In politics, a Presidential endorsement can be the magic touch, imbuing a candidate with exposure and voter confidence. Does the same hold true in the Oscar race? The team behind “Boyhood” hopes so.
Speaking to People Magazine (via The Huffington Post), President Obama revealed that he fell hard for the Richard Linklater”s 12-years-in-the-making, coming-of-age film. And he was kind of a quote-whore about it. “'Boyhood was a great movie,” Obama told the magazine. “That, I think, was my favorite movie this year.” Is it too late to send out guild screeners emblazoned with that quote?
Obama is, traditionally, a softy when it comes to movies and television. When People put him on the spot with the same question in 2012, the President named “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Life of Pi” and “Argo” as his favorites. He has told the press that “Modern Family” and “Parks and Recreation” are family favorites. He thinks “The Wire” is one of the greatest shows ever made. In 2008, when he was running against John McCain for the Presidency, he told Katie Couric his favorite movie of all time was “The Godfather.” Someone show this man a John Waters movie immediately. (It should be noted that, in response to Couric”s same question, McCain chose Eliza Kazan's “Viva Zapata!,” a game-changing answer to anyone who saw the CBS interview before Election Day.)
When it came to 2014 in film, Michelle Obama was less forgiving. She told People that she was a big fan of “Gone Girl”… the novel. “The book is much better than the movie,” she tells the magazine. Diss.
While The First Lady”s personal favorites aren”t as widely reported as her husband”s, she is the Oscar history books, appearing via satellite to present “Argo” – the President loved that one! – with the 2013 Best Picture Oscar.
How do Obama's picks rank in Presidential history? Harry Truman loved “My Darling Clementine”; Dwight Eisenhower was a Western buff who adored “High Noon”; John F. Kennedy was a Bond fan, especially “Dr. No”; Lyndon Johnson was a fan of “The Searchers”; Richard Nixon loved “Patton,” which reportedly inspired him to invade Cambodia during the Vietnam War; Jimmy Carter was the first to watch an X-rated movie in the White House (“Midnight Cowboy”); George H.W. Bush praised “The Longest Day”; Bill Clinton had a soft spot for “The Naked Gun”; And George W. Bush had a good cry over “Field of Dreams.” After the movie theater was installed, Woodrow Wilson became the first person to screen a film inside the White House. The picture? “The Birth of a Nation.” Maybe not the wisest political choice, Mr. President.
With his “Boyhood” pick, Obama joins a major contingent of award season voters. Stay on top of every guild and critic group award over at The Circuit.