Do new Oscar voters deserve the heat to win the "green book"?


Now that the Oscar winners have made their mark, I would like to express empathy for the 1,800 new members of the Academy who, after getting their first vote, are now facing deadly attacks by some of the biggest film critics of the country. The phalanx of the new voters has been announced as giving the Academy a new perspective. Instead, the best winning image, Green paper, is "an embarrassment – insultening glib" (Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times) and "a bewildering collection of deaf-mute racial clichés" (A.O. Scott in the New York Times).

If I were a new member, I would ask, "What did I do wrong?" I just arrived. It is for this reason that I feel empathy: I was recruited years ago as a new elector of the Academy and I too was thunderstruck in my first vote. I am always proud of it. With regard to this year's vote, no one has any reason to feel embarrassed. the Green paper The victory stems from many factors: the Academy's complex vote counting process, the bottom line of resistance to Netflix and, not to forget, the fact that many voters are satisfied Green paper. And unlike film critics, they do not hate to feel good.

The adventure as a whole is reminiscent of a proposal by William Goldman ten years ago: he wanted the Academy to announce the real totals, as in a normal election. The leaders of the Academy were outraged: the total votes would undermine the legitimacy of an Oscar. Yes Moonlight had won by only 10 votes last year on La La Landit would have diminished the artistic importance of the victory. Really?

So let me go back to my first vote. Fifty years ago, I had just joined Paramount when Howard W. Koch, then President of the Academy, went to my office with a packet of references. "You are now a voting member of the Academy," he said. "I just arrived three months ago," I replied. "I was a journalist for the New York Times and I'm not even a movie buff. "

Koch insisted. The Academy's demos were downright decrepit, he said. Young voters are needed. "In addition, Bob Evans and you are already putting more films into production than any of the older movies." Rosemary's Baby, The Godfather and History of love.)

Midnight Cowboy

"Midnight Cowboy"

Snap Stills / Shutterstock

I signed the documents. My first vote was for Midnight Cowboy. It was, in my opinion, brilliant and X-rated and far more interesting than its rivals or the winner of the previous year, the G-rated Oliver. Some friends and colleagues were furious with me and against other new voters for the selection. Midnight Cowboy were not ahead of his time, it's an embarrassment for his time – his homosexual subtext, his cheeky direction of John Schlesinger, the ferocious performances of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. I had helped betray my new job.

Fifty years later, everything turned out. Academy leaders, pressed by activists, have imposed a radical change in the number of members. The Academy had become hopelessly undiversified and conservative – as evidenced by the recent list of winners as 12 years of slave, moonlight and Projector (They were bland?) New blood was needed.

Well, it happened. And now we have to control the bleeding.

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