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Thread: Oscar voter: Selma had no art to it so we didn't vote for it

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Oscar voter: Selma had no art to it so we didn't vote for it

    This is one of my favorite parts of the Oscar season, and I love that The Hollywood Reporter keeps doing this. For a few years now, THR sits down with Oscar voters from various branches (actors’ branch, directors’ branch, etc) and records them as they fill out their Oscar ballots. All of it is done under the condition of anonymity – all we know is which branch the voters belong to. THR published their first ballot article yesterday and it’s from a member of the “public relations branch” – likely a publicist working for a studio or a larger agency. These articles are just for unmitigated dirt and gossip about the inner workings of Oscar campaigns and what Oscar voters really REALLY think of nominees. I would suggest reading the full piece here. But here are some highlights

    The voter is tired of hearing about Selma’s “snubs”: “What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don’t think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were. And as far as the accusations about the Academy being racist? Yes, most members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they’re not cretinous, snaggle toothed hillbillies. When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it. But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it? I’ve got to tell you, having the cast show up in T-shirts saying “I can’t breathe”— I thought that stuff was offensive. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up sh-t?”

    On Birdman:
    “I never thought that it would make it all the way to the finish line like it has — but then I remember that it’s about a tortured actor, and when you think about who is doing the voting , at SAG and the Academy, it’s a lot of other tortured actors. I just don’t know how much it’s resonating out in the world.”


    Voting for The Imitation Game for Best Picture:
    “On paper, The Imitation Game seemed to be the one to me. It’s a great story, well-crafted, [Benedict Cumberbatch] is really good and it’s been a big success. It’s what you call “prestige filmmaking.” So why isn’t it receiving more recognition? I’d like to believe it’s karma for Harvey [Weinstein]. But I’m going to hold my nose and vote for it anyway because when you vote for best picture, what you should try to do is vote for the movie that, years from now, people will still watch and talk about. ..(1) The Imitation Game; (2) Birdman; (3) American Sniper; (4) Boyhood; (5) The Grand Budapest Hotel”


    Vote for Best Director:
    “I’m voting for Richard Linklater. I think that what he did — as a “thing” — is extraordinary. I’m absolutely comfortable with breaking up picture and director; I wouldn’t know [The Imitation Game's] Morten Tyldum if I walked into him. I thought all of the others were fine except for one: I could have watched my hair grow during Foxcatcher — it was so slow.”


    Vote for Best Actor:
    “I’m voting for [Birdman's] Michael Keaton because I love him and for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is he seems like a completely sane person who lives in the middle of the country and works when he wants to work. I’ve loved every interview that he’s done. He seems grateful, not particularly needy, and I don’t know when he’ll ever get another chance at this; the other nominees will. What Keaton had to do was harder than what the others had to do because they had the benefit of playing real people. I mean, Eddie Redmayne did an amazing impression of Stephen Hawking, but Keaton created a character from whole cloth.


    Thoughts on Jennifer Aniston:
    “I’m not sorry that Jennifer Aniston isn’t nominated; she was fine, but I thought her movie Cake was ridiculous. …The minute I saw Still Alice, I remember thinking, “This [best actress race] is over. Four other women are going to have to get dressed and go to 5,000 dinners knowing they have no chance.”


    Best Supporting Actor:
    “J.K. Simmons’ performance was in a different league. It’s kind of ironic that he’s in “supporting,” right? I’m voting for him because he was great in the movie — and because he was in 5,000 episodes of Law & Order. In other words, he’s been acting forever, I’ve seen enough of his work to know he is a journeyman, and I’m happy to be able to recognize him.


    Best Supporting Actress:
    “Laura Dern was good, but I didn’t think she was as good as [A Most Violent Year's] Jessica Chastain. Keira Knightley was fine and got in on the [Imitation Game] ticket. Emma Stone was pretty good [in Birdman], but she can do no wrong — she’s like Meryl Streep, although I wish [the film for which Streep is nominated] Into the Woods stopped after 20 minutes. But I’m voting for Arquette. She gets points for working on a film for 12 years and bonus points for having no work done during the 12 years. If she had had work done during the 12 years, she would not be collecting these statues. It’s a bravery reward. It says, “You’re braver than me. You didn’t touch your face for 12 years. Way to freakin’ go!”


    Ballot #2: the voter is an Oscar-nominated member of the animation/short film branch. Thoughts on Best Picture:
    Whiplash is offensive — it’s a film about abuse and I don’t find that entertaining at all. My kid would have told me if he had an abusive teacher. I would have sat in on the class, talked to other kids in the class and then said, “This a–hole has to go.” [The Grand] Budapest [Hotel] is beautifully made, but its story just isn’t special. I didn’t think Selma was a particularly good film, apart from the main actor [David Oyelowo], and I think the outcry about the Academy being racists for not nominating it for more awards is offensive — we have a two-term president who is a black woman [Cheryl Boone Isaacs] and we giveout awards to black people when they deserve them, just like any other group.

    Birdman, I didn’t get it at all — I look around and it’s doing so well and I just don’t get it. American Sniper glosses over feelings — how do you feel when you kill 170 people? You just see him hesitating in the one scene with the boy who briefly picks up the rocket and then you see him sitting at a bar looking depressed]; that’s not enough. As far as The Imitation Game, Alan Turing was very much defined by his repressed homosexuality, and I just don’t think the film deals with that very well. I admired Boyhood and it didn’t bore me, but it doesn’t totally work.

    But Theory [of Everything] I loved. It was the only one of the nominees that fully worked as a whole film — it was beautifully performed, nicely directed and it was about something — although Boyhood is pretty special for its own reasons. Just because the Academy gives you a preferential ballot with a bunch of lines doesn’t mean you have to fill them all out. Those are only two that I find worthy of the award. MY VOTE: (1) The Theory of Everything, (2) Boyhood

    *This person voted for Richard Linklater for Best Director because “It’s not even close for me because I didn’t especially like the other nominees’ pictures.” The voter went with Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor because “it’s an amazing performance” and they also went for Felicity Jones for Best Actress (interesting). This voter thought Meryl Streep was “unbelievable” (in a good way) in Into the Woods and ended up voting for Meryl instead of Patricia Arquette.

    And here are some highlights from Ballot #3, from a voter in the screenwriters’ branch.

    *The voter had nothing but compliments for all of the Best Picture nominees, except they weren’t all that jazzed about Boyhood. This was their final vote: (1) The Imitation Game, (2) Birdman, (3) Whiplash, (4) The Theory of Everything, (5) American Sniper
    *Best Director was between Richard Linklater and Alejandro G. Inarritu and the voter went with the crazy-ambition of Inarritu.
    *Vote for Eddie Redmayne because his role was the most “transformative.” Same with Julianne Moore – this person voted for Moore because her role was the most transformative.
    *Another vote for JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette even though “None of the [supporting actress nominees] blew my mind.”

    [From THR]


    Cele|bitchy | THR Oscar voter: ‘I’m not sorry that Jennifer Aniston isn’t nominated’
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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    American Sniper used a fake baby!
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    That baby should have gotten a nomination!
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    What an interesting read!

    I really don't understand why people love Birdman - I was bored after half of it.
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    ^ I agree. I found it heavy going. It was alright but I don't understand why it's up for so many awards. The ending was a let-down. I loved The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game and Ex-Machina. I agree about Whiplash which I didn't see because the trailer was bad enough.
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    I loved Birdman. It's a mind fuck but a messy, human one where you can't help but love the characters no matter how neurotic and self-absorbed. There's a tenderness to it. And every single actor plays their part brilliantly.
    The woman in the article above sounds like a moron.
    As for Selma, I think the movie was good but not amazing and in a year with such rich Best Picture and Best Director categories, it didn't quite stand out, and honestly neither did Du Vernay's directing. She's no Iñárritu, Linklater or Anderson. That's not to say Hollywood doesn't have a very big and very real diversity problem. But you don't fix that by scrambling to give token awards come awards season, you fix that by making a concerted, system-wide effort to have more diversity at every stage of film making, from writers to actors to directors.
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    Whiplash is offensive — it’s a film about abuse and I don’t find that entertaining at all. My kid would have told me if he had an abusive teacher. I would have sat in on the class, talked to other kids in the class and then said, “This a–hole has to go.”


    This person is an idiot and shouldn't be allowed to vote. Also, they clearly haven't seen the film.
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    I couldn't finish Birdman. Yet I was able to finish the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie.

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    I was only able to see "Theory of Everything" so I think it was great. I have no interest in birdman. I was disappointed The lego movie was snubbed never mind Selma's actors.
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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    I haven't seen Selma, but I don't think that just because a film was made about an event in the civil rights movement it should automatically be considered for awards for the sake of political correctness. It's almost like people were up in arms about the lack of nominations, like "How dare they not nominate this film, it was about MLK!"... There's no doubt that it was an important time and event in the civil rights movement, but the subject doesn't automatically equal awards.
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    Elite Member palta's Avatar
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    I loved Birdman. It's a very complex film, brilliantly executed. I'm actually surprised that it won.
    I watched Whiplash because of J.K. Simmons and loved it, it has a compelling story and great performances.
    And The Grand Budapest Hotel, while is not my favourite Wes Anderson movie, once again shows how talented he is.
    On the other hand, I didn't like The Theory of Everything. It was dull to me.
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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moongirl View Post
    I haven't seen Selma, but I don't think that just because a film was made about an event in the civil rights movement it should automatically be considered for awards for the sake of political correctness. It's almost like people were up in arms about the lack of nominations, like "How dare they not nominate this film, it was about MLK!"... There's no doubt that it was an important time and event in the civil rights movement, but the subject doesn't automatically equal awards.
    The movie was nominated for an Oscar so at least one of the actors deserves a nomination, no?
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    Sadly, No. It doesn't mean that. But in this case I disagree. I watched Selma with my daughter and a full theater. At the end no one moved, no one spoke. It was powerful and I saw many teary eyes as people left the theater. David Oyelowo was brilliant and I felt he deserved the nomination. That said, I did not see most of the movies that got the Best Actor noms so it's not fair for me to judge that they didn't deserve their nominations over David.
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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *DIVA! View Post
    The movie was nominated for an Oscar so at least one of the actors deserves a nomination, no?
    Honestly, I don't know, perhaps they did. I just chose this movie as an example, because there did seem to be some controversy about the lack of nominations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moongirl View Post
    I haven't seen Selma, but I don't think that just because a film was made about an event in the civil rights movement it should automatically be considered for awards for the sake of political correctness. It's almost like people were up in arms about the lack of nominations, like "How dare they not nominate this film, it was about MLK!"... There's no doubt that it was an important time and event in the civil rights movement, but the subject doesn't automatically equal awards.
    I ageee with you. At the same time, Hollywood does this all the time. The vast majority of movies about the Holocaust are nominated for multiple awards. As of 2002, 20 Holocaust movies have been nominated for awards and only 2 have not won. Sometimes the nominations are warranted. Other times it seems that it's more political correctness. I don't think we should automatically nominate movies due to subject matter but it's done all the time.
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