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One director gets brutally honest with his Oscar ballot

Feb. 20, 2013by:

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, Ive gotten books, cookbooks and just about everything short of Lincoln condoms. Its 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. Im 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 its 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. Pis Lullaby I couldnt 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 neighbors 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 didnt see anything particularly new or interesting in the music of Skyfall.

Vote: Life of Pi

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Its a tough category because everything is mediocre. Im definitely not voting for The Pirates. Im not voting for Frankenweenie. Brave was unimpressive. So I guess its 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 disqualifiedits just a woman dying, and theres no real story, and it made me feel like shit. Theres 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 hes made the same movie eight times. Moonrise Kingdom? Its a personal thing, but I dont like this guys movies. Flight offers a look at addiction unlike any weve seen. But Mark Boals Zero Dark Thirty script is even more amazing, with very good moments and great tension. Also, this whole torture thing is nonsense. Knowing that its not gonna win best picture, part of me just wants to try to push through an award for it as an Im sorry.

Vote: Zero Dark Thirty

BEST PICTURE

This is a preferential system. Im putting Amour at No. 9 because Im just pissed off at that film. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a movie that I just didnt understand, so thats my No. 8. Les Miserables goes in seventh place its not just the most disappointing film of the year but the most disappointing film in many years. Above that Im putting Silver Linings Playbook, which is just a blah film. Django Unchained will go into my fifth slot its a fun movie, but its 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 dont want it to win because I dont 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.] Im basically OK with one of two films winning. Lincoln is going in my second slot; its a bore, but its Spielberg, its well-meaning, and its 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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9:10PM on 02/20/2013

Awesome

Whoever this guy is, I feel he hits it on the head with his opinions... even when I'm not completely agreeing with him. Great running commentary.
Whoever this guy is, I feel he hits it on the head with his opinions... even when I'm not completely agreeing with him. Great running commentary.
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+12
9:25PM on 02/20/2013
Brutally honest? This is all this guy is doing: [link]
Brutally honest? This is all this guy is doing: [link]
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9:33PM on 02/20/2013
Michael Bay?
Michael Bay?
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10:41PM on 02/20/2013
It's not Michael Bay... He said he doesn't like CGI filled movies... Um that's every MB movie.
It's not Michael Bay... He said he doesn't like CGI filled movies... Um that's every MB movie.
9:35PM on 02/20/2013
This guys sucks. Everyone has their own opinion and I respect that, but I disagree with a lot of his opinions.
This guys sucks. Everyone has their own opinion and I respect that, but I disagree with a lot of his opinions.
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9:37PM on 02/20/2013
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
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9:40PM on 02/20/2013
I disagree with a lot, but whatever, shit happens. But he is totally off base about Flight. It is pretty much the basic way of showing addiction.
I disagree with a lot, but whatever, shit happens. But he is totally off base about Flight. It is pretty much the basic way of showing addiction.
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9:51PM on 02/20/2013
Who is this anonymous director? Michael bay? What if this is just a film journalist's opinion in the name of an anonymous oscar voter director? Whoever he is,he seems frustrated,prejudiced,egocentric,attention craving prick
Who is this anonymous director? Michael bay? What if this is just a film journalist's opinion in the name of an anonymous oscar voter director? Whoever he is,he seems frustrated,prejudiced,egocentric,attention craving prick
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10:00PM on 02/21/2013
do you really think Michael Bay gives a shit about the Oscars?
do you really think Michael Bay gives a shit about the Oscars?
10:25AM on 02/21/2013
He's an attention craving prick in an anonymous interview?
He's an attention craving prick in an anonymous interview?
10:42PM on 02/20/2013
Ugh um Michael Bay movies are full of CGI this guy said he doesn't like CGI filled films.
Ugh um Michael Bay movies are full of CGI this guy said he doesn't like CGI filled films.
10:03PM on 02/20/2013
Fuck this guy! Jessica chastain will win, but anything else zero dark thirty wont win jack shit! And zero dark 30 has no business being nominated for best original screenplay! It's the farthest thing from "original" IMO Django unchained should be cleaning house, but I know it won't. QT will win for screenplay
Fuck this guy! Jessica chastain will win, but anything else zero dark thirty wont win jack shit! And zero dark 30 has no business being nominated for best original screenplay! It's the farthest thing from "original" IMO Django unchained should be cleaning house, but I know it won't. QT will win for screenplay
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10:15PM on 02/20/2013
This guy is the Statler AND Waldorf of the Oscars. i hope he has a balcony seat.
This guy is the Statler AND Waldorf of the Oscars. i hope he has a balcony seat.
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10:32PM on 02/20/2013
Wow. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this guy sounds like a colossal douche. He's one to call out Jennifer Lawrence for "lacking maturity". A lot of what he's said is just unnecessarily cruel and mean-spirited. Yeah, he does have valid points here and there (the ship being pulled into the docks at the start of Les Mis did look pretty fake) but a lot of it sounds like angry, bitter mouthing off. It also sounds like he's hiding behind the anonymity he's been afforded. Not classy at
Wow. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this guy sounds like a colossal douche. He's one to call out Jennifer Lawrence for "lacking maturity". A lot of what he's said is just unnecessarily cruel and mean-spirited. Yeah, he does have valid points here and there (the ship being pulled into the docks at the start of Les Mis did look pretty fake) but a lot of it sounds like angry, bitter mouthing off. It also sounds like he's hiding behind the anonymity he's been afforded. Not classy at all.
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+11
10:41PM on 02/20/2013

Love it

I love this guy, I loved Django but his comment on QT masterbating for 3 hours was classic.
I love this guy, I loved Django but his comment on QT masterbating for 3 hours was classic.
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11:01PM on 02/20/2013

im gonna guess that this anonymous awesome dude is

william friedkin,just a wild guess and i completely agree "Amour" was a shitfest it fucking sucked ass,worst movie of 2012.
This guy knows what he's talking about,well for the most part.
fuck "Amour"
william friedkin,just a wild guess and i completely agree "Amour" was a shitfest it fucking sucked ass,worst movie of 2012.
This guy knows what he's talking about,well for the most part.
fuck "Amour"
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1:59AM on 02/23/2013
Amour worst movie of the year? You need to see more movies. Judging by your profile, Amour seems like a movie not for you at all so no wonder you would think it's awful.
Amour worst movie of the year? You need to see more movies. Judging by your profile, Amour seems like a movie not for you at all so no wonder you would think it's awful.
11:03PM on 02/20/2013
I agree somewhat with a few things but its scary knowing people like him vote for Oscars. Explains a lot.
I agree somewhat with a few things but its scary knowing people like him vote for Oscars. Explains a lot.
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-1
12:19AM on 02/21/2013

Love it!!!! hilarious!!!!

I don't necessarily agree with everything he says but this is a damn entertaining read. I love his candidness. I wouldn't be surprised if more voters actually voted this haphazardly. Would definitely make the Oscars more interesting.
I don't necessarily agree with everything he says but this is a damn entertaining read. I love his candidness. I wouldn't be surprised if more voters actually voted this haphazardly. Would definitely make the Oscars more interesting.
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+6
12:22AM on 02/21/2013

Love it!!!! hilarious!!!!

I don't necessarily agree with everything he says but this is a damn entertaining read. I love his candidness. I wouldn't be surprised if more voters actually voted this haphazardly. Would definitely make the Oscars more interesting.
I don't necessarily agree with everything he says but this is a damn entertaining read. I love his candidness. I wouldn't be surprised if more voters actually voted this haphazardly. Would definitely make the Oscars more interesting.
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12:22AM on 02/21/2013

"The Academy Awards are trivial bullshit ... unless you're nominated!" - Alfred Hitchcock

I mean I disagree with his opinion on Wes Anderson, Argo, and Tarantino;but hey, he's in the Academy and I'm not.
I mean I disagree with his opinion on Wes Anderson, Argo, and Tarantino;but hey, he's in the Academy and I'm not.
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12:30AM on 02/21/2013
I just envisioned this whole thing in my head as read by Alan Arkin (even though this director didn't agree with Arkin being nominated this year). If someone can get Ben Kingsley to lip sync to Minor Threat for an internet video, can we get Arkin to play the old I Don't Give A Shit Anymore director for some Funny or Die skits?
I just envisioned this whole thing in my head as read by Alan Arkin (even though this director didn't agree with Arkin being nominated this year). If someone can get Ben Kingsley to lip sync to Minor Threat for an internet video, can we get Arkin to play the old I Don't Give A Shit Anymore director for some Funny or Die skits?
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1:47AM on 02/21/2013

William Friedkin.

I noticed someone below guessed that it was Friedkin. That is immediately who i thought it might be two or three paragraphs down the list. Dude is a loony, but it's scary how many like him exist in Hollywood and are voting for this shit. His opinions are misguided and awful. Les mis the most disappointing of any movie in years? I mean, hyperbolic much?
I noticed someone below guessed that it was Friedkin. That is immediately who i thought it might be two or three paragraphs down the list. Dude is a loony, but it's scary how many like him exist in Hollywood and are voting for this shit. His opinions are misguided and awful. Les mis the most disappointing of any movie in years? I mean, hyperbolic much?
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1:48AM on 02/21/2013
Also, Flight was decent, but the least original of any of the nominees. It's been done so many times. Lost Weekend thru Leaving Las Vegas.
Also, Flight was decent, but the least original of any of the nominees. It's been done so many times. Lost Weekend thru Leaving Las Vegas.
+6
8:03AM on 02/21/2013

That's awesome.

I don't agree with a lot of his, or her choices, It gave me a chuckle reading some of their "notes".
I don't agree with a lot of his, or her choices, It gave me a chuckle reading some of their "notes".
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+21
9:21AM on 02/21/2013
"but its basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours. "

Fucking love that!
"but its basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours. "

Fucking love that!
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9:35AM on 02/21/2013
I love his honesty.
I love his honesty.
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-5
10:30AM on 02/21/2013
Love it. Tarantino wonks need to stop it already. The guy has had 2 or 3 great movies and the rest are largely hit and miss. What does he have to say in any of his films? Other than some clever dialogue, his films feel to me like they have no real point. He has nothing to say as a filmmaker. Just some cool/clever scenes. I don't hate his films but increasingly I find myself asking what the big deal is?
Love it. Tarantino wonks need to stop it already. The guy has had 2 or 3 great movies and the rest are largely hit and miss. What does he have to say in any of his films? Other than some clever dialogue, his films feel to me like they have no real point. He has nothing to say as a filmmaker. Just some cool/clever scenes. I don't hate his films but increasingly I find myself asking what the big deal is?
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12:11PM on 02/21/2013

meh

He sounds like a dick.
He sounds like a dick.
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12:31PM on 02/21/2013

Sigh...

...and this is why I don't usually watch the Oscars. Albeit his rant was entertaining the truth of it is that he voted this way based on those opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion don't get me wrong but I was under the impression that these awards were to showcase the best cinema of the past year. If these are the reasons behind the votes then a lot of things suddenly make sense. Here I thought a film was nominated and voted upon based on achievements, good film-making, story and
...and this is why I don't usually watch the Oscars. Albeit his rant was entertaining the truth of it is that he voted this way based on those opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion don't get me wrong but I was under the impression that these awards were to showcase the best cinema of the past year. If these are the reasons behind the votes then a lot of things suddenly make sense. Here I thought a film was nominated and voted upon based on achievements, good film-making, story and sound not on the basis of someone who didn't like a film because he has a personal vendetta with a director or didn't understand the movie. I guess objective voting is too much to ask.
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1:13PM on 02/21/2013
in my opinion, it all sounds very fake. i don't this is written at all by a real director, and especially not an academy awards member. this could be written by anyone with a keyboard and access to a list of nominations.
in my opinion, it all sounds very fake. i don't this is written at all by a real director, and especially not an academy awards member. this could be written by anyone with a keyboard and access to a list of nominations.
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1:48PM on 02/21/2013
It was hilarious, even though he was awfully critical of a lot of those movies (they are all mostly very good, I thought--except Les Mis and Zero Dark Thirty, which I hated). If it really is Friedkin, I guess I'd be grumpy too--Killer Joe was awesome and deserved some Academy love!
It was hilarious, even though he was awfully critical of a lot of those movies (they are all mostly very good, I thought--except Les Mis and Zero Dark Thirty, which I hated). If it really is Friedkin, I guess I'd be grumpy too--Killer Joe was awesome and deserved some Academy love!
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+0
2:44PM on 02/21/2013

Sounds like Lester Siegel to me.

Not a fan of the John Williams comment and the "Argo" comment.
Some good and bad comments, but it makes me sad to think that this is how some members vote for the Oscars.
Love the Jackie Weaver, "Why?" part. Also agree with the "Skyfall" part.
Not a fan of the John Williams comment and the "Argo" comment.
Some good and bad comments, but it makes me sad to think that this is how some members vote for the Oscars.
Love the Jackie Weaver, "Why?" part. Also agree with the "Skyfall" part.
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3:22PM on 02/21/2013
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
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3:23PM on 02/21/2013
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
This guy is my hero. I don't agree with a good bit of what he is saying but Jesus, all I can picture is an old school neurotic fat talking jewish director, voting in his small sweaty office in the hollywood hills. Gene Hackman in Get Shorty lol.
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12:04PM on 02/22/2013

i wanna know who this is

someone get to the bottom of it
someone get to the bottom of it
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