A well-placed source has sent Hollywood Elsewhere what is alleged to be an early draft of Penn’s Deadline essay. I’m not saying this was actually written by Penn, but he may have…who knows? Or maybe someone else did. Either way it reads as follows:
“Bradley Cooper has a problem, all right, and it’s you, the industry voters. Seriously, what’s up with you guys? Are you blind, resentful, obstinate…what’s your problem? Cooper has made the most successful contemporary love story of all time and you’re blowing him off across the board? So far he hasn’t won shit. We all know he’s isn’t winning the Best Director Oscar and the film sure as shit isn’t winning the Best Picture Oscar.
“I mean, you guys were told and told for months that this film is a stupendous fucking award-winner, and now you’re saying ‘fuck you’ to Bradley, me, and even Variety‘s Kris Tapley? Did you guys take a secret vote and decide to stick it to A Star Is Born for spite? Or…what, to fucking embarass us? The other day Bradley said he’s embarassed that he didn’t get nominated for Best Director. You embarassed him!
“I told you guys last March that A Star Is Born is ‘one of the most beautiful, fantastic…it’s the best, most important commercial film I’ve seen in so many years.’
“And then last September Tapley told you that A Star Is Born “is an across-the-board Oscar contender…it has the muscle to achieve what only three films in movie history ever have: Win all five major Academy Awards (picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay).’
“You guys were instructed, you were prepared, you were given cue cards and told how it was going to play out by people who know what goes, and then you all gave us the finger and told us to take a fucking hike. Well, fuck you right back!
“In the end, the apples and oranges of film competition, and the inequity of advertising budgets has always left the Academy Awards with some inevitable aftertaste of the alcohol most of us have to drink to get through them. To spare myself potential disappointment, I’m raising a glass in advance to Bradley Cooper and A Star is Born. Surely a raised glass is as legitimate as a globe of gilded gold or a male statuette minus a penis (also gold gilded). God forbid it have balls this year!
“A Star is Born is simply everything that movies should be. If we honor anything, this should be it.”