Well, this is something you don’t see every Oscar year. Three different outlets are posting what amounts to For Your Consideration pieces by celebrities. Entertainment Weekly is running a series where different actors endorse films or contenders. Reese Witherspoon wrote a heartfelt FYC ad for Naomi Watts in The Impossible. James Franco, for Perks of Being a Wallflower. And in The Envelope’s awards edition, Helen Mirren is endorsing Beasts of the Southern Wild. From what I know, the Academy has, in the past, frowned upon such practices. I wonder what’s changed that makes that now no big deal? The parties, the endorsements, “it’s still the flea circus.”
Back in the day, Harvey Weinstein took out a full page ad in Variety with a splashy Robert Wise quote endorsing Martin Scorsese for Gangs of New York. It turned into a controversy, from Alt Film Guide:
Following the Robert Wise-Miramax-Gangs of New York firestorm, Academy President Frank Pierson said in a statement that “there will now be personal consequences to improper campaigning.” According to the Academy’s new rules, “Any Academy member who has authorized, approved or executed a campaign activity that is determined by the Board of Governors to have undermined the letter or spirit of these regulations will be subject to suspension of membership or expulsion from the Academy,” while those violations deemed truly serious “could result in a film losing its eligibility for Awards consideration.”
But Alt Film Guide goes on to name all of the endorsement that were in print in last year’s Hollywood Reporter.
But the group grope that has become Oscar coverage simply doesn’t allow for such things. All’s fair in love and war and the Oscar race is both.