How an Oscar voter makes their choices

I  originally shared this three years ago, so yes the films in question have changed, however it’s still a really good insight into the thinking of Academy members. The voter here explains what they personally look at for each of the categories and clarifies some things like sound mixing vs. sound editing. It helps to give an insight into why some shocks do happen at the Oscars!


The lengths I’ll go to see Oscar nominated films!

When I saw the trailer for Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Room’ my eyes filled with tears, just from the two minute trailer. I’m not sure exactly what did it but maybe the mix of the voiceover, visuals and the music, came together so effectively that just worked on me

At that point I knew I wanted to see the film. If the trailer alone could affect me like that I had a feeling that the full film would be something special and as the overwhelmingly positive reviews started rolling in I became more and more determined.

However I live in a small town with two cinemas, not multiplexes, just a single screen each. Neither had this on, neither had it scheduled to come either. No problem, there’s a multiplex just over an hour away I frequent for times like this but alas, they didn’t have it showing either. So, I started searching the tiny single screen cinemas in North Wales (some I had no clue even existed before) and none of them had it (save one that is getting it in March, which is too post-Oscars for my liking).

I have a railcard, so I looked at all the cinemas on the straight rail route from my home to Birmingham, and found it! However, it was on at a difficult time to get there and back in a day and there were only two showing days left, neither of which I could make! I pretty-much gave up hope of seeing it in a cinema, and resigned myself to the idea that I’d have to just pre-order the blu-ray and watch it at home when it’s released in a few months.

However, after a few days of being quite dejected and hearing more and more great reviews I decided to look again, this time aiming in a different direction that I could go with my bus pass. To my surprise a cinema I’d ruled out a few weeks earlier as not having it, was now showing ‘Room’ once a day at midday, 80 miles away in Wrexham!

This is a journey I have done before, however I’ve not done it for over 3 years on account of the last time I attempted it I got stuck halfway back with no buses running the final part of the journey, leaving me in a lovely rural town in which I had to find a B&B for the night, which put me off travelling so far on the bus, until now.

Filled with renewed determination I did the calculations and if I got the first bus out and made the transfer to the next bus on time, I could get to Wrexham one hour before the film started, just enough time to get something to eat and use the required facilities.

So that’s what I did! I even decided I should make a sojourn out of it (while improving my chances of getting home successfully) by booking a hotel for the night. I made the most of my trip, returning to the cinema for five screenings of various films. Was it worth all the effort and cost?

You’ll have to return to read my review of ‘Room’ tomorrow to find out!

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