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One director gets brutally honest with his Oscar ballot

Year after year, the fate of Hollywood's best hinges on the votes from the Academy. As each of those industry professionals are deciding on who will win in each category, one has to wonder what they actually think of the nominees. Well it seems that a reporter on the THR staff was called over to the office of a director to listen as he openly discussed how to fill out his ballot for the 85th Academy Awards. Who is the director in particular? Don't know. All I know is that it's an older guy since he said he wanted to vote online instead of on a traditional ballot because it made him feel young again. One thing he really wasn't into was the amount of promotional swag he's gotten saying, “I’ve gotten books, cookbooks and just about everything short of Lincoln condoms. It’s ridiculous.”

The director then goes on to discuss all 24 categories in no particular order. I'm going to hit the highlights, but I suggest you go and read all of his comments. If you haven't seen them all (he has, aside from a few), you might want to wait until you have. There are some potential spoilers.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

In general, I object to movies that primarily feature CGI production design, like The Hobbit and Life of Pi. Les Miserables? One of its weakest things was its production design -- for example, in the beginning of the movie, that huge boat looked ridiculously fake. So that leaves Anna Karenina, which is a movie I loathed, and Lincoln. I’m not gonna vote for Lincoln for best picture, but I have a lot of personal respect for Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy and I want to help the film, so when I can throw it a vote, like here, I will.

Vote: Lincoln

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

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. 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. I will say that ‘Before My Time,’ which is sung by Scarlett Johansson, is pretty good. ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ I couldn’t remember if my life was on the line. ‘Everybody Needs a Best Friend’ is a simple song. And ‘Suddenly’ from Les Miserables is a very boring song and an absolutely blatant attempt to win a best song Oscar; that upsets me. If ‘Skyfall’ does not win I will fillet my next-door neighbor’s dog.

Vote: Skyfall ("Skyfall")

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Life of Pi is an absolutely perfect score. [Lincoln composer] John Williams has enough f---ing Oscars, and I really feel that the score was a weak part of Lincoln and just self-plagiarism for Williams. Thomas Newman should have won the Oscar a couple of times, but I just didn’t see anything particularly new or interesting in the music of Skyfall.

Vote: Life of Pi

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

It’s a tough category because everything is mediocre. I’m definitely not voting for The Pirates. I’m not voting for Frankenweenie. Brave was unimpressive. So I guess it’s between ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph. So… [At this time he assigned the screen side of his iPhone to the former and the back side of it to the latter, and spun it on his desk.]

Vote: Wreck-It Ralph

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“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? If 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. Moonrise Kingdom? It’s a personal thing, but I don’t like this guy’s movies. Flight offers a look at addiction unlike any we’ve seen. But Mark Boal’s Zero Dark Thirty script is even more amazing, with very good moments and great tension. Also, this whole torture thing is nonsense. Knowing that it’s not gonna win best picture, part of me just wants to try to push through an award for it as an ‘I’m sorry.’ ”

Vote: Zero Dark Thirty

BEST PICTURE

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? [He has his assistant call the Oscar voting helpline, finds out that voters can leave slots blank and promptly removes all of the aforementioned selections.] 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.

Vote: (1) Zero Dark Thirty, (2) Lincoln, (3) [blank], (4) [blank], (5) [blank], (6) [blank], (7) [blank], (8) [blank], (9) [blank]

Source: THR

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