OSCARS 2017: A Peek at the Ballots (Male Voter Over 40)

As the Oscars barrel into our weekend, and voters have turned in their ballots as of Tuesday at 5 p.m. PST, we take our in-depth look into the minds of some Academy voters and what they voted for.

Polling just over 20 voters in total over the past five weeks – all from different branches and backgrounds – we’ve got a look into what the Academy Awards may bestow upon their selected nominees this coming Sunday, Feb. 26.

In protecting their identities, all the voters are labeled simply as male or female. Some asked to not have their genders revealed. We’ll be revealing a few of those voters over the next three days.

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OSCAR VOTER #1 – MALE (Over 40)

  • BEST PICTURE“Arrival”

“It was the single best film I saw this year. My family loved it more than I did. We just all sat around during the holidays and wept. The visuals were stunning; I thought Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner were fantastic and should have both been nominated.”

  • BEST DIRECTORDenis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

“The guy is getting better and better. I have respected his style for years now and ‘Arrival’ just does everything right.”

  • BEST ACTORCasey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

“It was close. I was between him and Andrew Garfield from ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and in the end, what Casey brought to his performance was nothing short of magnificent.”

  • BEST ACTRESSEmma Stone, “La La Land”

“This was close too. I was dead set on Natalie Portman for a while and about two weeks ago, I watched ‘La La Land’ again and there is a face that Emma makes in the very last [scene] that sold it for me.”

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTORJeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”

“To tell you the truth, I’m really not crazy about any of the nominees. I hated ‘Nocturnal Animals’ and ‘Lion’ and didn’t see the big deal about [Mahershala] Ali. When it came down to Lucas and Jeff, I thought a part of Lucas’ performance was in Casey’s performance. So I just stuck with Jeff.”

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSMichelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

“Again, for me, this was a no-brainer. Didn’t see why people were so moved by the girl from ‘Moonlight’ or Nicole’s performance. I thought Viola Davis was very good, but to be honest, I felt like I saw her do that before. That [scene] with Michelle and Casey with the baby is terrific stuff. I know Viola has won everything, but I’m pulling for Michelle.”

  • BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYKenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

“In this category I really wanted to vote for ’20th Century Women’ because it was the only place I could. It’s disappointing that it didn’t do better with us. But ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is so real and heartwrenching. It also spoke to me personally.”

  • BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAYEric Heisserer, “Arrival”

“‘Arrival.’ I already told you why.”

  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE“Moana”

“I think ‘Moana’ was one of the best musicals of the year. I would have nominated all the songs from the film if I could. I even thought it was a stronger choice than say ‘La La Land’ and ‘Sing Street.’ I spoke with a lot of my fellow voters and they were also taken by the movie as well.”

  • BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN“Arrival”

“I loved the room in the spaceship. Felt like it had a cold, eerie feeling- it fit the mood of the film so well.”

  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY“Arrival”

“I thought the film felt so open, and explored something that was familiar to us but foreign at the same time. I have to admit, I was heavily debating between ‘Arrival’ and ‘La La Land.’ The last scene of ‘La La’ was beautifully done.”

  • BEST COSTUME DESIGN“La La Land”

“There were many great designs in this group and I was between ‘La La’ and ‘Allied’ for the longest time. I didn’t really get the deal with ‘Florence Foster Jenkins,’ so that was out for me right away. When I think of ‘La La Land,’ I think about Emma and the girls in the dresses when they attend the party.”

  • BEST FILM EDITING“Hell or High Water”

“The top three in this category were ‘Hell or High Water,’ ‘Arrival’ and ‘La La Land.’ I just think ‘Hell or High Water’ moves so quick and that has to be a big reason why so many people like it so much.”

  • BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING“Suicide Squad”

“I thought what they did with Harley Quinn’s character was very good. I didn’t see the ‘Man’ movie and honestly don’t remember ‘Star Trek’ all that much.”

  • BEST SOUND MIXING“Hacksaw Ridge”
    BEST SOUND EDITING“Hacksaw Ridge”

“You felt like you were in the middle of a war. Something that’s very hard to do and I feel people don’t get enough credit for that sometimes. That entire last hour so, so intense, your heart feels like it’s going to explode from your chest.”

  • BEST VISUAL EFFECTS“The Jungle Book”

“I really loved the talking animals but I also REALLY loved the stuff they did with ‘Doctor Strange.’ I just went with my gut.”

  • BEST ORIGINAL SCORE“La La Land”

“The music was so important to the story. It wouldn’t be half as good without it. How can you not vote for it?”

  • BEST ORIGINAL SONG“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”

“Like I said earlier, I thought ‘Moana’ was one of the best musicals of the year. ‘La La Land’ has great songs but ‘Moana’ takes them to another place.”

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE“O.J.: Made in America”

“It’s so strange that the whole O.J. case is every part of the media from the TV show to now the Academy. I thought it was expertly crafted and brought back a lot of feelings I had forgotten. All the nominees were very good though and enjoyed them all.”

  • BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – ABSTAIN

“I only saw two of the films, ‘Toni Erdmann’ and ‘Tanna’ and didn’t really enjoy either.”

  • ANIMATED SHORT“Pear and Cider Cigarettes”

“It was the one I remembered the most.”

  • DOCUMENTARY SHORT“Joe’s Violin”

“I was very moved by ‘Joe’s Violin’ and thought it had the most heart of the group.”

  • LIVE ACTION SHORTABSTAIN

“I didn’t get to see them all.”

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More ballots coming this week! Discuss their choices in the comments below or on our NEW MESSAGE BOARDS!