Speculating on who might win the Academy Awards is always a tricky fete. The rules for nominations are mysterious and ever shifting. The worth of the nominees themselves is often determined—not just for their nominated performance—but for the scope of their career. And then of course there's the fact that the people making up the voting Academy are a bit of a mystery.
Well, THR unraveled a bit of this last quandary when one anonymous Academy member from the directors branch openly voted, offering insight into each of his decisions. While some of his rationale is valid (choosing Les Mis for Best Sound Mixing because of the difficulty in recording the song numbers live), the rest is insanely infuriating.
First off, this voter confesses he has not seen all the nominated films, but voted in their category anyway (Life of Pi for Best Visual Effects, Paperman Best Animated Short). We learn personal bias plays a major role. His intense distaste for CGI boiled his decision for Best Production Design down to Anna Karenina and Lincoln. He chose the latter because he hated the former movie, but does "have a lot of personal respect for Steven Spielberg." As someone who has long admired the Oscars, I confess this jackass is steadily killing my esteem.
Other highlights—well, lowlights—include his thoughts on Best Director. He would have voted for Bigelow, but parsing his way through the actual nominees he decides on Spielberg again, saying:
"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 and with him guiding Day-Lewis in a direction different than we’d normally associated with Lincoln. Plus, Spielberg deserves an Oscar every 10 years or so out of respect for what he does for the industry."
To decide between Wreck-It Ralph and ParaNorman from the "mediocre" Best Animated Feature nominees, he flipped a coin (well, his iPhone) and so chose Wreck-It Ralph. He jokes he can't vote for a nominee whose name he can't pronounce, so Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis is out. Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence lost his vote because of her appearance on Saturday Night Live. After determining Christoph Waltz's Best Supporting Actor nomination "fake," he decides Tommy Lee Jones as a person is too unlikeable to vote for before choosing Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master. Though he votes for Amour's Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress, he dismisses the film's screenplay nod saying, "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."
Finally, he gets to Best Picture, where Academy members have to rank the nominated films in order of preference. However, this voter is so unimpressed with seven of the nine nominees, he decides not to vote for them at all. Amour pissed him off. Beasts of the Southern Wild confused him. Les Mis disappointed him. Silver Linings Playbook he describes as "blah," while Django Unchained was "a fun movie, but it’s basically just Quentin Tarantino masturbating for almost three hours." Life of Pi kept his interest until its "irritating ending," and he laments that Argo "is on track to win for the wrong reasons." So he leaves seven of the space blank, voting for Zero Dark Thirty in the one spot, and Lincoln in two.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are our Oscars. And this guy may be the biggest embarrassment to the Academy Awards since Snow White's catastrophic song and dance.