The first member of the Academy is described: " a longtime voter in the 458-member executives branch who is not associated with any of this year's nominees."
"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." This was the most perspicacious comment in all of her (probably 'him') interview. An apt comment on the movie that hadn't occurred to me, but I think that it applies to the movie themes.
"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." Hollywood and the Academy do like their Message Movies even if they are not exemplary movies.
If I were Leo DiCaprio, I might not be depending on winning my Oscar. Both members don't seem to care too much for his performance.
"I am always reluctant to break up picture and director, barring extraordinary circumstances. I don't see how you can separate them. But I must say that I think it's criminal that Ridley wasn't nominated in this category." The other apt comment in the interview. I concur.
This member hates The Revenant and is primarily voting against it just to be contrary. I'll bet that she is voting for Trump, too.
The Revenant is too long and too repetitious, so don't vote for it for those reasons. But there is a fine movie in those overlong two hours, admit it and give it some of your respect.
The second member of the Academy is described as follows: "A member of the Academy's 216-person members-at-large branch, which is reserved for people who have held "a key creative position for which the Academy has no branch."
The 2nd member also describes herself (she is probably a "he" but I am using the generic which is female) as: "But I'm sure that [Hungary] Son of Saul will win because there's a bunch of old Jewish people voting — I can say that because I'm an old Jew [laugh]" and I like her frank humor.
She likes Mad Max: Fury Road for all the right reasons: "But Mad Max: [Fury Road] is one of the most extraordinary films I’ve ever seen — it’s so imaginative that it just takes my breath away. This is not just an action movie, although it has great battle sequences; it makes comments on women and it’s so deep and has so many layer". She gets the Feminist perspective and a darn good film is a darn good film even if it is just a big friggin' NASCAR chase and demolition derby in the desert.
I haven't seen Room yet, so I can't comment on the actress award (ugh, tonight I'll make my attempt---that movie is so unappealing to me), but I would choose Charlotte Rampling as Best Actress just to send a message, and the Academy does like to send its messages to the world. Give the older actress the award because dammit she has proved herself over her career (just like Judi Dench). And this member loses me and my respect when she goes off on Brooklyn and Saoirse Ronan. She is just belittling what she considers to be a Woman's Film. Hey member, Woman's Films are what made the movies in their beginning.
And give Alicia Vikander the Best Supporting Actress award for Ex Machina. The Danish Girl was the crap Woman's film of the year.
I think that there will be third exit poll, so I'll ammend this post when it is posted on line.
The third exit poll is up at The Hollywood Reporter.
The voter: "Voter Profile: A member of the Academy's 1,138-member actors branch."
The voter qualified her votes: "I see everything and I actually thought the best pictures of the year were The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Testament of Youth, but they didn't even come close to getting nominated."
I think that it is great that the voter is so conscientious with her votes. She sees all the movies and she is an informed voter. Kudos to her! Now I will have to take a look at The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Testament of Youth on her recommendations.
This voter has an unusual criticism of Brooklyn. She didn't vote for it because she didn't think that it was true to the immigrant experience of the 1950s, although she did offer the usual excuse that it was just a "woman's film", aka "sentimental". She recommended Elia Kazan's America America as a true example of the immigration in that period. I have seen America America and it was one of the most claustrophobic films I have ever seen. Perhaps Kazan was too close to his subject, he was an anchor baby of Greek immigrants. Not all immigrants to the US were as desparately poor as in that movie, there were other classes of immigrants and their stories are valid too. Brooklyn is not meant to be a realistic depiction of the immigrant experience in America, it is a fairy, epic tale of a woman's odyssey to discover herself. The comparison with the hyper-realism of America America is not valid. I suppose this voter doesn't understand the importance of a girl's discovery of her womanhood---Disney and Inside Out certainly do, as does the movie Cinderella that she voted for for Best Costume Design. Again, I can see the dismissal of women as just not being representative of the human experience. Does the voter not realize how ridiculous that is?
This voter also gets in on the Leo DiCaprio and The Revenant hate that appears to be a meme among these interviewed Academy members. That hate invalidates any of their criticism of the actor and movie. I just wish that they could see and appreciate the moments and scenes of genius in that film. It might not be the best film, but the technical mastery is there.
However, the voter didn't vote for Spotlight because she thought that the movie made too much of the reporters who broke the story of priest child abusers and not enough of their victims. Again, she missed the point of the movie, and that it was about the complicity of the church, civil, and media in ignoring that child abuse and even abetting it by that feigned ignorance. The abuse of the children was another story and another movie. We did catch a enough glimpses of it in the story that the recovering heroin addict told of his childhood sexual abuse among a few other victims. The voter should evaluate the movie as it is given.
Mad Max: Fury Road was probably the voter's favorite movie, but she didn't vote for it because it was "a rollercoaster ride". So? That is one rollercoaster ride that I and a great many other viewers will be going on again and again. Hear our screams!
The Big Short got her one and only vote (she refused to participate in the porportional voting of the Academy and rank the films) because it was an important message film. The message might just win the Oscar. After all, Chris Rock is the host of the evening for much the same messaging reason.
The fourth member of the Academy weighed in with her choices and why she made them.
She is a writer and there are only 392 of them who are members. That's a small number. Isn't the joke in LA is that everybody has a screenplay that they would like to have produced?
The writer thought that Ex Machina should have received a nomination and I can agree with that. It was an original in that it didn't go where I thought that it would go. It did surprise me; and the acting was well done. Alicia Vikander should have received the Best Supporting (or just the Best) Actress nomination for that movie, not The Danish Girl. Ex Machina used its technical effects very well and even had a meta-scene on filming a scene. It's like magic, distract the viewer's attention while the cinematographer performs her tricks and illusions right in front of the audience's lying eyes. The writer notes later in the interview that the hero was defeated in Ex Machina. No, the hero was not defeated, the Heroine was triumphant in Ex Machina.
I liked her comments on Room. I too was sqwicked out by the subject matter and thought that there was a better and more interesting movie that could have been made about sexual slavery. But then, that wasn't the movie that was made and nominated. Room as it stands is a fine movie (it did win me over after the first 30 to 40 minutes), but even with its assumed limitations of perspective and approach, it could have been a better technical movie at the very least.
This writer voted for Brooklyn with no reservations about it. And I must agree with her.