Part of the allure and frustration of the Oscars is the voting process. How does it really work? Who are these people of the Academy, really? Are they drunk voting? Now we have answers to some, if not all, of these questions. The Hollywood Reporter watched a member go through the voting process, which turned out to be filled with delightfully disdainful commentary about the films they had been forced to pay tribute to.
Referred to as merely “one of the 371 members of the Academy’s directors branch,” the reporter went to this Deep Throat figure’s office to observe the voting process. Taking his role seriously, the member went through each category and gave extensive, and often scathing, notes.
Starting with the good, he lauded Adele’s “Skyfall,” choosing it for Best Song, saying: “This is No-Brainer City: ‘Skyfall’ is one of the best songs that has ever been in the best song category and Adele is f—ing brilliant.” Take note, Celine Dion. Your ship has sailed. Or sunk.
Things got a bit more critical when it came to Best Make-Up: “In Hitchcock Anthony Hopkins just looked like a man in a fat-suit—I didn’t really buy it. The Hobbit? You know, whatever—it’s what they do every time.” Hope he’s excited to be saying the same thing for the next two years when it comes to Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
But let’s get down to the biggies. Nodding to the Bigelow snub in the Best Director category (he said he had nominated her in the first round of voting), he begrudgingly picked Lincoln: “I don’t feel [it] is the best-directed film of the year—there’s nothing innovative about it—but I’m swept away with the gravity of the subject matter.” Acknowledging that Spielberg is also overdue for an Oscar, the film had the upper hand in that it didn’t make him “seasick” as he said Beasts of the Southern Wild did.
The reasoning for Best Film, however, takes the cake. Ranking the films preferentially, he dismissed Amour because he was “just pissed off at that film” and skipped over Beasts as it’s “a movie that I just didn’t understand.” Calling Silver Linings Playbook “blah,” he ever-so-politely said of Django: “It’s basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours.” Then going off on a tangent about why he disagreed with having to rank every film, he finally admitted he would be “OK with one of two films winning”: Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.
So there’s the inside scoop. At the end of the day, it doesn’t sound all that different from your office Oscar pool debate over by the water cooler.