The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Brutally Honest’ Oscar Reports

The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Brutally Honest’ Oscar Reports February 21, 2015

American-Sniper-Bradley-Cooper-Chris-Kyle

What’s behind that velvet Oscars curtain? Let’s take a look …

At the Hollywood Reporter, awards blogger Scott Feinberg, along with his regular kudos coverage, is eliciting some anonymous comments on why things are and aren’t being voted for. There’s no telling exactly how “brutally honest” this is, but a lot of it stacks up with conversations I’ve heard around town.

And, yeah, there’s obligatory annoying-Christian post. Thank goodness the guy’s not Catholic. I suspect the protester feels he must do what he’s doing, but I’m more interested in what it’s accomplishing, which is likely very little.

Anyway, here’s a few excerpts from some of Feinberg’s posts...

On “Selma”:

First, let me say that I’m tired of all of this talk about “snubs” — I thought for every one of [the snubs] there was a justifiable reason. What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don’t think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were. And as far as the accusations about the Academy being racist? Yes, most members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they’re not cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies. When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it. But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it? I’ve got to tell you, having the cast show up in T-shirts saying “I can’t breathe” [at their New York premiere] — I thought that stuff was offensive. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up sh*t?

On “American Sniper”:

American Sniper is the winner of the year, whether or not it gets a single statuette, because for all of us in the movie industry — I don’t care what your politics are — it is literally the answer to a prayer for a midrange budget movie directed by an 84-year-old guy [Clint Eastwood] to do this kind of business. It shows that a movie can galvanize America and shows that people will go if you put something out that they want to see. With regard to what it did or didn’t leave out, it’s a movie, not a documentary. I enjoyed it, I thought it was well done, and I can separate out the politics from the filmmaking.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, like American Sniper, is a big hero this year because it shows that people can and will remember how much they loved a movie, even if it comes out in March. I am not a Wes Anderson fan, but as his movies go, I liked it.

And specifically on “American Sniper” star Bradley Cooper:

American SniperBradley Cooper did just a ridiculously phenomenal job, the way that the movie was made brought me back to the way movies used to be made and I completely got who this guy was and his struggle. I don’t condone killing in any way, shape or form, but what resonated with me was his motivation for making a change in his life: 9-1-1 [a reference to Sept. 11, 2001]. He wasn’t arbitrarily killing people; he was protecting his men and that was his job. People can call him whatever they want; I took the movie just the way it was intended by Clint Eastwood. I mean, I love that movie.

On Best Actress:

The Gutillard girl [Two Days, One Night‘s Marion Cotillard] was out ’cause I never saw the movie. I’m kind of done with [Wild‘s] Reese Witherspoon — I feel like she always plays the same character and I’m just done with it. I really loved Theory and she [Felicity Jones] was such an amazing complement to him [Redmayne]. The Still Alice thing, man, was just so depressing, and as much as I think she [Julianne Moore] did a phenomenal job, I just didn’t like the movie — it depressed the sh*t out of me. I went with a real underdog: I liked Gone Girl — I didn’t love the movie — and I thought she [Rosamund Pike] did a great job, so I voted for her.

Lots more fun to be had. I’d rather listen to three hours of honest Oscar commentary than ten minutes of Neil Patrick Harris and the awards themselves, but it is what it is. Tune in tomorrow at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 p.m. Pacific, on ABC.

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