Some Academy members (oldsters mostly) are just finally getting around to seeing the big nominated movies. Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, for example, opened theatrically last July and has been industry-screened over and over for the past several months, but yesterday Deadline‘s Pete Hammond wrote about having spoken to some lazy-ass guy who only just saw it last weekend. Fellows like this are the dregs of the Academy membership — the slowest, least attuned, least engaged. The guy told Hammond he would probably vote for Boyhood for Best Picture but that he might vote for American Sniper because it was “so powerful…the audience just sat there afterwards.” And of course he prefers Eddie Redmayne‘s Theory of Everything performance to Michael Keaton‘s in Birdman.
A few weeks ago I wrote about “a smart, sophisticated, once-happening actress” I became friendly with last year, a woman “who had recently served on a SAG committee of some kind. Her basic attitude about seeing films was to not see them for the first nine to ten months of the year, she once told me, and then start paying attention in late October or November.” At the time I regarded her as a fairly lazy person in a movie-watching, award-season sense, but she’s got Pete Hammond’s guy beat all to hell.
So all these Johnny-Come-Latelys are almost certainly going to vote for the Default Softie choices. Which, let’s face it, is not good news for Birdman.