One Grouchy Anonymous Oscar Voter Calls Meryl Streep’s Performance In August: Osage County “Bottom-Drawer”
Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter posted their first of five “brutally honest” Oscar ballots from a voter and after reading it, I learned something new: Andy Rooney’s ghost is an Oscar voter! Because the Oscar voter they talked to sounds like a cranky, crusty ole’ grouch who wears two pairs of chonies all the way up to his nipples, only eats peach yogurt and yells at everything both living and inanimate. I think I just described myself in five years.
The Oscar voter (let’s call him Clint Eastwood, because that’s totally his name) is a longtime member of the Academy’s 377-member directors branch and he loved everything American Hustle, especially Jennifer Lawrence, and he wasn’t really impressed with anything else. He didn’t watch any of the shorts. The entire article is here, but below are some of his picks with his explanation. It’s best if you picture him saying all of this while throwing rocks at the neighborhood dog who’s sniffing on his front lawn.
His Best Picture pick: American Hustle
Why American Hustle and why not 12 Years A Slave: ….with 12 Years a Slave, you don’t even crack a smile, but it was interesting, admirable and well done; I must say, though, that contrary to what some have asserted, it’s not as if it required great courage to make that movie — maybe if you made it in Mississippi in 1930. As for American Hustle, its ambition is not overwhelming, but it takes an interesting subject and very interesting characters and delivers 100 percent on what could be done with it in a very engaging, entertaining, interesting and truthful way. I would not put it in the legendary masterpiece category, but it doesn’t fail on any level.
His Best Actor pick: Christian Bale, American Hustle
Why: Ejiofor was good. DiCaprio has been better; this is a popcorn performance. McConaughey was very good; he’s really doing some great stuff now, and I would give it to him for True Detective. Dern is a great guy and a friend and is excellent in the movie, and if I were not as taken by Bale’s performance as I am, I would have voted for him. But Bale had a much juicier role… It’s the role of a lifetime.
His Best Actress pick: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Why: Blanchett has to win this. Bullock is the weak link — she’s just OK. For Streep, whom I love, this is a bottom-drawer performance. Dench is a terrific actress, and she’s very good in this film. Adams I love. But you have to vote for who’s truly the best, and to me, Blanchett — whom I’m normally not that wild about, with the exception of Bandits — is that. She was just a revelation; she was just spectacular.
His Best Supporting Actor pick: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Why: Everyone was at least very good, but Cooper was the best. I think this is the best he’s been in anything. If he wasn’t in the category, I’d probably end up voting for Jonah Hill, only because I found him so funny. Jared Leto was good and will win, but he’s getting tremendous points because of the person he’s playing more than the way he played it, which is as close to pandering as you can get.
His Best Supporting Actress pick: His boo Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Why: Lawrence and Hawkins are the two obvious best of the five. Hawkins had a difficult part — it’s not an attractive role, and she’s intentionally overshadowed constantly by Blanchett, but she registers strongly in each scene she’s in. Jennifer was even better — she has that extra level of excitement in every scene she’s in. She just dazzles; she’s always doing something original and bold and surprising and believable. June Squibb was fine. Julia Roberts was horrendous. And Lupita was very good, but a lot of the commotion over her is attributable to people’s tremendous empathy with and sympathy for the role she’s playing.
His Best Director pick: David O. Russell for American Hustle
Why: David O. Russell, hands down. Steve McQueen made an admirable movie, but I don’t think it’s remotely as ambitious or good as his previous film, Shame. Wolf is like Casino and GoodFellas — fun, bubble-gum Scorsese. Payne — whatever. And Cuaron was part of a committee of technicians who made that movie, and I have seen things at the planetarium that were at least as impressive.
Pepaw can shade!
I wouldn’t call Meryl Streep’s performance as “bottom-drawer,” but I didn’t think she should’ve been nominated. (May a gold Oscar statue fall on my head.) Meryl didn’t only chew the scenery. She chewed the scenery, swallowed it, digested it, shit it out and rolled around in it. And I have to agree with him about 12 Years A Slave. That’s what surprised me most about it. I thought that a movie about a man getting drugged, kidnapped, torn apart from his family and sold into slavery would’ve had me rolling with laughter in the aisles. It’s weird how we all didn’t smile and laugh during that movie. “Speak for yourself, you little oriental beaner sissy boy!” – Paula Deen
And if most Oscar voters voted the way this dude did, then the emergency room better prepare a bed for me now, because I’ll be in a booze-induced coma halfway through Jennifer Lawrence’s acceptance speech.