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The Oscars: An insight into the mind of an Academy Award voter


“People who haven’t even seen the film are going to vote for it because it just has that smell.” So says an anonymous director and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (like Marty and Steve over there) of the costume design in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

The film-trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter had  the luxury of looking over the director’s shoulder as he cast his vote for Sunday’s awards.

The piece revealed the thought process (or lack of) behind votes that can – in theory – make or break careers. The director was mostly thoughtful and reasoned in his voting – for instance, Life of Pi is ignored for best cinematography due to its reliance on CGI (Skyfall gets the nod). However, Pi does get his vote for best score because it’s “perfect” and John Williams “has enough fucking Oscars”.

The reasoning for his choice for best live-action short, Curfew, is that it is the “least depressing of five films guaranteed to prevent you getting laid”. His choice for best animated feature is decided by flipping his iPhone to decide between ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph.

Our anonymous friend’s choice of best supporting actress (Les Mis’s Anne Hathaway) is because “not just anybody can come in and kill one song; there are many songs that Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe should have been killed for”. Best-animated-short nominees ought to look away now: our man made his choice (Disney’s beautiful Paperman) based on hearing it was good – he hadn’t actually seen it.

And what of the big one, best picture? He plumps for Zero Dark Thirty and hates all the others apart from Lincoln: “Django Unchained is Tarantino masturbating for three hours.”

As entertaining as his insights are, they’re even handier if you’ve got an office Oscars sweepstake and need a few pointers. Read the whole interview: bit.ly/oscarinsider.