Welcome to the feverish final moments of this year’s Oscar campaign season! With voting (finally) ending later this evening — mere hours after this article is first published — Hollywood and its biggest names and brightest talents will finally be able to take a breath after months of premiering, screening, interviewing, chatting, and awards show-ing. All across the land, cries of “pencils down!” shall ring out (who, we’d love to know, is still doing their voting with pencil?), and the town will grow temporarily quiet, at least until it’s time to lace up for Hollywood’s biggest night, nearly two blessed weeks away. (You can catch up on all of the nominations right here.)

But even if no actual campaigning happens during that fallow period, plenty of prognosticating will still be rolling out, and in hopes of (somewhat) avoiding that kind of idle chatter, some of the editors of IndieWire have taken on a different ask. Not who will win, or even who should win, but who we personally want to win.

That was the ask that set this article in to motion: if you were picking the Oscars, name the winner you desire the most, in any category you see fit.

The answers? Surprising (a plea for a Best Sound contender, a demand for an unexpected international pick), contentious (two IndieWire staffers took on the Best Animated Feature category, with very different dream winners), and even just sort of sweet (a bid for Paul Giamatti that’s as oddly cozy as the very film he stars in). These may not be the “right” answers — surely, anyone reading this has their own picks very much in mind — but they’re the ones we somehow haven’t kicked even during our seemingly endless trudge along the Oscars campaign trail.

The 2024 Oscars will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 10. Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel will once again serve as the host, with the telecast streaming at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.com, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV in addition to broadcast.

Anne Thompson, Marcus Jones, David Ehrlich, Erin Strecker, Ryan Lattanzio, and Mark Peikert also contributed to this article.

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