An actress, producer, director, screenwriter, and cinematographer give us a peek at their secret ballots
The Actress: Alexander Payne, Nebraska (shown)
This one is difficult. I like to see the director's hand. I can see [American Hustle director] David O. Russell working with the actors, and I like that. With [Gravity's] Alfonso Cuarón, his use of film is so sophisticated. But how much you can do simply is really exciting to me, so I'm going to end up marking Alexander Payne.
The Producer: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
It's an amazing technical achievement. I thought Captain Phillips [not nominated in this category] was a great piece of direction, but this was just amazing.
The Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
It's really close between McQueen and Cuarón. There is something about how McQueen dealt with the subject matter that I found both classy and refreshing. He treated it with authenticity, honesty, and originality. It made me want to go home and hug my kids.
The Screenwriter: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
It's a directorial achievement that stands apart from everything else. The director's vision is to take an idea and create a universe around it. He did that, literally. And it's not just the technical prowess. To make a drama where a woman floats around for an hour and a half by herself, and to keep a narrative focused, is pretty impressive.
The Cinematographer: Alexander Payne, Nebraska
It doesn't make sense to like the movie and not the director. And I like the way David [O. Russell] covered the scenes. I like what the camera was doing. It felt free and uninhibited, yet at the same time it was a very precise performance. Yet I pick Alexander for all the same reasons, but his is much more restrained and unpretentious. David's is big, pretentious, entertaining, and over-the-top. But I'm going for Alexander.
Image Credit: Merie W. Wallace