OK Oscar voters, the pressure is on. Ballots are in the mail — or should we say email — as of today, and the Academy has been bending over backwards to make sure everything is going to go smoothly this year after a well-documented bumpy inaugural ride with electronic voting last season. You all got that email from Academy CEO Dawn Hudson a couple of months ago which detailed the streamlined system so hopefully problems will be minimal. And if you choose not to register online, the Academy will make sure you get a paper ballot. So you can even ignore all the Academy’s missives and forget to register and you will still be taken care of — the old fashioned way. But obviously AMPAS is hoping you will join the 21st century and go online.
I have confidence it will all work out and members who kvetched last year will be in hog heaven this time around. The bigger problem is just trying to see all those movies you need to catch up with before ballots are due back by 5 PM on January 8th. And an informal poll I have taken in the last couple of weeks indicates many members have yet to see a whole lot. Studios have been working overtime to get the potential 6,028 eligible voters (dues-paying voters, that is) into screenings — even luring them as usual with parties, lunches, dinners and loads of Q&As where they can get up close and personal with the contenders. And we also know they all have a stockpile of screeners at home or the office from the first one sent out — Mud — to the last — The Wolf Of Wall Street — and maybe even a couple of other strays will arrive before it’s all done. (more…)