I’m still mad about the Oscars. You’re from a show-biz background so I’ll ask you: is the Oscars just a popularity contest? Is it just like Congress, where you have to make deals in order to get something you want (an oscar?). I mean – I saw “Silver LInings Playbook”. It was okay. I bought the dvd from a bootlegger and at $3 I was glad I hadn’t invested any more $ (Had I spent $30 at the movie theatre I would have been disgruntled.) And another question: are the results leaked beforehand?
Hi, Rosie. The short answer to your question is yes.
Film studios spend millions of dollars on Awards Campaigns. They take out ads in magazines, newspapers, and on radio and television. They pay PR firms to promote the film via social media. The stars are contractually obligated to do press for the film, going on talk shows and landing in the gossip columns (that latter part is “unofficial” publicity, where the agents and managers do some nudge-nudge-wink-winking). A conversation might go something like this. “Remember when Britney Spears got photographed without underwear on? Wow, that must have been the number one story on every outlet for a week! Have a great workout, Anne!”
Have you seen the Netflix Original series “House of Cards”? In one episode, the puppet master, Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), orchestrates it so a bunch of news commentators start wondering if the president will nominate So-and-So for Secretary of State because Underwood planted the story with a reporter he’s banging. Within hours, the reporters’ musings become so ubiquitous, the president actually has to consider the question he never even thought to ask until it was asked on TV.
So, when everyone from Letterman to Chelsea Handler starts asking Anne Hathaway, “What would it be like to win an Oscar?”, you already know what happens. Future actors are going to have to up their games, though. When Hathaway went on a diet of her own shorn hair and the open hostility of her new husband to method-act the shit out of “Les Mis,” everyone knew she was gunning for Oscar. She upped the ante for future Oscar grubbers. Jodie Foster wore a WIG for “The Accused”, and Nicole Kidman put on a prosthetic nose. Amateurs. The way this competition is going, future actors will have disfiguring plastic surgery to put themselves in the running for those gold (plated) statues.
Many believe that the negative publicity surrounding the torture depicted in “Zero Dark Thirty” cost Bigelow’s film the top nod, and made Jessica Chastain’s Oscar go to Jennifer Lawrence.
As for the latter, JLaw has this certain “I would totally have sex with an overweight fifty-seven year-old man if he made me laugh” thing going on that makes Academy Members vote for her. The studio knew what it was doing. Did you notice all the pre-Oscar TV ads for the film featured her instead of Bradley Cooper or DeNiro? Watching her on the red carpet, I see she has perfected that “contractual smoldering peek over her shoulder at Harvey Weinstein during the act” look. She’s a talented actress, and they were going to give her an Oscar no matter what, just like Julia Roberts (back in my day) was going to get one for the same reason. Jennifer Lawrence’s win mirrors Roberts’ in many ways. Julia played a sexy bad girl in “Mystic Pizza” and became famous for it. The second she was in a movie with Sally Field (“Steel Magnolias” 1989), the Academy knew it could nominate her for an Oscar. Brenda Fricker beat her that year, but the next year she was in the top spot for reminding old men that hookers LOVE sex with billionaires decades older than themselves. They all wheezed a collective sigh of relief when she finally did a film for which they could give her the damn Oscar.
I didn’t see “Silver Linings” but didn’t JLaw have a relationship with a man old enough to be her dad? Hmmmm. I’d say that if you’re a juicy young actress and you don’t want to shave your head, pluck out your eyebrows, or drink egg whites to put on 11 pounds of pure muscle, play a nymphomaniac in a semi-serious film where your character is tickling the nutsack of a much older man who in real life would never get a chick that hot. “And the award goes to…” could very well be in your future.
As to your question about leaking the results, I know that there are Vegas odds on the results. Gamblers place bets and money changes hands. I am sure the information is available ahead of time to the right person for the right price. Whether or not that actually transpires, I have no idea.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of “Ask Mrs. Odie” (and reading her wild speculations about shit)! Keep the questions coming!