This Academy Member's Brutally Honest Breakdown Of Her Oscar Ballot Will Shock You

It's all fun and games to prognosticate about who will go home with a little golden man at the Academy Awards. Unfortunately, what really goes into an actual Academy member's decision to vote for one performance or film over another can come down to a bunch of subjective, opinionated, and brutal bullshit. The Hollywood Reporter demonstrated this by having one extremely honest Academy member break down the rationale behind each vote on her ballot. While she made a lot of salient points, many things she had to say will make your head explode.

When it came to her choice for Best Picture, "let me say that I'm tired of all this talk about 'snubs,'" the anonymous Academy member told THR. She was specifically talking about Selma's omissions in several categories. "What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there's no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don't think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were."

She also pooh-poohed accusations that the Academy is racist. "Yes, most members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they're not cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies. When a movie about Black people is good, members vote for it. But, if the movie isn't that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has Black people in it?"

She, for one, didn't like how the cast had gotten involved in political causes. "[H]aving [them] show up in T-shirts saying "I can't breathe" [at their New York premiere] — I thought that stuff was offensive. Do they want to be known for making the best movie of the year, or for stirring up shit?"

Can they not do both? 

Moving on, we come to the next most egregious voting rationale in the Best Supporting Actress category. "I'm voting for [Patricia] Arquette. She gets points for working on a film for 12 years and bonus points for having no work done during the 12 years. If she had had work done during the 12 years, she would not be collecting these statues. It's a bravery reward. It says, 'You're braver than me. You didn't touch your face for 12 years. Way to freakin' go!'"

Why yes, an Academy member did just say she voted for Patricia Arquette to take home an Oscar not because she turned in an amazingly acted, 12-year-long performance, but because she didn't have any plastic surgery done to alter her face during that time period. My goodness. Can Patricia Arquette live? Can all women, everywhere? I'm strongly considering opting out of society and relocating to a deserted island with a volleyball named Wilson who won't judge me for my aesthetic choices right now.

The anonymous voter also revealed something we've long suspected: That they do take an actor's entire body of work and career longevity into their decisions. She voted for J.K. Simmons to win Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash not just because his performance in that particular role was transformative, but also "because he was in 5,000 episodes of Law & Order. In other words, he's been acting forever." This could also explain why Michael Keaton takes home the award for Best Actor on Sunday night, and Eddie Redmayne could go home empty-handed.

We do have to agree with this person on one thing, though: Her Best Animated Feature commentary. "If you can call anything a 'snub,' this year, it was The Lego Movie, which was one of the best movies of the year. I don't know what happened there, but it is inconceivable to me." It's true, and so not awesome. What goes into the Academy's decision to nominate certain movies and not others, however, is another story for another time. (THR)

More from Movies


R29 Original Series