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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Here's Why the Oscars Have Nothing to Do with Quality

Posted by on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I know that Oscar predictions are fun. But it's important to remember that Oscar winners are rarely the best movies. To illustrate the thinking behind the voting process, Michael Musto at the Daily Beast interviewed an anonymous Academy voter using the fake name "Pat." It's a totally disheartening piece, if you think Oscars are supposed to be about quality.

On why "Pat" won't vote for Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence for acting awards:

It would have made more sense that [Christian Bale's character in American Hustle] 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.

On why "Pat" wouldn't vote for Hugh Jackman for Best Actor, even if he was nominated:

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?”

On who "Pat" is choosing for Best Director:

When I met Alfonso Cuaron at the Academy Q&A, he was so down to earth and wonderful...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.

So, there you go. It really comes down to perceived niceness, and who's willing to say hi to everyone at a crowded event. Six thousand people vote for the Academy Awards. I'm willing to bet the majority of them think just like "Pat." Remember that when a movie you can't stand sweeps the Oscars in a couple weeks.


Comments (28) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 1
Who would have thunk somebody in Hollywood is petty and self-absorbed???
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
Six thousand former prom kings, prom queens, and their respective runners-up, still doing the prom.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM · Report this
...So "Pat" is George St. Geegland?

Posted by j.lee on February 20, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
I would never judge 6,000 people by the actions of just one. God, I just encountered some right wing cretin somewhere who was judging all LGBT people because ONE supposedly pulled a gun in the office of an anti-gay hate group once. It's the exact same reasoning.

That said, who would ever have thunk politics had anything to do with the Academy Awards®?
Posted by Matt from Denver on February 20, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Anyone who thinks Amy Adams had no boobs in that dress is unqualified to make statements about a visual medium.
Posted by Fnarf on February 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Abbafui 6
You find this shocking. The Gregory Awards in this town are really no more than a popularity contest as well.
Posted by Abbafui on February 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 7
It's kind of sweet to see each generation learn this for themselves about the Oscars.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on February 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM · Report this

And this differs from any other awards presentation anywhere how exactly?
Posted by COMTE on February 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 9
Paul, is it safe to say that "Pat's" speculation as to the character of various nominees is about on par with your speculation as to the character of the other 5,999 members of the Academy?
Posted by MajordomoPicard on February 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 10
I realized all of these human truths when a politician I can’t stand won the Whitehouse twice.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on February 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM · Report this
originalcinner 11
I like Hugh Jackman even more now.
Posted by originalcinner on February 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 12
I can't believe Julia Sweeney could be so petty.
Posted by MacCrocodile on February 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
The best picture doesn't always win Best Picture? Politics, emotion and friendships play a role in the Academy Awards (and just about all awards). I'm shocked! Lucky we have Paul Constant to open our eyes to the blindingly obvious.
Posted by bigyaz on February 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
schmacky 14
Also, it's not like Pat's a total sleazebag...sure he may think a girl needs double DDs to win best actress, but he also says this (and it's a good point):

"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."
Posted by schmacky on February 20, 2014 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 15
@14: I think I know "Pat" well enough to say he'd be ok with C cups.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM · Report this
kitschnsync 16
Yeah. I used to work in the office of a local billionaire who is a member of the Academies for both the Emmys and the Oscars. Believe me, the savvy contenders for an award know how to keep themselves in the good graces of Academy members. It was common for him to receive gifts from directors, actors, and producers with films in the running.

In fact, I think gifts generate a lot of buzz for many films. It's not that Academy members really give a shit about a bottle of wine or whatever, but the gesture can help bring a film to an Academy member's attention.

The "for your consideration" packages he would receive for the Emmys were amazing- usually big custom-made cases to house DVD sets and schwag that would be the envy of true fans. Of course, he didn't care about that stuff. We'd rip the DVDs to put on his media servers and throw the rest away.
Posted by kitschnsync on February 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM · Report this
I still remember the day Titanic won like my parents remember RFKs assassination. A day marked by a profound and sudden loss of innocence. Recently there was a fun article about how some members of the academy who did not appreciate Wolf of Wall Street that included this fun tid-bit -

"The 75-year-old actress, who appeared in “The Apartment” and “Irma la Douce,” among others, and her friends bashed current films, including “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and praised “White Christmas,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “As Good As it Gets” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
Holiday did say that she “liked” David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” but found it “confusing.”"

That pretty much summed up everything I assumed about these people.
Posted by longball on February 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM · Report this
very bad homo 18
I'm pretty sure they don't even watch all of the movies.
Posted by very bad homo on February 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 19
Just imagine that Oscar is an old white dude who is a little pervy but focused on morality and prone to making grand political gestures to throw the liberals a bone now and then.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on February 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 20
Just be thankful that the nominations are decided by the people who actually work in that particular field; so actual directors did occasionally throw a bone of a nomination to Altman, for example. Imagine what the nominations would look like if every idiot in the Academy could decide on it.

Six thousand people, most of whom are not serious filmmakers? No wonder the best nominee rarely wins.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Fnarf 21
They should create honeypot Academy member accounts, and any film that sends any gift whatsoever to the account is instantly disqualified from all awards.
Posted by Fnarf on February 20, 2014 at 3:49 PM · Report this
wow I never would have expected this based on the decades worth of bad decisions they constantly make.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Abbafui 23
@ 8. - Not saying it is different. Just saying it is. Can't judge the Oscars when our own theatre awards event smells of nepotism. And if you want evidence, I can provide plenty.
Posted by Abbafui on February 20, 2014 at 7:33 PM · Report this
NotSean 24
We'll always have the unbending integrity of the Grammies.
Posted by NotSean on February 20, 2014 at 9:31 PM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 25
Not even just niceness or the perceived lack thereof: boob size. Charming.
Posted by Aurora Erratic on February 21, 2014 at 5:30 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 26
I think the Academy are terrible, but I really wonder how many "anonymous sources" are fiction.

"On why "Pat" won't vote for Amy Adams or Jennifer Lawrence for acting awards:

It would have made more sense that [Christian Bale's character in American Hustle] 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."

I expect the old coots to THINK that, but to tell an interviewer? Eh.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 21, 2014 at 6:45 AM · Report this
The Academy Awards is not the Olympics. It's nothing more than an industry trade show.
Posted by Westside forever on February 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM · Report this
Sandiai 28
@18, many of them have said as much. Especially the shorts, the documentaries, the animateds and the foreigns.
Posted by Sandiai on February 21, 2014 at 9:08 AM · Report this

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