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Thursday, January 25, 2007


Oscar-ology: Voter Demographics

Following the commenter brouhaha yesterday around my suggestion that the Dreamgirls snub might have something to do with the film's lack of straightwhitemaleness, Sasha Stone at Oscarwatch (quoting David Carr at Carpetbagger and sharing some of her own thoughts) bring up some really good points:
"It most likely did not help that the movie, with its gorgeous songs and amazing costumes, was a tough sell to begin with among white males, a demographic that describes the majority of the academy’s 5,800 voting members....The marketing of the film didn’t help, either. Regardless of what you have heard, “Dreamgirls” was a story that was about something, a particularly American story of success and redemption. Instead it was sold as a parade float, majestic and unstoppable. Behind that miscalculation, the basic blocking and tackling of an Oscar campaign fell short. The decision to send out screeners of the movie late was built on hubris — the same reason that Parmount/DreamWorks chose to charge $25 for early peeks at the movie — which suggested that it was an Important Film that must be seen on a big screen." [Carpetbagger is the link I'm guessing, but Oscarwatch didn't list it and I can't find it on their site to credit.]
Sasha herself notes:
"I'd say that much of the reason for the Dreamgirls/Letters switch out was that voters probably expected Dreamgirls was a shoo-in, so much so that many of them voted for Letters instead; Eastwood had been all but locked out of all of the major guild nominations, namely, the DGA." [Oscarwatch]
I'm willing to entertain the Chris-Daughtry-Losing-On-Idol theory, that many voters thought Dreamgirls was a sure thing and placed their votes elsewhere. But Carr's postulation that (straight) white men weren't interested in Dreamgirls' premise to begin with, and were further turned off by the flamboyance (gayness? "parade floats"?) of the marketing campaign -- makes a lot of sense to me.

I apologize to any straight white males who did indeed like Dreamgirls (all three of you). I also hope that the angry commenters will continue to talk that weak smack about Dreamgirls in the comments. My door and my mind are open, even if my conviction about what happened is rock solid.

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