An Oscar Voter’s Baffling Reason For Voting Against ‘Parasite’ As Best Picture Is Upsetting People

A long-running tradition come Oscar season is for an anonymous member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which is currently 8,469 members strong) to share who they voted for, who they didn’t vote for, and why. It’s how we learned that Adam Sandler didn’t deserve a nomination for Uncut Gems because “he does cheesy Netflix comedies that are really dumb,” for instance. These nameless ballots are always frustrating, because they expose the often (let’s say) curious opinions Academy members hold, but this one, from the Hollywood Reporter, is particularly bewildering.

After explaining why Little Women, Marriage Story, and Jojo Rabbit don’t deserve Best Picture, for reasons ranging from Florence Pugh isn’t American to Hitler isn’t funny, a female member of the Academy’s actors branch expressed concern about Parasite taking home the night’s top honor. “Parasite is beautifully done,” she said, “but it didn’t hold up the second time, and I don’t think foreign films should be nominated with the regular films.” It’s one thing to think Parasite shouldn’t win Best Picture because there are other, better movies nominated; it’s another to knock it because it’s not a “regular” film, like her pick, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We all know what that means.

The ballot is full of “brutally honest,” often puzzling assessments, including “I want an American director to win” and “I actually went for The Two Popes over Joker because I didn’t think a movie about two popes could be interesting, but it was” (actually, I agree with that one), but it’s the “regular films” statement that stands out.

This Sunday is going to be very interesting.