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Peek at six Oscar ballots

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Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Melinda Sue Gordon

The writers’ strike had at least one positive effect: Academy members actually had time to go to screenings this year. ”That’s why we have nominees from a wider variety of movies, and more obscure films,” says one Oscar voter. Will that mean a wider variety of winners on Feb. 24? EW asked six high-profile Academy members — an actor, an actress, a director, a producer, a studio executive, and a screenwriter — to tell us, anonymously, whom they voted for and why. If their answers are any indication, Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem can dust off their mantels. Julie Christie may end up empty-handed. And winning your Oscar pool may be a bit tougher this year.

THE ACTOR
He has volleyed between comedy and drama, leading man and character roles, but our former Best Supporting Actor nominee is no waffler when it comes to this year’s contenders, especially those that dive deep into the heart of darkness.

BEST PICTURE
There Will Be Blood
”Politically it’s very applicable to what’s happening in the world energy market right now. I think the reason people are not giving it the recognition it deserves is it’s so uncommercial.”

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson
There Will Be Blood
”Reading EW’s review that it was an instant classic, I thought, ‘I f—in’-A agree with that!”’

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis
There Will Be Blood
”It’s hands-down the best performance of the year. And he is one of the most elegant actors. His acceptance speeches have been so eloquent. And his dedication to Heath Ledger at the Screen Actors Guild awards…it was just tremendous.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Javier Bardem
No Country for Old Men
”He owns that movie. It’s an unflinching, absolutely relentless performance.”

BEST ACTRESS
Ellen Page
Juno
”I’m really torn. I do think Julie Christie was wonderful. But Ellen Page is terrific. And I predicted she would win an Academy Award by the time she was 25.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Ryan
Gone Baby Gone
”Her last scene is balanced between sad and haunting.”

NEXT PAGE: The Actress’s Oscar ballot

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