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My OFCS Nominating Ballot (2023)

As part of my OFCS selection, I get to submit both nominations and voting ballots for their annual awards.

For nominations I get to rank order five selections in every category, except Best Picture, where I get to select ten.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of well-reviewed films I haven’t had a chance to see yet. Some of them I just haven’t found time for, but several are not yet on streaming, a few never even playing in a theater near me. I’m not going to name drop every one I haven’t seen yet that I suspect would contend for a spot in one of these nominations (but feel free to ask or check out my Letterboxd). So it should go without saying that these are my picks of what I’ve seen, and I’ll try to see every actual nominee once those are announced by OFCS on 1/17.

I’ll expand, update, and justify these picks when I do my annual edition of The B.A.D.S. around Oscar time.

(Note: For movie-wide awards, I required that the film get at least a “Good” from me to be included, and if I didn’t have enough qualified films to fill a category, I left the remaining spaces open. As you’ll see, this left a couple embarrassingly barren. Awards for specific achievement within a film did not require a minimum rating.)

Best Picture

  1. Asteroid City
  2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  3. May December
  4. Falcon Lake
  5. The Holdovers
  6. Past Lives
  7. Oppenheimer
  8. Saltburn
  9. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  10. Prom Pact

Best Animated Feature

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
  3. Trolls Band Together

Best Director

  1. Wes Anderson – Asteroid City
  2. Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
  3. Charlotte Le Bon – Falcon Lake
  4. Todd Haynes – May December
  5. Ira Sachs – Passages

Best Lead Actor

  1. Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
  2. Barry Keoghan – Saltburn
  3. Michael Cera – The Adults
  4. Tee Yeo – Past Lives
  5. Jay Baruchel – BlackBerry

Best Lead Actress

  1. Cailee Spaeny – Priscilla
  2. Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
  3. Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
  4. Julianne Moore – When You Finish Saving the World
  5. Margot Robbie – Barbie

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Charles Melton – May December
  2. John Magaro – Past Lives
  3. Dominic Sessa – The Holdovers
  4. Glenn Howerton – BlackBerry
  5. Jimmy Tatro – Theater Camp

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Mia Goth – Infinity Pool
  2. Julianne Moore – May December
  3. Rachel McAdams – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  4. Rosamund Pike – Saltburn
  5. Adèle Exarchopoulos – Passages

Best Original Screenplay

Note: I missed including The Holdovers on this list. It would have been #5.

  1. May December
  2. Anatomy of a Fall
  3. Past Lives
  4. Asteroid City
  5. Saltburn

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  2. Oppenheimer
  3. BlackBerry
  4. Priscilla
  5. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Best Editing

  1. Oppenheimer
  2. May December
  3. Asteroid City
  4. Infinity Pool
  5. The Slumber Party

Best Cinematography

  1. Asteroid City
  2. Oppenheimer
  3. Saltburn
  4. The Holdovers
  5. Priscilla

Best Original Score

  1. Oppenheimer
  2. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  3. Past Lives
  4. Asteroid City
  5. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Best Production Design

  1. Asteroid City
  2. Barbie
  3. Oppenheimer
  4. Priscilla
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Costume Design

  1. Barbie
  2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  3. Priscilla
  4. Killers of the Flower Moon
  5. Maestro

Best Visual Effects

  1. Oppenheimer
  2. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  3. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
  4. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  5. Beau is Afraid

Best Debut Feature

(Achievement in Writing and/or Direction)

  1. Charlotte Le Bon – Falcon Lake
  2. Celine Song – Past Lives
  3. Samy Burch – May December
  4. Jesse Eisenberg – When You Finish Saving the World
  5. Tina Satter – Reality

Best Film Not in the English Language

(Less than 25% English)

  1. Falcon Lake

Best Documentary

  1. Wham!

Other Technical Achievement

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5 replies on “My OFCS Nominating Ballot (2023)”

“Best Visual Effects” and “Spider-Verse,” I dunno, but I also cheated with Avatar 2 last year on the exact same thing.

I’m just waiting to get to 50 movies to call 2023 as the worst proper-no-asterisk film year in my lifetime, if not the advent of sound. I’m already calling it in my head The Year Without a Masterpiece.

Viz. the Oscars, are you ready for the most egregious category fraud of all time with Ryan Gosling, or what?

My reasoning on Spider-Verse is “this movie does stuff with action sequences that can and should inform movies both animated and live action for years to come.” I was waffling on its eligibility only to learn that the Academy is considering it for the category, and in fact it is one of the betting favorites right now.

I waffled on a few Lead vs. Supporting; in fact I’m not always clear exactly what the distinction is. Sessa in The Holdovers, for example, uis tough. He’s the second-billed actor, but pretty much equal to Giamatti, so I personally would have gone Lead. But I deferred to Supporting because it seems that’s where he’s being nominated everywhere. Gosling is pretty squarely Lead in my eyes, but I would have voted for him in Supporting for the same reason.

I’m ambivalent on 2023 vs. 2022. I couldn’t quite talk myself into any of 2022’s movies as masterpieces, though a couple have a shot at getting there with a rewatch. 2023 I’m in pretty much the same place. But I know you had a handful of 10’s. No doubt it’s been a rough stretch since COVID, or maybe I just get more cynical as time passes.

No, you’re both right, and you’re not just being cynical.

I know this isn’t the cool thing to say, and it connotes that the speaker is roughly 137 years old, but movies, in the aggregate, are clearly worse today than they’ve been since…I don’t know, ever? It brings me no pleasure to say this, but after what we’ve seen from the last several years, I don’t know how to avoid it.

It seems on course to sweep award season! Happy to support it, especially in the below-the-line stuff.

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