When you let the internet make collective decisions you are only going to get madness as a result. And yet the Oscars somehow thought that doing a Fan Favorite Award, with votes coming via social media, was a good idea. Now, with only two days to go in voting, two of the top vote getters are a Johnny Depp movie nobody has seen and a movie that is essentially a stand-in for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I guess this is what happens when you let the internet vote for things.
The official Twitter account for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released the leaderboard for Oscars Fan Favorite vote, and while most of the nominees make some degree of sense, box office champ Spider-Man: No Way Home is there, as is Dune and family favorite Sing 2, there are a couple of movies that are clearly outliers that are here because of campaigns from particular corners of the internet: Army of the Dead and Minamata.
Presenting your #OscarsFanFavorite leaderboard. Continue casting your vote by:1. Tweeting your favorite film from 2021 with the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite2. OR by voting on https://t.co/dadD2i7Cy0Voting closes on Thursday, March 3rd. pic.twitter.com/dqAOqFEXSyFebruary 28, 2022
I personally didn’t love Army of the Dead, though based on the movie's Rotten Tomatoes numbers, among both critics and fans, I am in the minority. That's fine, but the movie simply didn’t make massive waves when it arrived on Netflix that would be on par with this response. The only place where the movie was a big deal was among fans of director Zack Snyder, and most of them are actually big fans of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Since the Snyder Cut didn’t qualify for this award, Army of the Dead is essentially a proxy, standing in for it.
And then there’s Minamata. It’s the most recent film from actor Johnny Depp, and I have no idea if the movie is any good because I haven’t seen it and honestly neither has anybody else. The film was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2020, but it's unclear if the movie has actually been released domestically. It was supposed to go into limited release on February 11 of this year but no domestic box office numbers have been reported. The movie has made just under $1.7 million internationally.
The director of the movie had accused the studio of attempting to bury the movie due to not wanting to be associated with the various legal woes that Johnny Depp has been going through. And whether there’s truth in that or not, this is not a film on anybody's radar.
However, Johnny Depp has a very vocal online fanbase. There are many who believe that Amber Heard has been lying in her accusations of abuse and they have come to Depp’s defense, trying to get Heard fired from roles. It's not a stretch to see Minamata being on this list entirely because fans of the actor are trying to make a pro-Depp statement.
The winner of this fan vote is supposed to be announced on the Oscars telecast, even though several of the actual awards won’t be given out live on the stage. It will certainly be interesting to see what movie ultimately wins out. It could make for a very unique Oscar moment.
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