The fact that Crash, The English Patient and Forrest Gump beat Brokeback Mountain, Fargo and Pulp Fiction for Best Picture should be evidence enough to convince anyone that the Oscars are all about industry politics and aggressive PR/marketing campaigns. But this week’s interview with a nameless senior Academy Awards voter (you know, one of the guys who actually picks the winners) in The Hollywood Reporter confirms everything you thought you knew. Here are his revealing, highly opinionated thoughts on various topics:
On PR pros and swag bags:
“I’ve gotten books, cookbooks and just about everything short of Lincoln condoms. It’s ridiculous”.
We assume it was a Beasts of the Southern Wild cookbook containing nothing but gumbo recipes.
On Best Original Song:
“This is no-brainer city: If ‘Skyfall’ does not win I will fillet my next-door neighbor’s dog.”
We like Adele; we also like dogs. We’re conflicted.
On why he won’t support Lincoln for Best Original Score:
“John Williams has enough f—king Oscars.”
You know, we kind of agree. But we still think Williams should win every year because he scored the cantina scene in Star Wars.
On his choice for Best Animated Short:
He “…had heard good things about Paperman so he voted for it” but he hasn’t seen it (or any of the other nominees).
This despite the fact that the shorts were all available to watch for free online until the Academy pressured the filmmakers to take them down. Nice to know that some of the voters haven’t even seen the nominees.
On why he will vote Lincoln for Best Director:
“Spielberg deserves an Oscar every 10 years or so out of respect for what he does for the industry.”
Well then! All those rumors about Spielberg being an evil, Voldemort-style puppet master are completely false!
On Best Actress:
“I also don’t vote for anyone whose name I can’t pronounce.”
He goes on to say he won’t vote for Jennifer Lawrence because he didn’t appreciate her Saturday Night Live jokes. Mee-ow!
On the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis will obviously win Best Actor again:
“I’ll bet you that none of the other nominated guys have even written a speech” and “Hugh Jackman did a terrible job singing many of the songs in Les Mis.”
OK, we’ll just take your word for it on that one…
On why he can’t support Django Unchained for Best Picture:
“…it’s basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours.”
Isn’t that the whole point of every Tarantino movie, though?
On Best Animated Feature:
“It’s a tough category because everything is mediocre.”
Brave was kind of disappointing, wasn’t it?
On Best Adapted Screenplay:
“I didn’t understand what was going on in Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
So yes, the subject does make some valid points about this year’s contenders and the Oscars in general between dropping punchlines, but we think Hollywood PR folks can take one lesson from this story: Don’t even bother trying to sway these guys with your promo push and your bags full of useless goodies. Just remember that they all hate you.