Broadcaster and film critic Barry Norman has dismissed Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony as “little better than a crapshoot”.
Several British names, including Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike and Keira Knightley, are in the running for this year’s Academy Awards.
But Norman (81) told Radio Times magazine
that while getting nominated was a mark of talent, on-screen performance
was not the only factor to determine who eventually wins.
“It always seems to me that the Oscars are much more interesting at the nominations stage than in the final analysis,” he said.
“Apart from best picture, for which everyone votes, all the nominees are chosen by their peers – actors by other actors, directors by other directors and so on.
“If people who were probably vying with you for the same job think you did some of the best work of the year, that’s a true compliment.”
The former presenter of the BBC’s Film programme (inset) added: “Just being nominated for an Oscar is a victory in itself.
“It’s only when it comes to picking the winners that everyone votes in every category and the whole thing becomes little better than a crapshoot.”
He said that Birdman actor Michael Keaton was more likely than The Theory Of Everything star Redmayne to scoop the best actor Oscar, simply because the 63-year-old is “a local boy ... who has never won a major award”.
“Personal likes and dislikes come into play. You might vote for someone simply because he or she was nice to you on the set,” Norman added.
“Then there’s the question of whether all the voters actually saw all the films. It’s not unknown for some, especially the elderly, to get their maids to watch them on DVD and deliver their opinions.”