sound Studio
5. Mother of George
(wish I'd included Upstream Color, which somehow slipped my mind)

BEST MAKEUP
1. American Hustle
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. Dallas Buyers Club
5. Blue Jasmine
(thought about Faust, Lone Survivor, and The Lone Ranger)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. Faust (Russia)
-. I Killed My Mother (Canada)
-. In the Fog (Russia)
-. The Last Time I Saw Macao (Portugal)
-. Like Someone in Love (France/Japan/Iran)
-. The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
-. Paradise: Love (Austria)
-. Southwest (Brazil)
-. A Touch of Sin (China)
-. War Witch (Canada)
(I guess I should have considered Act of Killing, but however arbitrarily, I felt like an Anglophone filmmaker lensing a documentary in a non-English-speaking location was a weird fit for this category)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
1. The Wind Rises
2. Frozen
(the only candidates I saw this year)
 
BEST USE OF MUSIC
1. The Bling Ring
2. Inside Llewyn Davis
3. Gravity
4. 12 Years a Slave
5. Laurence Anyways
(worried I made a hash of this, and not even confident in my Laurence pick)
 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. Amy Adams, Her
-. Bríd Brennan, Shadow Dancer
-. Rebecca Jenkins, Stories We Tell
-. Scarlett Johansson, Don Jon
-. Rebecca Manley, The Selfish Giant
-. Sanja Mikitišin, Clip
-. Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
-. Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave
-. Joyce Payne, Prince Avalanche
-. Ela Piplits, Museum Hours
-. Léa Seydoux, Blue Is the Warmest Color
-. Irit Sheleg, Fill the Void
-. Mary Steenburgen, Last Vegas
-. Mickey Sumner, Frances Ha
-. Emma Watson, The Bling Ring

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
1. Faust
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Computer Chess
4. Antiviral
5. The Selfish Giant
(Gravity was the runner-up and probably deserved that last spot)

BEST FILM EDITING
1. Blue Caprice
2. World War Z
3. All Is Lost
4. 12 Years a Slave
5. The Last Time I Saw Macao

BEST PICTURE
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. 12 Years a Slave
-. The Act of Killing
-. At Berkeley
-. Blue Caprice
-. Faust
-. Gravity
-. I Killed My Mother
-. In the Fog
-. Like Someone in Love
-. Mother of George
-. Paradise: Love
-. The Selfish Giant
-. Southwest
-. Spring Breakers
-. A Touch of Sin
-. War Witch
-. World War Z

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Clio Barnard, The Selfish Giant
2. Frederick Wiseman, At Berkeley
3. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
4. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
5. Joshua Oppenheimer, The Act of Killing

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Leviathan
2. Gravity... and no, I wasn't impressed by To the Wonder
3. Southwest
4. Mother of George... with phantom salute to Ain't Them Bodies Saints
5. Inside Llewyn Davis... with phantom salute to Faust
(so horrendous and unexpected to leave out Spring Breakers, Upstream Color, and 12 Years a Slave)

BEST ACTRESS
(an alphabetical longlist)
-. Amy Adams, American Hustle
-. Onata Aprile, What Maisie Knew
-. Veerle Baetens, The Broken Circle Breakdown
-. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
-. Emilie Dequenne, Our Children
-. Anne Dorval, I Killed My Mother
-. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
-. Danai Gurira, Mother of George
-. Jo Min-soo, Pietà
-. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
-. Melissa McCarthy, The Heat
-. Rachel Mwanza, War Witch
-. Andrea Riseborough, Shadow Dancer
-. Amanda Seyfried, Lovelace
-. Isidora Simijonovic, Clip
-. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
-. Barbara Sukowa, Hannah Arendt
-. Margarethe Tiesel, Paradise: Love
-. Robin Weigert, Concussion
-. Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
-. Hadas Yaron, Fill the Void

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10 Comments:

Blogger Amir said...

So, so exciting to see Tabu as your number one of 2012. For my money, it is the best film of the decade so far, and only behind In the Mood For Love (and maybe Talk to Her) as the best of the century.
Glad to see you're a fan.
Also, you're really flattering me with all these compliments.

Looking forward to sifting through your ballot with more detail.

12:33 PM, January 14, 2014  
Blogger Yaseen Ali said...

My <3 swells at mention of Ela Piplits, especially since you were just mildly impressed with the film.

1:30 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous BVR said...

Glad to see a mention for Bale in "Out of the Furnace," the only thing that was truly superb about that movie.

Surprised not to see Gerwig in that long list, mostly because I remember you loving her in "Greenberg" and I had somehow deluded myself that you had also really liked her in "Frances Ha."

And I keep Amen-ing the mention for Washington's " Blue Caprice" performance. If a better known actor like Denzel had given that performance it would be winning prizes left and right.

Looking forward to the final five in acting categories.

Thanks, Nick

2:29 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous Jeremiah said...

How come I Killed My Mother is eligible?

2:30 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous Jeremiah said...

Oh, nevermind, it didn't premiere in the u.s. until last year, right? ok sorry.

2:45 PM, January 14, 2014  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Amir: I can't wait to see Tabu again. In fact, how have I not already? Every compliment is earnest. People, go to Amir's site!

@Yaseen Ali: Your <3 might swell even more now that I've fixed the spelling of her name! (D'oh)

@BVR: Even when Furnace got histrionic, I appreciated so much that Bale never did. Preferred him in this over Hustle (as you can tell). Huge fan of Gerwig in Greenberg and even more so in Damsels, but I think I like seeing her persona organized by someone else's viewpoint or constraints. I like her in Frances but the movie and the performance are just a bit too workbook/rehearsal room for me to go all the way with. (Just finished rewatching last night, and still feel this way.) So glad we're both so into Caprice and Washington.

@Jeremiah: It's such a ridiculous circumstance that it makes sense to be confused! But yes, that's why.

3:01 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous JStor said...

Yes yes yes for Sarah Paulson! It's astonishing how she's been so overlooked this awards season.

Love this feature, and the site, and so glad to see your Top 10 of 2012 (never would have guessed that Looper would have so much staying power!) and can't wait to see your Top 10 of 2013!

3:58 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous JStor said...

But wait, no Lindsay Duncan for Le Week-end? Tres interessant.

6:15 PM, January 14, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Suzanne Clement for Laurence Anyways?

4:04 AM, January 15, 2014  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Glad to see you mention Ben Mendelsohn, I really liked that performance.

9:53 AM, January 15, 2014  

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