Cast Your Vote: 5th Annual Simulated Oscar Ballot


For the 5th year in a row, to help us better understand the Academy’s voting system, we’re running a Simulated Oscar Ballot devised and constructed each season by our own accounting wizard, Rob Y. We’re well aware that AD readers represent a demographic that doesn’t match the AMPAS and many of us have different taste that most Oscar voters. Thus the purpose of this ballot is not to try to predict what the Oscars will do — Marshall Flores is developing a stats model for that. Instead, this ballot is intended to lift the veil on the process used to tabulate votes in the preferential voting system and to give us a clear sense of how the internal numbers shake out.

Here’s the link to the dropdown menus for Rob’s Simulated Oscar Ballot. I can’t improve on Rob’s instructions:

“Pretend you are an honorary member of the Academy, and you are asked to nominate films in their respective categories. Make your selections accordingly.”

If you change your mind, submit an updated nomination form. Your last submission in each branch will be used. Voting will be closed on Monday. January 13 at 10:00 PM PST.

76 Comments on this Post

  1. Is Act of Killing ineligible?

  2. steve50

    Just crashed on me – submitting editing (and AFTER the excruciating spelling bee on actors names!!)

  3. If I’m not mistaken, each page is saved independently. So I think you only lose the current page if a menu crashes. I’ll check with Rob about this. For example, I think we can go back at any time to change our votes in any category if we have second thoughts, and only the category we re-vote changes.

    But thanks for the heads up. Traffic might be causing it to snag these first few hours.

  4. Bryce Forestieri

    Perfect timing. I’m seeing HER and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS on Friday so ’til then! :)

  5. Sasha, Ryan, why the Oscar Podcast page not able to load? It always come out with a wordpress error page. Please do fix it. Thanks

  6. The site has been moved to a new server in hopes of providing speedier page loads for readers during peak season. Not all the components of the site have been migrated over to the new hyperdrive yet.

    mp3 link to the current new episode of the Oscar Podcast is right here!

    Episode 55 p1 (current race) of Oscar Podcast is up

  7. rufussondheim

    Haven’t seen many of the favorites, but I just finished short term 12 and it’s a delight to know I’ve now seen five films that are nomination worthy.

    I don’t know how rewatchable the film is, whether it will get dull as it’s not as layered as some other films, or maybe the characters will come to see like old friends that you want to revisit over and over again. But, damn, the first viewing was phenomenal. Nothing was overdone, and there’s just enough mystery to leave you wanting more. Here’s to hoping we get a short term 13.

  8. Alan of Montreal

    I’m wondering if the success of Frozen means it also has a shot at making the shortlist for Best Picture. Toy Story 3 was the last animated film to make the cut, if I’m not mistaken (of course, I could just look it up, but…)

  9. I am putting Leo in my ballot for his bravura, no holds barred performance though I doubt he gets the Oscar nod.

  10. I wanted to vote for Upstream Color for Best Cinematography but it wasn’t available in the choices.

  11. I’ve been waiting for this!!!!

  12. Chris,

    Upstream Color is not on the list of eligible films from the Academy.

  13. Christophe

    Aren’t we invited to share our picks in the comments section this year? Because I’m doing it anyway!

    Saving Mr. Banks
    The Great Gatsby
    Blue Jasmine
    The Wolf of Wall Street

    Same as PIC. with Gatsby as #1

    Leonardo DiCaprio – The Great Gatsby
    Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
    Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years A Slave
    Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
    Ralph Fiennes – The Invisible Woman

    Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
    Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
    Naomi Watts – Diana
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough Said
    Sandra Bullock – Gravity

    Tom Hanks – Saving Mr. Banks
    Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
    Michael Fassbender – 12 Years A Slave
    Joel Edgerton – The Great Gatsby
    Tobey Maguire – The Great Gatsby

    Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
    Carey Mulligan – The Great Gatsby
    Margot Robbie – The Wolf of Wall Street
    Kristen Wiig – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    Oprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler

    Saving Mr. Banks
    Blue Jasmine
    Enough Said
    Lee Daniels’ The Butler

    The Great Gatsby
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    The Invisible Woman
    Ernest and Celestine
    The Wind Rises

  14. Christophe

    Why are Gravity and Saving Mr. Banks not listed among the 12 frontrunners for Best Original Screenplay??? Meanwhile, other titles that did not get as much attention in this category are listed instead…

    Is that a deliberate attempt to influence voters???

  15. Christophe,

    I took the front runners from Sasha’s list on the main page. Saving Mr. Banks should have been on there, and it has been corrected. Gravity is not on Sasha’s front runner’s list, unfortunately.

    I thought that the screenplay for Gravity was great in its minimal use of dialogue/monologue. And I selected it as one of my five films for Original Screenplay for my selection.

  16. Christophe

    @Rob Y

    OK I see now. Thanks for your timely answer and all your efforts! It’s a really kick-ass job!

    Gravity’s screenplay was nominated for a Bafta right this morning/evening so I guess it’s definitely in the race! I was just worried that some lazy voters might be tempted to choose their picks solely among the frontrunners’ list, but we all know how passionate Ad readers are, they’ll scroll down and down until they can find what they’re looking for.

  17. edkargir

    Christophe, you cannot vote for the same actor in the same catagory for 2 different movies.

  18. steve50

    Thanks, Ryan – I’ll give it another go.

  19. My picks
    Best Picture
    1.Short Term 12
    2.Blue Jasmine
    Best Actor
    1.Hugh Jackman Prisoners
    2.John Gallagher Jr Short Term 12
    3.Tye Sheridan mud
    4.Bruce Dern Nebraska
    5.Dennis Quaid At Any Price
    5.b Connor Chapman The Selfish Giant
    Supporting actor
    1.James Franco Springbreakers
    2.Keith Stanfield Short Term 12
    3.Harrison Ford 42
    4.Jake Gyllenhall Prisoners
    5.Dwayne Johnson Pain&Gain
    Best Actress
    1.Brie Larson Short Term 12
    2.Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
    3.Adele Exarchoupolous Blue
    4.Greta Gerwig Frances Ha
    5.Katie Chang The Bling Ring
    Supporting Actress
    1.June Squibb Nebraska
    2.Melodie Diaz Fruitvale Station
    3.Emma Watson The Bling Ring
    4.Ashley Benson Springbreakers
    5.Yolanda Ross Go For Sisters

  20. @Ryan Adams


  21. Christophe


    Academy Rule #6 states that if two achievements by one actor in the same category reach enough votes to get nominated, only one will make the cut. BUT it says nothing about individual voters having to limit their votes to one per actor in the same category. Unless you can show me official documents issued by the Academy to prove me wrong I’ll keep my ballot as such. Thank you!

  22. steve50

    This time around, I stuck with passion votes and underdogs only, rarely filling the slate. The leaders can fend for themselves.

  23. edkargir

    Christophe, you are right there is noting in the rules against your vote . I stand corrected sorry.

  24. steve50, I’m sure there are some members of the Academy who vote the same way. If we had a list of members I’ll bet we could do a pretty good which members vote that way. I wish more of them would. If more filmmakers and more critics voted that way, awards season would be a lot more interesting. We’d all be scratching our heads a lot more at winners. My head likes being scratched. My head would rather be scratched than be hammered. My head would rather cock quizzically than nod off soaked in sameness. My head feels hammered and soaked by the BAFTA nominations. I wish the Sight & Sound people would vote annually on the year’s best movies. Sometimes I wish the BAFTA and everybody else would stop sucking Hollywood’s dick.

    Let Hollywood suck its own dick, right? At least that’s an interesting freaky thing to watch.

  25. edkargir

    My top 5 films
    12 years a Slave
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Before Midnight

  26. Picture: Her/ 12YAS/ Dallas Buyers Club/ Blue Jasmine/ Gravity

    Director: Jonze/McQueen/Valle/ Allen/ Cuaron

    Actress: Blanchett/ Exarchopoulos/ Larson/ Mara/ Delphy

    Actor: McConaughey/ Ejiofor/ Elba/ Bale/ Phoenix

    Sup. Actress: Lupita/ Roberts/ Johansson/ Hawkins/ Paulson

    Sup. Actor: Fassbender/ Leto/ Affleck/ Dice Clay/ Abdi

    Or. Screenplay: Her/ Blue Jasmine/ Dallas Buyers Club/ / The Past/ Rush

    Ad. Screenplay: 12YAS/ Before Midnight/ Blue is the warmest color/ The Great Beauty/ Short Term 12

    Cinematography: 12YAS/ The Great Beauty/ Rush/ Her/ Aint Them Bodies Saint

    Editing: Gravity/ Rush/ Fast Furious 6/ Blue Jasmine/ Her

  27. I’m pretty sure that the Short Term 12 screenplay is being submitted as an adapted screenplay, since it is based off of a short film. I think it just happened a few days ago? Or am I losing my mind in a sea of ineligibilities?

  28. Brady,

    Can you find that source? This was a questionable title. I searched and searched the official site and other sources. I assumed that since there was no reference to another source, that it was original.

  29. Can AMPAS members also change their votes if they want to, as long as it is before the deadline?

  30. I never get close on these things. I’m voting for what I really think, which means I’ll be lucky if I pick one from the top picks at all.

  31. I tried looking for an original source, but since I’m not in the business I’m not even sure what that source would be. What I do have to offer is that

    a) In Contention lists it as adapted and I know I first saw Kris tweet about it so while not official, it’s something.

    b) Here’s an article from IndieWire citing it as adapted.

    That’s kind of all I’ve got. Even IMDb page for the movie doesn’t list the source material, and that’s my usual go-to determining factor. It doesn’t seem like Cinedigm has adverts out for it anywhere so I’ve done about as much due diligence as I’m willing to do.

    I know there are a lot of Short Term 12 fans in the AD community so I just want to make sure that it’s awarded properly (And you know… adapted screenplay is a lot less crowded than original, so that helps in both the AD simulated ballot and the real ballot).

  32. done. i had fun voting.

  33. Bryce Forestieri

    It’s done, people. Oscar voting is over. Nobody can listen to your pleas no more. Let’s be grim and play a game. What is the omission you most dread on nomination morning? (make it plausible and heartbreaking)

    Me? Martin Scorsese misses the cut :( :( :(

  34. I’m not ready for this.

    Anyhoo, I’m not going to get heartbroken on nomination morning. I’m really not attached to anything this year. I’ll feel bad for McConaughey if he comes up empty though.

  35. Bryce
    Obvious for me the biggest omission would be Brie Larson for best actress I think most people who comment on here knows she’s deserves a nom

  36. And also I’d be upset if Short Term 12 was completely shut out come Oscar morning i think most everybody on here would agree with that I think it deserves 3 nominations Best Actress,best original song, best adapted screenplay

  37. Short Term 12 is based on a short film by Dustin Cretton. The short film had the same title. Dustin Cretton made a complete short version before he made a second expanded full-length feature version. If the feature has been ruled original by the writers I would like to see the article or report that says so. But the facts are plain and straightforward: The long version is based on a complete and previously produced short version.

  38. Here’s the original 2008 short film, Short Term 12

    If Indiewire has other proof that the previous original film does not matter, I’d like to see it.

  39. Uh… I agree Ryan. The ballot on here has Short Term 12 listed as an original screenplay. I was hoping the powers that be could change it to adapted so I can vote for it there. If that’s you… then thanks!

  40. Al Robinson


    My biggest heartbreak would be if somehow Robert Redford doesn’t make the Best Actor 5.

    2nd would probably be if Inside Llewyn Davis doesn’t get nominated for Best Picture.

  41. I would love to vote in this but unfortunately in Australia we won’t see

    -Her 16 Jan
    -Inside Llewyn Davis 16 Jan
    -The Wolf of Wall Street 23 Jan
    -12 Years A Slave 30 Jan
    -Dallas Buyers Club 13 Feb
    -Nebraska 20 Feb

    and others until after the deadline.

  42. Al Robinson

    I voted… for president in 2012…. and here tonight. Woo Woo!!

    I can’t wait to see the results.

  43. I have updated Short Term 12 to Adapted.

    If you would like to amend your selection, you will need to fill out your selection for both screenplay categories.


  44. Sorry to see some of the titles that would have figured prominently in my ballot weren’t eligible (although all of them got brief 2013 releases in the U.S.) Those would be:
    GINGER AND ROSA(Picture,Screenplay,Actress:Elle Fanning)
    Supporting Actress:Angela Molina
    THE SILENCE(Picture,Screenplay,
    Supporting Actor: Ulrich Thomsen)
    (Actress-Deepika Padukone)

  45. I didn’t know Vanessa Hudgens in gimme shelter qualified for this years Oscars???? Somebody help me is this true??

  46. Al Robinson


    Gimme Shelter was released in just Los Angeles on December 13, 2013 for an “Oscar qualifying run”. It won’t make any real “box office” until January 24. The same with Labor Day.

  47. All Robinson
    Thank you have to go change my best actress picks Vanessa hudgens gives an Oscar worthy performance!!!!;

  48. Best Picture:

    12 Years a Slave
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Blue is The Warmest Color

    Steve McQueen
    Abdellatif Kechiche
    Spike Jonze
    Alfonso Cuaron
    Joel & Ethan Coen

  49. Bryce Forestieri

    OT Trivia: Is Kathryn Bigelow the first female director that will have one of her films “remade”? Progress at last.

  50. Bryce Forestieri

    And what a film.

    Bigelow Rank

    2. NEAR DARK

    Have not seen LOVELESS and THE WEIGHT OF WATER

  51. Mark F.


    1. Nebraska
    2. 12 Years A Slave
    3. Gravity
    4. Before Midnight
    5. The Great Beauty

  52. Best Picture
    1.Short Term 12
    2.Blue Jasmine

  53. Houston

    I just want to point out Upstream Color is not in the best picture choices…and Lone Ranger is…

  54. For those who are interested, my final ballot for the simulation. No strategic voting – just my ranked preferences of the eligible films. Thanks to Dr. Rob for all his hard work in providing this ballot.

    1. Gravity
    2. Blue Is the Warmest Color
    3. Before Midnight
    4. The Wolf of Wall Street
    5. Her

    1. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
    2. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
    4. Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
    5. Spike Jonze, Her

    1. Leo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
    2. Joaquin Phoenix, Her
    3. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
    4. Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
    5. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

    1. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
    2. Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
    3. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
    4. Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
    5. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha

    Supporting Actor
    1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
    2. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
    3. Matthew McConaughey, Mud
    4. Russell Crowe, Man of Steel
    5. Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

    Supporting Actress
    1. Lea Seydoux, Blue Is the Warmest Color
    2. June Squibb, Nebraska
    3. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
    4. Amy Adams, Her
    5. Rinko Kikuchi, Pacific Rim

    Original Screenplay
    1. Her
    2. Fruitvale Station
    3. Nebraska
    4. Inside Llewyn Davis
    5. Gravity

    Adapted Screenplay
    1. The Wolf of Wall Street
    2. Before Midnight
    3. Short Term 12
    4. 12 Years a Slave
    5. Blue Is the Warmest Color

    1. Gravity
    2. Inside Llewyn Davis
    3. Pacific Rim
    4. Her
    5. 12 Years a Slave

    1. Gravity
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Her
    4. Rush
    5. Pacific Rim

  55. My picks:


    The Wolf Of Wall Street
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    12 Years A Slave


    Alfonso Cuaron
    Spike Jonze
    Martin Scorsese
    Steve McQueen
    David O. Russell


    Leonardo Dicaprio (Wolf)
    Matthew McConaughey
    Oscar Isaac
    Christian Bale
    Chiwetel Ejiofor


    Cate Blanchett
    Greta Gerwig
    Emma Thompson
    Julie Delpy
    Sandra Bullock


    Bradley Cooper
    Jonah Hill
    Michael Fassbender
    James Franco
    Jared Leto


    Scarlett Johansson
    June Squibb
    Sally Hawkins
    Lupita Nyong’o
    Jennifer Lawrence


    Inside Llewyn Davis
    The World’s End
    American Hustle
    Blue Jasmine


    12 Years A Slave
    The Wolf Of Wall Street
    Before Midnight
    The Spectacular Now
    This Is The End


    The Wolf Of Wall Street
    The World’s End
    Inside Llewyn Davis


    12 Years A Slave
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    To The Wonder

    7 nods for 12 Years A Slave. 6 each for Her and The Wolf Of Wall Street. 5 each for Gravity, American Hustle and Inside Llewyn Davis.

  56. Marshall, re: strategic voting… do you believe such a strategy is even possible. (….asking for a friend)

  57. Marshall, re: strategic voting… do you believe such a strategy is even possible. (….asking for a friend)

    No voting system using voter’s preference rankings is completely immune to strategic voting, so IRV is vulnerable to some extent. That being said, strategic voting in IRV basically occurs *only* if voters have sufficient information about other voter’s preferences.

    If AMPAS voters don’t even have the foggiest idea of how IRV works in general, I doubt they’re sophisticated enough to collude and vote tactically either to an significant degree. ;-)

  58. Jake Bart

    If I may hazard a few names for everyone’s consideration (mostly because they haven’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of being nominated here or at the Oscars).

    THE WORLD’S END (Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing)
    STOKER (Cinematography, Production Design, Original Score)
    THE GRANDMASTER (Cinematography, Production Design, Original Score)

    Ziyi Zhang in THE GRANDMASTER (Supporting Actress)
    Emma Watson in THE BLING RING (Supporting Actress)
    Shailene Woodley in THE SPECTACULAR NOW (Supporting Actress)
    Sam Rockwell in THE WAY, WAY BACK (Supporting Actor)

    and finally (both because he deserves it and to ruffle Sasha’s feathers a bit)…

    James Franco in SPRING BREAKERS (Supporting Actor)

    I’ll be seeing AMERICAN HUSTLE, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, and SHORT TERM 12 before voting closes, so I’ll likely re-vote, but I’m quite pleased with the first ballot I’ve submitted.

  59. Houston

    I would have picked Upstream Color for picture, director, cinematography, editing and script but it wasn’t among the choices…what gives?

  60. Jake Bart
    I have both james Franco (Supporting actor) and Emma Watson (Supporting Actress) both on my ballot as well as Katie Chang (Best Actress) on my ballot as well

  61. We’ll get Upstream Color added to the menus for anyone who wants to redo their ballot.

  62. Upstream Color is not an eligible film.

    This is the Academy’s reminder list:

  63. Al Robinson

    Rob Y,

    just so you know, for some reason, I can’t click on the link. I don’t know why.

  64. I can’t either, and I can’t edit it. It is the URL though.

  65. Best Actor
    1.Hugh Jackman Prisoners
    2.John Gallagher JR Short Term 12
    3.Tye Sheridan Mud
    4.Bruce Dern Nebraska
    5.Dennis Quaid At Any Price

    Supporting actor
    1.James Franco Springbreakers
    2.Keith Stanfield Short Term 12
    3.Harrison Ford 42
    4.Jake Gyllenhall Prisoners
    5.Dwayne Johnson Pain & Gain

    Best Actress
    1.Brie Larson Short Term 12
    2.Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
    3.Adele Exarchoupolous blue is color
    4.Katie Chang the Bling Ring
    5.Vanessa Hudgens Gimme Shelter

    Supporting Actress
    1.June Squibb Nebraska
    2.Melody Diaz Fruitvale Station
    3.Emma Watson The Bling Ring
    4.Ashley Benson Springbreakers
    5.Yolanda Ross Go ForSisters

  66. I strategically voted Philomena, but I figure it has a better chance with the Academy than with the AD collective. Prisoners and Banks were close behind, and Jackman was number one for Lead Actor.

  67. I haven’t seen several key films yet so I can’t truthfully vote in this.

  68. I already voted but noticed an error.

    The Past is an Original Screenplay not Adapted as listed currently. Voted for it in Adapted anyway.

  69. Cyrus,

    I have fixed that error. The screenplays are the hardest categories to work out. The Academy does not release how the screenplay nominees are split. I apologize the error.

    If you would like to amend your selection, you will need to fill out your selection for both screenplay categories.


  70. FYC

    Best actor
    Hugh Jackman, Prisoners

    Best supporting actor
    Sarah Paulson, 12 Years A Slave
    Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street

  71. Picture:
    12 Years a Slave
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Before Midnight
    Blue Jasmine

    Alfonso Cuaron
    Martin Scorsese
    Steve McQueen
    Woody Allen
    Paul Greengrass

    Amy Adams
    Julie Delpy
    Sandra Bullock
    Cate Blanchett
    Judi Dench

    Christian Bale(Am. Hustle)
    Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Matthew McConaughey(Dallas)
    Leonardo Dicaprio(Wolf)
    Tom Hanks

    Sup Actress:
    Emma Watson(Bling Ring)
    Jennifer Lawrence
    Margot Robbie
    Lupita Nyongo
    Sarah Paulson(12yas)

    Sup Actor:
    Daniel Bruhl
    Jonah Hill
    Michael Fassbender
    Jeremy Renner(Hustle)
    Jared Leto

  72. FYC: Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street)

    In Lead: Julia Roberts (August: OC) and Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

    Supporting actresses from A: OC

    Iron Man 3, Warm Bodies, About Time and We’re the Millers, if you want something different.

  73. FYC

    Lead Actor:
    Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt)
    Ali Mosaffa (The Past)

    Lead Actress:
    Paulina Garcia (Gloria)
    Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer)

    Supporting Actor:
    Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
    Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace)

    Supporting Actress:
    Julianne Nicholson (August: Osage County)
    Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12)

  74. Oh crap. I forgot to do this. *runs*

  75. Chris L.

    I know this has been dissected pretty thoroughly, but there’s no good reason why certain films that did receive a theatrical release should be ineligible. (Stories We Tell, Beyond the Hills, Like Someone in Love, A Touch of Sin, Mother of George, The Selfish Giant, The Unspeakable Act, and yes, Upstream Color, to name several.) They shouldn’t have to go through any special submission or campaigning process; just have a complete list kept by the Academy’s official Secretary of Ballots or whomever.

    At least I did get to vote for Mads Mikkelsen, the best performance I saw in 2013. Some other left-field options, if you’ve seen them: Saskia Rosendahl (Actress, Lore), Onata Aprile (Sup. Actress, What Maisie Knew), Ben Foster (Sup. Actor, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), Wadjda for Original Screenplay, The Grandmaster for Cinematography.

    Color outside the lines!

  76. I can’t see The Act of Killing so I’m not voting at all.

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