Monday, September 30, 2013

Oscars and the power of friends

Lets talk about what the power of friends does for you if you are an Oscar contender. The voting for the Academy Awards is the high-brow version of a high school presidential campaign. If you are a member of the Academy and you have a chance to vote for someone you have worked for or with for twenty years then why wouldn't you?

Take the case of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in the 2010 Oscar season. After working together on Eat Pray Love and becoming fast friends, Julia Roberts told anyone who would listen that they needed to nominate Bardem for Best Actor at that year's Oscars for his brilliant performance in Mexico's Foreign Language entry (and eventual FL nominee) Biutiful. Getting a nomination for a foreign language performance is usually pretty difficult but he eventually got the nomination (Colin Firth for The King's Speech was always going to win). Javier's performance was outstanding and as a past winner he had a bit of an advantage, but he would not have received the spotlight of attention and press for the role that he did without the support of his friend Julia.

I have had this conversation with my brother Nic. We hope that isn't what they do, but you can kind of expect it can't you? The best Oscar campaign is a friendship group full of members. If I was an actor and Nic was an actor, if he was up for Best Actor potentially I could not honestly say that I would vote for Tom Hanks over my own brother. What kind of brother would I be?

Now, this is of course not founded on any evidence of course, it is merely opinion. I am not writing an expose of the Academy I am just pushing a little discussion. I think the Academy voting system is the fairest way to conduct the decision. The members of the Academy most likely aren't going to vote for someone to win an Oscar just so they show up to the awards ceremony i.e The Hollywood Foreign Press.

When trying to predict winners ask this my friends. Is the person good enough? Who do they know?

Leave a comment below, lets hear what you think.

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