Oscar winners who owe their win to Academy Home Screeners

Just in case some folks don’t know what Screeners are:

Before votes for Academy Awards nominations are due, voters have always (“always” in the years since home viewing media has made this possible) been able to get copies (videotape/DVD) of submitted films so they could review the submissions that they may not have gotten a chance to see in the theaters.

This practice has had a significant effect in leveling the playing field (a bit) so that smaller films, that were not able to manage as wide a release as the Hollywood Giants, could be seen by voters.

Now, because of that whiney little shit with the painted beard, the Academy will no longer allow voters to have access to screeners. A voter can’t very fairly consider a film without seeing it. Without screeners many smaller films will go unacknowledged.

Who are some past winners who Y’all think never would have won (or been nominated) without the “leg up” provided by Screeners?
I’ll start off:

Marcia Gay Harden for Pollack
This film was only out on one screen in Los Angeles for only one week before nominations were due. Almost everyone who voted for this film only saw it at home- thanks to Screeners.

Marcia Gay Harden and this film NEVER would have been acknowledged otherwise.

Halle Berry Monsters Ball

Hillary Swank Boys Don’t Cry
Gwen Paltro Shakespear in Love (each screener came with a 100 dollar bill)

Another thing is that small films do not have the money to rent theatres to hold screenings. The studios do.

Who’s the whiny little shit with the painted beard?

Yes I wish to learn the identity of this scurvy creature as well.

Actually, the MPAA has changed its mind and allowed Academy members to receive the screeners after all. However, it has not changed its mind in prohibiting guild members, film critics, and other press from receiving the screeners. So, this should not affect the Oscars directly, although it may indirectly (since the year-end guild and critics awards may be impacted by the decision).

Red Violin probably got a big boost from home viewing; I doubt it would have won for musical score otherwise.

Have you been to a movie lately and seen the anti-piracy ad during the previews where the guy with brown hair and a red goatee talks about how pirating movies doesn’t hurt the wealthy producers and actors, but it does hurt the ‘little guys’ like the tech people, set design, painters, carpenters, etc. who work on making movies.

I think that guy is who they’re referring to as the whiny little shit with the painted beard.


(So, so sorry…)


David Goldstein

I don’t mean to persecute poor David, I was really just using him as a metaphor for the whole whiny anti-piracy campaign. I’m sure David is a perfectly nice, even if easily manipulated, person.

Anyone else with ideas of winners who needed their screeners?

I’m glad to hear the Academy has rethought this!

I thought they were talking about me for some reason.

Adrien Brody for The Pianist.

He was even mentioned in a Variety article last week, as a recent winner who would have never had a shot in a no-screener year.

I’m glad they have other trailers coming–I’m sympathetic to Mr. Goldstein and all, but am getting a little tired about him meeting his wife on The Big Chill set, etc.

I’d venture to say all of The Pianist nominations (especially the surprises–Cinematography or Costume Design) and all three wins were helped by the screeners.

I’d further venture Spirited Away and Talk to Her (both foreign upsets) also benefitted.

I’d also guess the acting Oscars for Monster’s Ball and Iris last year.

Billy Bob Thornton for Sling Blade

Martin Landau for Ed Wood

Um. As a technician who works with the likes of the much-maligned Mr. Goldstein, I approve wholeheartedly of the fact that he spoke up. Sure, they wanted to use him to deflect from their profits, but yanno what?

Hourly rates are stagnant, there is the runaway business going to Canada and Australia. People are losing their homes, while the Producers get fatter and fatter, the stars paid more and DVD’s cost more. The below-the-line technicians lose out bigtime, and meanwhile, WE MAKE THE MOVIES.

Wag a civil tongue, and you know what? It’s in the nature of such things to run for many many months, it stands to reason that you’re tired of hearing about the Big Chill…


Hey Hey Cartooniverse, no offense intended. I work in the industry so I’m well aware of the situation with a lot of the “nameless” craftspeople out there. I think the trailer’s well-done and appropriate–maybe my problem is I go to too many movies, so after the 15th exposure or so, I’m entitled to wish they would get a bigger variety into steady circulation (having worked in the exhibition industry as well, I know this is do-able). But 15th or 115th wouldn’t change my views, which is that his comments are on the mark.

The OP should’ve blamed the bloated Jack Valenti for the pointless screener policy, not Mr. Goldstein (neither whiny, nor a shit).

O.K., Cartooniverse and Archive Guy,
Now you’ve made me feel bad. I really was just using David Goldstein as a metaphor. I know that he’s not the bad guy- quite the opposite: he’s actually one of the many that are getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop.
I only chose him for my metaphor for imagery purposes- we’ve all been seeing him OVER and OVER for the past two or three months. So, YES, it is getting pretty annoying! I use him as a metaphor because the studios are using him as a metaphor and I really feel like they are exploiting him and the many hard-working technicians like him.
The trailer is annoying not only because I’ve seen it about 30 times, but because it frustrates me to watch someone like this being manipulated into serving the true whiny little shits: the producers who, as you’ve mentioned, ARE getting fatter and fatter. They are using the piracy scare as a scapegoat so that they can justify the corner-cutting measures that make it so hard for “regular guys” like David Goldstein to get work. They would never dream of taking a pay cut themselves. Now the wealthy studio heads would have a pretty difficult time getting any sympathy from the general public so they take a guy like David Goldstein, convince him that they really are concerned about guys like him, then use him to put a sympathetic face on their whiny little message. The producers could CHOOSE not to go to Canada! But they make it seem like piracy is forcing them to go. They make plenty of money, it is insulting that they would go to people like David Goldstein with a message of brotherhood, when in fact they don’t have his best interests in mind at all.
It’s also annoying because they are running this ad in MOVIE THEATERS!!! They are preaching to the choir. Not only the choir, but a choir that has paid way too much to get in to see the movie in the first place. I don’t pay $10.50 to be chastised for something that I’m doing the exact opposite of. Besides which, the bulk of piracy comes from industry insiders anyway and only a small percentage comes from in-theater recording.
Also, putting an end to piracy will not get more people into theaters. People who choose pirated copies of film are not real movie fans, they are people who will happily accept a copy that looks like absolute shit. These are people who, if they were unable to get a cheap copy of a movie, they would just go without seeing the movie at all. Instead of discouraging piracy they should be ENCOURAGING people to go to the theater by putting out a better quality product and lowering ticket prices! There used to be a time when going to the movies was just the thing that people did on the weekends. Now it seems that the only people who go to a movie theater more than once every two months are people who are avid movie fans like myself. People who only have a cursory interest in movies just don’t go to movie theaters because they DON’T LIKE PAYING $10.50 FOR COMPLETE SHIT!!!
Yes, there is piracy going on and the new technology that facilitates it does have an effect on the industry. But in the face of new technology, the industry should be becoming more competitive rather than whining. And if they are going to whine the studio heads should be up front enough to whine themselves rather than manipulating people who they don’t truly care about.
Again, I hope that all technicians will accept my apology for picking on Mr. Goldstein. I’m on his side, I just think he’s fighting the battle on the wrong front.

All of Topsy-Turvy’s wins
Francis McDormand for Fargo
Geoffrey Rush for Shine
Bill Condon for Gods and Monsters
Lizzy Gardiner, the costume designer for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

You ask for wins, but nominations are important too. Nominations get people and pictures much needed attention in the weeks after the nominations are announced, even if they don’t ultimately win much or anything. Even if they’re known in the industry and to film buffs, their name gets better known to more casual filmgoers.

Emily Watson and Breaking The Waves and Hilary and Jackie
Laura Linney and You Can Count on Me
Janet McTeer and Tumbleweeds
Brenda Blethyn and Secrets & Lies and Little Voice
John Sayles and Lone Star
Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth
Ian McKellan for Gods and Monsters
Fernanda Montenegro and Central Station
Samantha Morton for Sweet and Lowdown
Jude Law for The Talented Mr. Ripley
Chloë Sevigny and Boys Don’t Cry (Chloë seems to be working more than Hilary)
Terry Zwigoff and Ghost World

The Quiet American (Michael Caine nom)
Requiem for a Dream (Ellen Burstyn nom)
Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch nom)
Sexy Beast (Ben Kingsley nom)
The Apostle (Robert Duvall nom)
L.A. Confidential (Best Picture nom)
Ulee’s Gold (Peter Fonda nom)
The Wings Of The Dove (Helena Bonham Carter nom)
Afterglow (Julie Christie nom)
Mrs. Brown (Judi Dench nom)
A Simple Plan (Billy Bob Thornton nom)
The Straight Story (Richard Farnsworth nom)
Sweet and Lowdown (Sean Penn nom)
Magnolia (Tom Cruise nom)

The list goes on, of movies that were helped by screeners (and not just for Academy members, The critics’ groups and the Golden Globes give movies and people a boost too, going into the Academy Awards)

Being John Malkovich
Talk To Her
Y tu mamá también
The Insider
Out of Sight
The Hours
Far From Heaven
The Sweet Hereafter
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Boogie Nights
The Full Monty
Billy Elliot
About Schmidt
Monster’s Ball
The Royal Tenenbaums
Good Will Hunting
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Wonder Boys
Almost Famous
The Crying Game
Gosford Park
In The Bedroom

I know there are many more, but I’m exhausted. I’m sick at heart about this whole anti-Indie business (no, it’s nothing to do with piracy, anyone who believes that…I’ve got a bridge…)

I had heard that there was a compromise being suggested where the screeeners would still go out, but in videotape form and not DVD form. Watchable, but not really ideal for pirating.

Equipoise, what was Ghost World nominated for?

Adapted Screenplay. It lost to A Beautiful Mind. :rolleyes: