Every year, The Hollywood Reporter pulls back the veil by allowing a few Academy members to anonymously reveal their Oscar ballots and the reasons for those votes. Every year, it's illuminating and maddening. This year is no exception. The Oscars will be handed out this Sunday, February 28 on ABC, and voting is now closed. It seems like is a lock to win Best Actor for "The Revenant" but at least one Academy member openly voted against him.
This particular Oscar voter shared his ballot with THR, revealing films he didn't even see (including "Mad Max: Fury Road") and admitting that he hated "The Revenant" so much he voted for "Mad Max" in one category "solely because I want to stop The Revenant." He had some valid (and funny) points to make in his distaste for "The Revenant," arguing that Leo's Oscar campaign is based around how hard it was to make the film, when that's why actors are paid big bucks. Plus, how much did he actually do in the film?
Here are his arguments for (and again) Best Picture and Best Actor:
I haven't seen Mad Max: [Fury Road] — I just didn't get to it. I dislike The Revenant intensely — it's a beautifully shot Road Runner movie, in the sense that Leonardo DiCaprio keeps falling down and getting up, and who cares? I don't. Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies, apart from Mark Rylance's performance [in Spies], are not worthy of being picture nominees — both are overly sentimental and feel like movies made in the '50s, in the worst sense. I liked The Martian very much — Ridley Scott made a beautiful movie for all of us who have lost someone in our lives and tried to figure out how we could have saved them. Room is a brilliant movie — well shot and with beautiful performances — about the thing all parents fear as much as anything: losing a child and not knowing what's become of them. Spotlight I liked very much, even though it also deals with terribly upsetting subject matter, because it shows how authority figures often fail to live up to their responsibilities — and because it features wonderful performances. But my No. 1 vote goes to The Big Short, which is the most courageous film of the year. It deals with a subject that most people don't understand in a highly creative and entertaining way without using sentimentality as a crutch.
My vote (1) The Big Short; (2) Spotlight; (3) Room; (4) The Martian; (5) I abstain.
I rule out Leonardo immediately because it's a ridiculous performance. They are running his campaign based on how hard it was to make the movie, right? I'm tired of hearing about it — that's what he gets paid for! I mean, this was not Nanook of the North [a 1922 docudrama shot in the Arctic], for Christ's sake. Give me a break. He got millions of dollars, and I would assume they had heaters. The fact that he's never won before? He's a young man, he still has time. [Steve Jobs'] Michael Fassbender is also out because he's in a dopey movie. [Trumbo's] Bryan Cranston was nominated because of whom he played, not how he played him. I liked [The Martian's] Matt [Damon] and [The Danish Girl's] Eddie [Redmayne] very much, but Eddie broke my heart with the way he showed how painful it must have been to know something about himself that no one else seemed able to understand.
My vote Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)"
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