The Motion Pictures is, by and large, a classic film blog and will always remain as such… but as those who have followed the blog for a long time will know, I do love watching modern films as well and am a total sucker for award season. I love watching the year’s nominated films, making predictions… and angrily yelling at the television when my favorites don’t win.

Another favorite part of the award season for me is the competition. You see, my parents and I* have a tradition: Every year, for the Golden Globes and the Oscars, I put together a nominee guide and a ballot chart. We fill out our own ballots, making selections for who we wish will win and who we predict will win. These ballots are filled out before the big show, and then I tally up the scores as we all watch the celebrations on TV. Most recently, I emerged victorious from our Golden Globes game with a score of 26. My dad came in second with a score of twenty.

*My sister refuses to participate because she hates games, haha.

Since the Oscar nominations have officially been announced today, I thought I’d share our latest ballot with TMP’s readers and offer you the chance to play along. You can email your ballot to me for a blogosphere version of the competition — or, just use my template for your own family and friends competition.

The ballot can be viewed and downloaded from Google Drive: HERE

By default it’s set up for three participants, but you can always add or remove columns as needed or print multiples if you’ve got a bit ballot pool going. If you’re emailing your ballot to me, don’t worry about changing the format — just fill in one of the columns and be sure to include your name and/or the name of your blog!

The rules are as follows:

  • You must select two nominees for each category:
      This is the film that you hope will win in this particular category. Two points will be awarded to you if this film wins on the big night, because your taste has aligned with the Academy. (The Academy obviously isn’t the end-all, be-all of good taste, but after several years of playing, I’ve found that this scoring method adds a lot more interest and competitiveness to the game.)
      This is the film that you think will win in this particular category. One point will be awarded to you if this film wins on the big night.
  • For the risk-takers and confident betters:
    You MAY select the same film for both your wish pick and your prediction if you feel sure that the Academy’s selections will align with your own favorites for the year. If you win a category with the same film selected in both slots, you will earn three points. If you fill both slots with one film and that film loses, you get a big ol’ goose egg. A few of these in a row can be hard to recover from, score-wise, so make your selections carefully!
  • If you haven’t seen a single film in a particular category, you must still make selections for that category. You can either press your luck by guessing blindly, or can look at the synopsis for each film in the nominees guide (HERE – includes synopsis from IMDB and a list of nominations or each film, with the films themselves listed alphabetically for easy browsing). If you choose to make use of the guide, keep selection two as a prediction (which one sounds the most Oscar bait-y?) and fill the wish pick with the film you’d be most likely to watch.

It sounds more complicated than it is. If you’re confused about any of it, feel free to leave questions below.

For those who would like to participate, email your ballot to me (preferably in the form of a Word document or Google Docs link) at I’ll post the rankings on the blog as soon as the final scores are in, and there may be a little prize available for the top-scoring person! The Academy Awards will be airing on February 28th; please submit your ballots by February 24.