Behold, EW's annual Secret Oscar Ballot
Credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images

EW spoke with 10 Academy members from nine different branches about this year’s races. Here, they explain (anonymously) how they’re casting their votes. Our cast of characters includes:

• The Actor: Has worked with the greats— and the not-so-greats—in a long career

The Producer (1): Responsible for some of the best TV and movies from the past 30 years

The Director: Achieved notable successes in both the indie world and more commercial endeavors

The Publicist: Tackled corporate and film PR; there is little this industry veteran hasn’t done

The Sound Mixer: Helped craft the audio on several of the biggest block- busters of the past decade

The Animation Director: Made a major contribution to the world of animation, and has done so quickly

The Producer (2): Has shepherded many hit book adaptations over a lengthy career

The Documentarian: Creates award-winning non- fiction films with a focus on social issues

The Studio Executive: Has strived within the system to bring strong, challenging films to theaters

The Writer: Began career with family-friendly films, then segued into dramas and tentpoles

Best Picture

Boyhood—3 votes

Birdman—2 votes

The Grand Budapest Hotel—2 votes

Whiplash—2 votes Selma—1 vote

Other nominees:

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything

The Studio Executive: Birdman tried to be something that it wasn’t, and it was all style to get there. Grand Budapest is all style, but what it tried to be, it absolutely was: a great story with romance, fun, and entertainment.

The Actor: What’s extraordinary about Boyhood is the hidden player in this drama—time—and how it plays on all the characters. I’ve never seen it before. It’s unbelievable. Subtle and earth-shattering at the same time.

The Documentarian: Birdman. It’s the highest realization of cinematic art. It’s poetic. The cinematography is brilliant. The script is brilliant. On the whole it’s a stunning achievement.

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood6 votes

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman—3 votes

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel—1 vote

Other nominees:

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

The Director: Both Birdman and Boyhood did something special directorially, but I’m going with Linklater. It was brilliant, brave, and it could have been a disaster. People say anybody could do that, but in fact, no one has.

The Producer (1): I’ve been torn between Linklater and Anderson, but I’m going with Linklater. I think he did something very daring and original, and we have to keep celebrating those kinds of things.

The Animation Director: Iñárritu made a movie that by all rights shouldn’t have worked, and I found it continually amazing. I sat there in a daze after watching it, not sure what it all amounts to, but the work itself is astounding.

Best Actress

Julianne Moore, Still Alice6 votes

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl—2 votes

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night—1 vote

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything—1 vote

Other nominee:

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

The Sound Mixer: God, I love Julianne Moore. I’ve always loved her. She’s always good, and I have respect that she’s stuck it out in this business. It’s never easy and it’s even harder for women. God bless her.

The Writer: I liked Reese in Wild. I just don’t know that the performance was so amazing. I guess I’m voting for Julianne. It was a good, thoughtful performance of someone falling apart.

The Publicist: I feel bad for anybody who is not Julianne Moore in this race. It’s such a raw, powerful, and extraordinary performance. It may be her finest.

Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman—6 votes

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything—3 votes

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game—1 vote

Other nominees:

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

The Documentarian: I’ll pick Keaton, but I wanted to pick David Oyelowo from Selma. Here’s a case where our members blew it.

The Publicist: I’m going with Keaton, but I think it should be Eddie Redmayne. Keaton gave a brilliant performance, and I will also admit that beyond that, I’m recognizing a career.

The Sound Mixer: Benedict Cumberbatch. I really liked that performance. It was a complicated character with a singular vision, and he pulled it off well. I’m not familiar with him from anything else. It was refreshing.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood—6 votes

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods—2 votes

Emma Stone, Birdman—1 vote

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game—1 vote

Other nominee:

Laura Dern, Wild

The Producer (1): Patricia Arquette. She came across as so incredibly real. Her definition of a mother and her relationship to her family and herself change in such wonderful ways.

The Actor: Meryl blew me away. When she sings that song about her daughter, she made me cry. She probably won’t win but she deserves to.

The Writer: Arquette. There was a seamlessness to her performance that makes it seem so much easier than what it is. She had to fill in these emotional gaps without exposition. That’s what made it so powerful.

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash—7 votes

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher—3 votes

Other nominees:

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

The Actor: I’m disappointed that J.K. Simmons is a presumed lock. He’s playing a sociopathic son of a bitch, and that doesn’t require nearly the work nor the emotional depth that Mark Ruffalo uses in Foxcatcher.

The Writer: J.K. Simmons’ role harkens back to The Great Santini, but he did it in such a controlled way. What I found extraordinary was he never went over the top. His performance brought the whole movie alive.

The Producer (2): J.K. all day. That movie would be so different with any other actor. A lot of actors could have done it, but it wouldn’t have been as interesting. He dominates the movie in a way that’s amazing.