An actress, producer, director, screenwriter, and cinematographer give us a peek at their secret ballots
The Actress: Gravity (shown)
The bare-bones filmmaking [on Gravity] was complicated and lengthy, and you don't see any of that [on screen]. You see this effortless, simple, and beautiful story unfold. It's what makes Gravity rise above the rest.
The Producer: Gravity
It's almost perfect in terms of visual effects. The performances are great, and I love how the plot and the emotional plot connect and they each make the story better. You see a number of movies a year and something grabs you as great. It happens to me once or twice a year, and this was the one.
The Director: 12 Years a Slave
It was the most powerful movie of the year. Gravity and American Hustle were both absolutely incredible, but I have to give it to 12 Years based on the importance of the subject matter.
The Screenwriter: 12 Years a Slave
It was by far not my favorite picture, but choosing 12 Years validates the idea that the film should exist. Some of the performances are stronger than others; the script is strong in some places, not others. But these stories shouldn't be marginalized, and it's a triumph it got made. The film needs to be in the world, and for all the years that it hasn't been, this is the best picture of the year.
The Cinematographer: American Hustle
It's a combination of amazing storytelling, engaging performances and I loved the costumes. I had a hard time deciding between that and 12 Years a Slave. But Hustle was slightly more entertaining.