Since we just had an election, it seems like a good time to talk about the terms of politics and how similar it sometimes is to the Oscar race. The only other way you’ll hear that word, “frontrunner” is in politics, mostly. The frontrunner is in place because of polls. If you are the frontrunner, it is expected you run the “frontrunner’s campaign,” which means, you keep your head down, don’t kick up a fuss, and keep the message on message. Your handlers will do that for you. With the Oscar race, it’s in the hands of capable publicists who have to somehow wrangle the wild wild west of the blogosphere going off on this or that film, this or that “issue,” this controversy, that scandal, this rumor, that rave review. We bloggers are not ones to whisper what we think: we shout it from the rooftops. “I am a Golden God!”
The best thing that can happen to your movie is to be ignored by the bloggers. But don’t hate us. We know not what we do. The heart wants what it wants. And our love for a film can sometimes suffocate its Oscar chances. Ditto for an actress contender or a screenplay: overzealous is not the way you sell an Oscar winner. As I always say, the Academy has to think it’s their idea, otherwise they won’t go for it.¬† As one told me once, they “vote for the best picture.” The one they think is the best of the nominees. They don’t pay attention much to the chatter except to look in the direction of the contenders that are getting the most buzz. Managing expectations is one of the hardest jobs in the Oscar race. They can’t ever be too high or they have nowhere to go but down.