We tattle on a few Oscar votes

Every year during Oscar voting I make a point of checking in with a member of the producers’ branch who sometimes tips me off about potential upsets. He’s the perfect academy demo – a smartcracker industry vet in his early 60s, who voted for “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture and Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) over Viola Davis (“The Help”) for Best Actress when most prognostictors were saying “Brokeback” and Davis would win.

Demo Man is not always right. He’s a fanatical Republican whose political beliefs are often reflected in his picks. He wouldn’t vote, for example, for Sean Penn (“Milk”) because he’s a “Commie,” but everybody knew Penn would win anyway that year.

Here’s how Demo Man is voting this year. Be prepared for a few surprises:

Best Picture: “American Hustle”

Best DirectorAlexander Payne (“Nebraska”) or David O. Russell (“American Hustle”) — he wasn’t 100% sure

Best Actor: Christian Bale (“American Hustle”)

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”)

Supporting Actor — hasn’t made up his mind yet

Supporting ActressJennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”)

Now no one on the planet, not even Christian Bale’s mom, thinks Bale is going to win Best Actor, but what’s interesting about Demo Man’s picks this year is how strongly he likes “American Hustle.” Yes, that may be another one of his flukes, a random one this time, but it makes me wonder if Lupita Nyongo is really such a shoo-in to win Supporting, as our Experts’ believe, or even – egads – if “Hustle” could break through for Best Picture.

Over the past few days I’ve heard no other votes for “Hustle” for Best Picture, a few votes for “Slave,” one for “Philomena” and one for “Gravity” from academy voters. In the race for Best Actor, I now count two votes for Leo, three for McConaughey, one for Chiwetel Ejiofor. Everybody’s voting for Cate Blanchett. I count three votes for Lawrence, two for Nyongo. In the supporting actor race, a few members said they’re voting for Leto, but several others, like Demo Man, didn’t know who they’re picking.

14 thoughts on “We tattle on a few Oscar votes

  1. I love hearing from actual Academy members about their selections, but in a recent video you mentioned how this particular voter told you – point blank – that Meryl would win and that Crash would win. Did he make any similar pronouncements for this year?

  2. He is obviously an American Hustle favorite and the face that he is very “traditional” throws me off. His Best
    Actor prediction is ridiculous. Here is my predictions

    Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave
    Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron
    Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett or Amy Adams
    Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
    Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

  3. What a shock! that a die hard republican did not vote for Brokeback or Milk or Dallas Buyer’s Club (see a trend) or Viola Davis or Lupita Nyongo (see another trend?)

  4. Christian Bale was the most redeeming thing about that piece of shit American Hustle but he doesn’t deserve the trophy this year. He’s fallen off the face of the Earth during this award season anyway, at least his fellow nominees are trying–especially Leo, he’s fighting tooth and nail for that award. Jennifer Annoyance cannot be allowed to rob Lupita again. This world is unjust *sigh*. And American Hustle for Best Picture is just too easy–pick the dumb “feel-good comedy” right? Go ahead and vote for The Wolf of Wall Street if you’re going that route. Wolf was exponentially funnier and more raw. Ay yay yay, we’ll see what happens in March. I’m keeping my faith and keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. if he loved american hustle that much, then why or why doesn’t he and others vote for Amy adams, who is up against 4 oscar winners and has had 5 oscar nominations and is finally in a movie that is also up for best picture. Also, why doesn’t he vote for bradley cooper as well. Really hope Leonardo gets more votes.

  6. I have a feeling that this year’s “locks” are anything but. The idea seems to be “X is going to win for sure, but I’m going to vote for Y.” X being 12 Years a Slave, Cate Blanchett, and Matthew McConaughey, with Y being Gravity, Amy Adams, and Leonardo DiCaprio. If enough people feel similarly that they’ll give their vote to the underdog because everyone else won’t, the underdog wins. Look for at least one HUGE acting category upset on Oscar night. If I had to put money on it, I’d say Leo would be most likely to pull it off. The only two truly safe major races are Supporting Actor and Director.

  7. This is what they mean when they say Academy members are mainly white males in their 60s who are so far removed from what young people who watch the Oscars want to see. This Demo Man is what’s wrong with the Academy. “Oh I wouldn’t vote for Sean Penn because he’s a commie” um how about voting based on his PERFORMANCE? But that’s too much like the right thing to do….

  8. Woww, there is a fact that is very probably that Alfonso Cuaron and Emmanuel Lubezki could not win that night and that´s because academy not like Lubezki and maybe they don´t want to award again a technical movie for achievment in directing, that 2 could be very easy the upsets that night.

  9. I think for the voters, DOR is today’s Scorsese. HUSTLE could easily sweep the whole damn show like Lord of the ring III, if they think that THE FIGHTER is LoTR1 and SLP is LoTR2, then we have a clean winner this year for sure.

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