If TheWrap’s Jeff Sneider Had an Oscar Ballot: ‘Nightcrawler,’ Tom Hardy, Melissa McCarthy, John Goodman

Edward Snowden film “Citizenfour” is one of two documentaries that crack Best Picture field

Each year, I like to pretend that I’m an Oscar voter with a sliver of power and write up my Oscar picks as if I had a ballot. There are no rules, but I only include categories I feel qualified to vote for, though for the actual Academy Awards, voters are limited to their respective branches and Best Picture.

I chose the eight major categories as well as Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Keep in mind the Oscars use a weighted ballot, and remember, an asterisk denotes my vote to win, which doesn’t always correspond with my No. 1 nominee.

This year, two documentaries crack my Best Picture field, likely because I didn’t see five documentaries worthy of an Oscar nomination, not that they don’t exist… I just didn’t see them. And while I chose 10 movies for Best Picture, it’s extremely unlikely there will be 10 nominees. Official voting for actual Academy members closes at the end of day on Thursday.

BEST PICTURE

1. Selma *WINNER
2. Whiplash
3. Nightcrawler
4. Gone Girl
5. Foxcatcher
6. A Most Violent Year
7. Boyhood
8. Birdman
9. Citizenfour
10. Life Itself

Unfortunate Snub: Top Five

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Ava DuVernay, Selma
2. Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
3. Richard Linklater, Boyhood *WINNER
4. Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
5. David Fincher, Gone Girl

Unfortunate Snub: Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

BEST ACTOR 

1. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler *WINNER
2. David Oyelowo, Selma
3. Michael Keaton, Birdman
4. Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year
5. Tom Hardy, Locke

Unfortunate Snubs (Like eating Pringles, it’s impossible to stop at just one): Steve Carell, Foxcatcher; Miles Teller, Whiplash; Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS

1. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl *WINNER
2. Julianne Moore, Still Alice
3. Reese Witherspoon, Wild
4. Jennifer Aniston, Cake
5. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Unfortunate Snub: Amy Adams, Big Eyes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash *WINNER
2. Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
3. Edward Norton, Birdman
4. Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler
5. John Goodman, The Gambler

Unfortunate Snub: Cedric the Entertainer, Top Five

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Rene Russo, Nightcrawler *WINNER
2. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
3. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
4. Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
5. Melissa McCarthy, St. Vincent

Unfortunate Snub: Emma Stone, Birdman

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Nightcrawler
2. Foxcatcher *WINNER
3. A Most Violent Year
4. Selma
5. Birdman

Unfortunate Snub: Locke

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. Gone Girl *WINNER
2. Whiplash
3. The Theory of Everything
4. Wild
5. The Fault In Our Stars

Unfortunate Snub: Snowpiercer

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Birdman *WINNER
2. Nightcrawler
3. Selma
4. Gone Girl
5. A Most Violent Year

Unfortunate Snub: The Rover

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Interstellar *WINNER
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Under the Skin
5. Noah

Unfortunate Snub: Godzilla