February 20, 2014 at 8:43 am #141810
Thought maybe there should be a dedicated thread to published or first hand reports of individual members votes.
Here’s one from the Daily Beast:
Photo by The Daily Beast
An Oscar Voter Spills Secrets on Woodygate, Wolfgate, and Awards Scandals
There are 6,000 Academy Awards voters, but there’s only one who really counts—the one willing to talk to us about Woody Allen, ‘American Hustle,’ and all the Oscar smear campaigns.
There are approximately 6,000 Academy Awards voters, but there’s only one who really counts—the one who was willing to talk to me about the various scandals and smear campaigns in the air and how they might effect the awards outcome on March 2. This person did so without wanting to be named, of course, because divulging the results of your own ballot simply isn’t allowed (though scandals and smear campaigns apparently are). To maintain the person’s complete anonymity, I’ll call them “Pat” and simply say that Pat knows exactly what’s going down—and who’s going down with it.
Hello, Pat. Will all this Woody Allen stuff damage Cate Blanchett’s Oscar chances?
No, it would not have. The actors have nothing to do with that.
How about Woody’s chances? He’s up for Original Screenplay.
I didn’t vote for his screenplay, just because I liked another one better. [The alleged scandal] wasn’t a factor. I thought Her was really original. Woody Allen’s screenplay was so much Streetcar–Named–Desire driven. He borrowed and used things. But Her was an original work of art.
Back when Roman Polanski won for The Pianist, did you feel the same way about not factoring in sexual matters?
Yes, I think it would be irrelevant. A movie stands on its own. I’m not crazy about what he did, but on the other hand, you do a movie, and if it’s a good movie, it’s a good movie, and if it isn’t, it isn’t.
Is that the prevailing point of view among voters?
I think some voters are not going to vote for Woody because of that. I know a couple of people who think he’s disgusting. He’s the most unpleasant person to work for. The assistant director tells you, “You are not to talk to Woody Allen.” Except for the major stars. One woman actor I know tried to approach Woody on the set and she was fired.
But they won’t hold any of this against Cate, right?
I don’t think so. She wasn’t there at the time. There are people that genuinely don’t like Woody, but it has nothing to do with not liking Cate.
He’s the most unpleasant person to work for. The assistant director tells you, ‘You are not to talk to Woody Allen.’
So for Best Actress, you’re going for…?
Judi Dench. I think Cate is wonderful, but to me, it was watching an actor’s technique at work. She’s a brilliant technician and she’ll probably win, but I felt I was watching her the whole time rather than living with her and the character, whereas with Judi I felt I was living with her and this woman. But I did vote for Sally Hawkins [for Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine]. I thought her performance was wonderful. With Sally, I was believing her, living with her, and understanding her conflicts. But I think Lupita [Nyong’o from 12 Years A Slave] will win.
If Her wins for original screenplay, is it possible that American Hustlewill do a sort of Color Purple and go zero for 10?
I don’t know. I enjoyed it, but looking back, I kind of don’t remember it except for the hairdos. To me, it was a hairdo movie. The opening scene was hysterically funny, with Christian Bale’s hair.
No love for Jennifer Lawrence?
I remember her. To me, she was fine. But my son said he read the real story and the Bale character’s real wife was 15 years older than him, not this hot young girl. God, it would have made so much more sense if she’s older and he meets this woman, who in real life is really British. It would have made more sense that he left an older woman for Amy Adams. By the way, Amy had no boobs in that dress. A beautiful dress, but she’s flat chested.
Then I guess she can’t win. There’s also been some brouhaha saying that Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street promotes bad boy behavior. Would that campaign carry any weight?
I just thought it was a soulless movie. There was nobody to root for. My son’s take on it was that it was informational for that guy! At the end, they promote that he does these seminars for people. It’s a promotional for this sleazebag, a person without a conscience who stole from poor people and never paid them back. At least with Bernie Madoff, some of the rich got some money back.
One more hot topic has been the fact that 12 Years a Slave might be too brutal for some of those wussy voters to even watch, sort of the way they couldn’t take Brokeback Mountain.
To some degree, it will [be a factor] because a lot of people call it “torture porn.” Too much torture in that film. Enough already, we got it, we got it. In other cases, it won’t matter because people realize we need to suffer again the consequences of what was done. I voted for Gravity because I thought it was unique and well done. I didn’t think the acting was that good. I thought Sandra Bullock was adequate. I wish they had gotten an actor who could have gone deeper and you could have really felt for. But of all the films, it was the most memorable.
For Best Actor, you voted for Matthew, Chiwetel, Leo…?
Bruce Dern. I thought he did something different. It was based on a body of work and he was really different in this. I look at Matthew McConaughey and see him basically doing the same character a lot, with the same accent, same speech pattern. He’ll probably win, but a lot of my friends didn’t like him in the movie.
But he’s shaken up the types of roles he’s doing.
He is trying to do that and he did a good job. He was good, but not great. What Bruce Dern did seemed so simple, but it’s hard. He embodies the life of this person. Sometimes the Academy gives an award to people who lose or gain weight, but I thought Tom Hanks was better in the movie he did about AIDS years ago.
Best Supporting Actor?
I’m going with Barkhad Abdi [Captain Phillips]. I totally believed him. I usually don’t vote for first time people because they haven’t proven themselves, but I thought his performance was absolutely riveting. I thought Jared Leto was good, but a lot of his stuff was external. The makeup people did a great job on him. I would have loved to see a real transgender or gay actor play that part. They would have brought a whole other dimension to it.
Do all the promotional luncheons and mailings affect your voting at all?
No. Zero. Unless somebody’s really nasty. You know who was really nasty? Hugh Jackman. He was at an Academy screening of Prisoners and people stayed afterwards for the meet and greet. He whizzed right by us. “Hello, Mr. Jackman.” He just kept on going. I wouldn’t have voted for him anyway because I didn’t like the movie, but I thought, “He’s here with his peers, people in the Academy, and he can’t even bother to say hello?” He presents this wonderful image as this beloved star. If he’d been seriously a nominee, that’s where my vote would have tilted—because somebody relayed an attitude that you’re beneath them. Why come to the Academy for a Q&A if you’re not willing to receive people afterwards? Redford was very accessible.
When something happens like the real Philomena going to DC to discuss adoption reforms, does that affect your voting?
No, because I didn’t even know she did.
Here’s the important category: Best Song. Is it “Let It Go” from Frozenor the U2 song from Mandela?
I voted for the one from Despicable Me 2. I didn’t think any of them are really great.
I was going to vote for 20 Feet From Stardom—I loved those women—but I wound up voting for The Square [about the revolution in Cairo]. It took two years to make. I was so impressed by the story it told. I thought, ”I’m gonna hate this movie,” but I got a different understanding of the struggle and the bravery of the people.
Gravity. When I met Alfonso Cuaron at the Academy Q&A, he was so down to earth and wonderful and so was Barkhad [at the Captain Phillips event]. Maybe in that case with Cuaron, if there were a thing between two directors, that would have tipped me over. He was so wonderful, gave each person a lot of time, and was so authentic. I love going to the lunches because I go to places I could never afford, but the important thing is the opportunity to talk to them. It’s the meet and greet, not the food. If they’re nasty, it does affect me.
Which film do you think will cop Best Picture?
I think it’s between Gravity and Slave.February 20, 2014 at 8:47 am #141812
My contribution today is a member of the executives branch, long time veteran, association with a lot of top Oscar winners in a professional capacity, not so much attached to any of them this year.
He’s voting Dallas #1, Gravity #2. Told me he thinks American Hustle will win.
Voting for MM & Leto; he said he thought Dern was in the running, and if he wins, “He’ll bring the house down.” Voting for Blanchett & Squibb, thinks Squibb has a real shot of winning.
Though I talk to a lot of members, I don’t press on their specific voting unless I think they are comfortable sharing (a lot don’t like to be asked, but will give general thoughts).February 20, 2014 at 8:56 am #141813
I love this inside peek. Keep it coming.February 20, 2014 at 9:21 am #141814
Very interesting. Especially the Cate/Woody stuff. I wonder how many other voters share his view about Blanchett’s performance being too technical.February 20, 2014 at 9:28 am #141815
A friend of mine (voting for Bullock) said he wasn’t going to vote for Blanchett this year because Streep has won often enough (meaning he thought it was too much of a Streep-type performance)February 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #141816
Very interesting. Especially the Cate/Woody stuff. I wonder how many other voters share his view about Blanchett’s performance being too technical.
Streep, Blanchett, and Chastain are all technicians. Anyone criticizing Blanchett for being too technical contributes to why certain “real” actresses have never won Oscars before. I hope none of this kind of thinking adversely affects Blanchett’s chances of locking the majority vote.February 20, 2014 at 9:35 am #141817
She doesn’t need majority vote. Very few Oscar winners get a majority. With divided competition, she probably needs only 30%, I suspect will be somewhere between 40-50%.February 20, 2014 at 9:36 am #141818
@Wordscount: Well, she’s still going to win, but it’s a perfectly valid criticism.February 20, 2014 at 9:37 am #141819
June Squibb was just adorable on Kimmel last night. She had a very funny “Meet the Oscar Nominee” skit. There was a funny bit about her flashing Matthew McConaughey while they were waiting around in the green room. Despite the awkward interview with Kimmel (this guy is the most inept interviewer of all the late-night hosts), she was a winner. Must have got her some votes.February 20, 2014 at 9:42 am #141820
If this anonymous voter is anything to go by, then approachability at screenings can play a factor. June Squibb seems like the type who probably went over really well at screenings.February 20, 2014 at 9:43 am #141821
It’s nice to see that voters do have their own opinion on things, and might even vote to those they liked best. Although that part about Jackman was extremely petty.February 20, 2014 at 9:50 am #141822
That’s disappointing when supposed “Academy voters” come off this petty about things. Like who cares if Hugh Jackman didn’t stop to speak to little ole’ you at a Q&A meet and greet? I mean, really people? Come on now. Just judge the damn work. This is the part of the “lifting the veil” element of Oscar season that I could do without.February 20, 2014 at 9:52 am #141823
I’ve heard that Cuaron is incredibly charming and charismatic.
Interesting that a lot of people think 12YAS will win, yet they voted for something else. The BP race is all about perception, and I would assume that the same voters that awarded Gladiator and Crash BP did not really enjoy The Hurt Locker, but felt external pressure to vote for it.
Maybe “it is time” for 12YAS.February 20, 2014 at 9:56 am #141824
Interesting in the link that was shared, the voter was basing his Best Actor votes not on the performances so much as the actors’ backstories. And if Abdi hadn’t completely shaken him up by his performance, he admitted that he rarely votes for a relatively new to the movie scne actor because they haven’t proven themselves.
And his comment about Amy Adams’ boobs just shows what a shallow person he is in general. Ladies and gentlemen, a classy Oscar voter. Hope he’s not typical.February 20, 2014 at 9:59 am #141825
I had a conversation few days ago with an AMPAS friend in L.A. about the Oscar movies. Not about who she’s going to vote. She’s a WGA member.
She respects 12YAS but loves Philomena. She likes DBC and really likes MM but not impressed with Leto. Thinks AH is just a bunch of hairdos and nothing much else. She hasn’t seen, gasp, Gravity. How ironic that she’s seen 12YAS, but not Gravity. It sorts of make sense since she’s a writer and probably had a prejudice for a special-effects driven film. It’s not like she’s not planning to see it, but I wonder with her busy life, will she be able to bring herself to the theater in time for final voting.