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A Glimpse Into The Mind Of An Oscar Voter's Ballot Is Depressing, Hilarious & Eye-Opening

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 20, 2013 at 3:56PM

So, here we are. You've spent months and months, hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on campaigning, throwing parties, hosting screenings, gladhanding, working the circuit and more, all in the hopes of convincing Academy members first to nominate and then to vote for your films. You want to think everyone is voting with integrity, looking to honor the very best in film for the year. But the truth is that politics, personal emotion, odd reasoning and sometimes just plain bad taste are all factors as well, and just four days until the Oscar are handed out, a rather bracing glimpse at the mind of one Oscar voter is eye-opening stuff.
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Academy Award

So, here we are. You've spent months and months, hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on campaigning, throwing parties, hosting screenings, gladhanding, working the circuit and more, all in the hopes of convincing Academy members first to nominate and then to vote for your films. You want to think everyone is voting with integrity, looking to honor the very best in film for the year. But the truth is that politics, personal emotion, odd reasoning and sometimes just plain bad taste are all factors as well, and just four days until the Oscar are handed out, a rather bracing glimpse at the mind of one Oscar voter is eye-opening stuff.

THR has the ballot and comments from the anonymous director (though seriously bro, if you're gonna do this man up and reveal thyself) and it's both funny, terrifying and sad. It's also pretty long, so let's just dive into the choicest bits. Some of it is funny, some of it is a little petty, but when you get to Best Picture and read how this person decided on the ranking, it's just kinda flat out depressing. Read on.....

Best Short (Live Action) -- Voted for "Curfew": “ 'Curfew' is the least depressing of five films guaranteed to prevent you from getting laid, as I personally learned.” 

Best Director -- Voted for Steven Spielberg: "I would have voted for [Kathryn] Bigelow -- I certainly nominated her and [Ben] Affleck. 'Silver Linings [Playbook]' is a screenplay; the direction is not particularly important -- although it took David O. Russell to figure out that Bradley Cooper is a great actor. 'Life of Pi' is very well-directed and extremely well-thought-out, but I was put off by the religious message at the end. 'Beasts [Of The Southern Wild]'? I know many people loved it, but I got seasick and found it to be almost impossibly boring. 'Amour' is purely a performance piece; besides, Michael Haneke has pissed me off in the past because he’s made movies that are so misanthropic. He just hates human beings, and I happen to be a human being and don’t like being shit on. That leaves 'Lincoln,' which I don’t feel 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, with the respect that Spielberg showed to it..."

Best Costume Design -- Voted for "Snow White & The Huntsman": "This always goes to the nominee with the puffiest dresses...I just don’t want to support 'Anna Karenina,' even though it’s probably going to win because it’s exactly the kind of movie that does win this award; people who haven’t even seen the film are going to vote for it because it just has that smell. But I’m gonna go for 'Snow White' because you had the knights in the shining armor and then you had the more mythical costumes and on and on. I think it was just a little bit more inventive than the others.”

Best Cinematography -- Voted for Roger Deakins, "Skyfall": "Now, I’m a person who knows that Roger Deakins shot 'Skyfall,' but a lot of people in the Academy will have no clue who did because they don’t tell you on the ballot; in fact, they won’t vote for it because it’s a James Bond film -- you know, ‘How can you give James Bond an Oscar?’ But they should go back and rewatch that opening shot where Bond is approaching the camera, and he’s out-of-focus and he slams into focus in a way that I’ve never seen done before. I also really love the way that Deakins plays with dark and light in the film.”

Best Supporting Actress -- Voted for Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables": "Amy Adams is going to be nominated 20 more times, but this one’s a total throwaway role. Which leaves Anne Hathaway, who’s going to win because she makes you cry and because I find her charming. Sometimes it’s one scene that wins it for you. Not just anybody can come in and kill one song..."

Best Actress -- Voted for Emmanuell Riva, "Amour": "I also don’t vote for anyone whose name I can’t pronounce. Quvez---? Quzen---? Quyzenay? Her parents really put her in a hole by giving her that name -- Alphabet Wallis. The truth is, it’s a very sweet but immature performance from a 9-year-old. I’ve directed children. They probably did a thousand takes and put the best ones together." 

Best Original Song -- Voted for Adele, "Skyfall": “This is No-Brainer City: ‘Skyfall’ is one of the best songs that has ever been in the best song category and Adele is fucking brilliant. Plus I think it’s about time that a James Bond song won best song. In a way, this is my F-you for not giving it to ‘Live and Let Die’ back in 1973...If ‘Skyfall’ does not win I will fillet my next-door neighbor’s dog.”

Best Adapted Screenplay -- Voted for "Life Of Pi": "It’s a rather strong category, but I’m partial to 'Life of Pi' because we all thought that it was an unfilmable book, and yet David Magee came up with a way to structure it that was faithful to the book but also cinematic. 'Lincoln' was a little too much of a history lesson. Plus, I thought the opening scene with the black soldier and the scene featuring Tommy Lee Jones’ character and his maid were both very contrived, and that the ending, as is so often the case in Spielberg’s movies, was overkill...And I didn’t understand what was going on in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'; up until this very second I didn’t even realize it was an adapted screenplay.”

Best Original Screeplay -- Voted for "Zero Dark Thirty": “ 'Amour' is immediately disqualified—it’s just a woman dying, and there’s no real story, and it made me feel like shit. There’s only so much diaper-changing that I can tolerate. 'Django [Unchained]'? If [Quentin] Tarantino had never made a film and this was his first screenplay, I might consider voting for him, but he’s made the same movie eight times."

Best Foreign Lanuage Film -- Voted For "Kon-Tiki": "I’ve seen all of the nominees at official Academy screenings held over the past few weeks. You go into that theater, you sit there, you look around, and you just hope that there’s an ambulance outside because a lot of the members in attendance must have aged out of AARP at this point. I really wonder if these people are going to vote for 'Amour,' because they’re really looking at themselves and they’ve gotta be saying, ‘This is what’s in my future? This is f---ing depressing.’ It’s depressing for people who are dying and for people who have to take care of people who are dying. It’s like, who needs that shit? I personally didn’t care for it."

Best Picture -- Voted for "Lincoln": “This is a preferential system. I’m putting 'Amour' at No. 9 because I’m just pissed off at that film. 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is a movie that I just didn’t understand, so that’s my No. 8. 'Les Miserables' goes in seventh place — it’s not just the most disappointing film of the year but the most disappointing film in many years. Above that I’m putting 'Silver Linings Playbook,' which is just a “blah” film. 'Django Unchained' will go into my fifth slot — it’s a fun movie, but it’s basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours. Next up is 'Life of Pi' because of how unique it is and for holding my attention up until its irritating ending. 'Argo' is gonna go in third place, but I don’t want it to win because I don’t think it deserves to win and am annoyed that it is on track to win for the wrong reasons. Actually, come to think of it, do we have to put a film in every slot? Because what I want is for my best picture choice to have the best possible shot, so why even give any support to the others? I’m basically OK with one of two films winning. 'Lincoln' is going in my second slot; it’s a bore, but it’s Spielberg, it’s well-meaning, and it’s important. 'Zero Dark Thirty' is my No 1.”  

Hooray for the Oscars? We guess the whole "[insert movie] doesn't deserve to win the Oscar" is used because that tactic works. And if anything, it solidifies the common notion that Academy voters like well-meaning movies, even if they are a "bore." Any guesses on who this director is? Your thoughts? Share them with us below.

This article is related to: Oscars, Awards


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