Brutally Honest Oscar Voter Ballot No. 4

VOTER PROFILE: This Oscar voter is a longtime member of the Academy's 377-member public relations branch. The first 3 have been posted here already.

I voted for Gravity and then 12 Years a Slave. Honestly, I really went back and forth thinking about it. The truth is I only watched about half of 12 Years a Slave; I couldn't take it. It made me sick to my stomach and I just thought, "OK, I know slavery was terrible, and this is an important movie and I get all that," but I was bored with how long it was taking. Frankly, if they had had the awards the week after the nominations, I would have voted for it. But when it came time to fill it out I thought, "You know, Gravity was pretty much a perfect movie experience. It had really good performances from really good movie stars, it was thrilling and emotional and I cried -- and it was only 90 minutes!" Plus I really like Alfonso Cuaron. And I remembered the experience of seeing the movie. I almost wish Gravity [meaning Warner Bros.] had not sent out screeners. The screeners cannot have helped Gravity. Anyway, then there was Captain Phillips -- I thought it was a great movie. The one that I wanted to love the most but did not was American Hustle. I loved [David O. Russell's last movie] Silver Linings Playbook -- it was one of my favorite movies of last year -- but I didn't get this one, and one minute after I got up out of my seat at the theater it had left me.

MY PICKS: (1) Gravity, (2) 12 Years a Slave, (3) Captain Phillips, (4) The Wolf of Wall Street, (5) Philomena, (6) American Hustle, (7) Her, (8) Dallas Buyers Club, (9) Nebraska

The first I can rule out is Alexander Payne; it's not The Descendants, for me. [Martin] Scorsese is the next to go; I didn't find it offensive, but what bothered me was how repetitive it was -- it could have been an hour shorter. Still, I think the fact that Marty is whatever he is -- around 70 -- and he made a movie like that is unbelievable. The next out is Russell. And [Steve] McQueen -- I don't know how to say this -- he never made me want to vote for him. I thought he came off as pretentious and affected and rude. I just thought, "Oh, man, I wish somebody loved me as much as you love you." It was always gonna be Cuaron. It's a directorial achievement. It's an amazing piece of directing. And it was a risk. And I like him -- he's got a really interesting body of work. He's somebody you want to do things for and with.

MY PICK: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Bruce Dern impressed me the least -- I just think Bruce Dern is doing Bruce Dern, a cranky old man playing a cranky old man. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave an amazing performance. Christian Bale? I love him and he's consistently great, but just because he's wearing a bad hairpiece and is fat doesn't blow me away. I chose [Leonardo] DiCaprio over [Matthew] McConaughey. I thought he was a-mazing, and I think he's given a ton of amazing performances in both good and bad movies -- even in terrible movies, Leonardo DiCaprio is interesting, at the very least. To hold my interest for three hours of basically the same thing -- drugs and drinking, more drugs and drinking, I get it -- was amazing. You couldn't take your eyes off of him. And I know this sounds terrible, but I really thought, when I was watching Dallas Buyers Club, that I was watching a movie from 20 years ago -- we already gave Tom Hanks the Oscar for this [for his performance in Philadelphia]. Men who lose a lot of weight and look bad -- it's like pretty women who play ugly -- you can't lose. And I like Matthew McConaughey, and I am watching with interest how he has shifted his career, but I thought it was a little bit of an HBO movie. He's better in True Detective.

MY PICK: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Amy Adams is great in everything she does, but this was over in July [when Blue Jasmine, which stars Cate Blanchett, was released]. As far as I'm concerned, they should have saved time on the other award shows and spared everyone else the anguish of going to millions of dinners and sitting there knowing they don't have the slightest chance of winning. I mean, the idea of getting into hair and makeup and Spanx for all of those dinners, when they're just gonna call her name off, and rightfully so, seems inhumane.

MY PICK: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Forget about everybody except Jonah Hill and Jared Leto. Leto gives a classic Oscar role: "I have AIDS and I'm a drag queen." Like, it doesn't get bigger than that, in terms of Oscar bait. He could have gotten nominated with just one of the above! I'm trying to think if there could have been one more thing? A Jew! A Jew, during World War II, who is sick and a transvestite -- that would have been a trifecta. Seriously, though, there was no way he wasn't gonna get nominated ever. As for Jonah Hill, he's absolutely hilarious. It's the definition of a supporting performance -- he's incredibly memorable, he's very good and he is a big thing that you take away from the movie. And it's very subtle -- the gay thing, for instance -- but you get it. I just thought he did a great job.

MY PICK: Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

I eliminated everybody but the one from 12 Years a Slave [Lupita Nyong'o] and Jennifer Lawrence. I didn't vote for Jennifer Lawrence, even though I thought she was very entertaining in the movie, because (a) she just won last year, and (b) we can't give everything to Jennifer Lawrence when she's 22 years old because Jennifer Lawrence will be institutionalized. She will have gotten too much, too soon, too early, and she'll lose her mind. I also didn't think she gave the better performance. I kinda thought the parts of the two women in American Hustle should have been reversed. As for Lupita, it's a great performance -- and she has handled herself impeccably. She has acted like a movie star: she looks great, she is grateful, there's no pictures of her drunk at some party. She's played her part well and she gives an amazing performance.

MY PICK: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)

This is an interesting category. You can't rule out Before Midnight because Richard Linklater's a likable guy. Wolf of Wall Street is a good adaptation, but it's three hours long; you shouldn't be able to read the book in the same amount of time the movie takes. That leaves 12 Years, Captain Phillips and Philomena. I voted for Philomena only because the movie was so emotional for me and because I thought, "Wow, to take this story and figure out how to make a movie like this must have been quite a task." I probably would have voted for Captain Phillips next because I know a lot of people who were involved with that film.

MY PICK: Philomena

It'll go to Her because this is where you give an award to the quirky movie that everybody wants people to know that they appreciated. And I concur with that. I don't want anybody, though, to come to any conclusion, when Woody Allen does not win for Blue Jasmine -- my runner-up -- that it had anything to do with the horribleness of dragging him through everything he's had to deal with over the last few weeks. There was a minute there that I actually thought, "Harvey [Weinstein] really will stop at nothing," because if Blanchett was out, Judi Dench was the next one up. The whole thing is so suspect to me.


I voted for Frozen and none of the others were even in the discussion. Honestly, if they did not have the animated category, Frozen would have easily gotten a best picture nomination. It just delivered.

MY PICK: Frozen

More categories at the SOURCE