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Dear AMPAS... Love, Team Experience

With the final Oscar voting commencing today -- can we still say "ballots going out" when this season has been so dramatically electronic? -- I asked Team Experience to write very brief notes to Oscar voters.

I'll start us off...

❝Dear AMPAS, Two Words: Emmanuelle Riva. Respect your elders and wish her a happy 86th birthday on February 24th (your 85th!). In your 85 years you've had plenty of impossible dreamgirls like Lawrence, rapidly ascending versatile stars like Jessica, and resilient fierce mamas like Naomi. But you've never given the prize to anyone like Emmanuelle. Do your own Best Actress legacy proud by switching it up and proving you're still free thinkers in your 80s! 
Yours always, for better & worse, Nathaniel

pleas for The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom and more after the jump...

❝Dear AMPAS members, actually sit down and watch The Master and tell me these three don't deserve to win the acting awards, especially Phoenix and Adams who've been ridiculously denied in the past. Since you already ignored Anderson, the cinematography, the art direction, the costumes and Johnny Greenwood's groundbreaking score, this is the least you can do. Also, don't think Amour is safe in Foreign Film because it's up for Best Picture. Watch it and vote for it! Your colleagues might pick something "nicer" for you and I guarantee after you watch it you'll be crazy not to vote for Haneke and Riva.
xoxo, Jose


❝For Your Consideration: Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Enough can't be said for a performer who takes a character as densely written and enigmatic as Maya and provides her a vehicle that humanizes and weighs on the burden which consumes her. A shell that grows inward, a conceit that bleeds red blood. Lady Liberty has never been this literal; it's beautiful to watch her hard rain fall.
- Beau


❝To the Academy: There are a lot of worthwhile nominations this year that I'd love to see make the leap to statue-winning but the one I feel most impossibly attached to is for ParaNorman for Best Animated Feature - I hope everyone got the chance to see it in 3D because it's some of the best 3D I've ever seen. The tactility that Laika manages to convey is astonishing - visually it's most impressive, but I also found the film itself incredibly moving, too.


❝For Your Consideration: Eiko Ishioka for Best Costume Design... Let's face it, Jacqueline Durran will keep making period movies with Joe Wright, Paco Delgado's Les Miz costumes were hardly it's greatest asset, Joanna Johnston is a first time nominee, and Colleen Atwood will continue to get nominated for seemingly anything and everything. With that in mind, tick the box for the late Ishioka, whose mind-bending and colourfully eccentric duds truly made Mirror Mirror. What better way to mark her legacy than with a second highly-deserved posthumous trophy on Oscar night?
- Cheers, Glenn Dunks
❝Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola's original screenplay for Moonrise Kingdom! Nothing else last year came close to its tightrope-walking tragicomedy, and it's endlessly quotable to boot. Yes, Boal and Haneke did fine work, but Moonrise Kingdom deserves the gold here, if only for "What kind of bird are you?" 
-Thanks, Andreas❞
❝Dear Academy – An screenplay win for Moonrise Kingdom’s would go a long way towards evening up the score on all the snubs Wes Anderson’s body of work has accumulated over the years. Don’t blow it 
  - Love, Michael C


❝Dear Academy, that silver-haired British man sitting in the corner is the master of light. He's responsible for the snow-laden beauty of Fargo, the eerie emptiness of suburbia in A Serious Manand Revolutionary Road, the resplendent scenery of Kundun, the dark slices of Americana in No Country For Old Men and the moody evocations of Barton Fink. His name is Roger Deakins and he doesn't have an Oscar. Rectify that, please. - Sincerely, Amir


Would you like to co-sign?
If not, right your own brief FYC in the comments. 

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Reader Comments (46)

Dear Academy,

Emmanuelle Riva for the win, please. It's Best Actress, not brightest future.

And no, you may not give Naomi Watts a makeup win for all the other times she should have at least been nominated, if not win (like The Ring, Mulholland Drive, and I Heart Huckabees). She'll actually earn the award one year. Really.

And feel free to hand over Best Makeup to Les Miserables. People will complain about that film winning any category, but that's the one category where it towers over the competition.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Phoenix, Chastain, Adams, would all make me happy as acting winners but the Academy like most people have poor judgement and taste in everything. Hoping that the BAFTA's this weekend satisfies at least one of my wants.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Dear Academy: I'd like to co-sign the plea to give Moonrise Kingdom the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The best script of the year without a doubt, one that mixes a lot of imagination with a very relatable story, both from the perspective of the children and the adults. These characters may embody all the quirks of Wes Anderson, but each and every one of them is unique and one must admire the creativity that goes into every detail (an island with no paved roads, the radio show dissecting classical music, those letter between Sam and Suzy, all works to perfection). While I wish it had been nominated for more Oscars, this is your only chance to reward it and you should. Don't believe me? Watch the movie and see for yourselves....

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

A simple note of my own: please please please let something beat Argo.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Dear AMPAS , reward an with their first Oscar instead of DDL with his third. He's great and will be great again very soon. Reward Cooper for a long career and slow climb through bit parts and bad movies to his first really good movie and a comedy as well. Phoenix doesn't want the carrot but give it to him anyway for his complete dedication to a role and a filmmaker. Or reward Jackman for his charm and for carrying a truly atrocious movie - imagine what it could've been without him.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Jessica Chastain for Best Actress. Hers is an incredibly difficult role that she played beautifully. And she's worked so long and hard to make it in the business, unlike some people...

Not for one moment would I consider voting for Jennifer Lawrence, who gave a merely adequate performance in a smallish part.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

If Emmanuelle Riva wins, I will forgive them for Brokeback Mountain's BP loss :)

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGolden


In the Lead Actress category, you missed Charlize Theron last year and Marion Cotillard this year. You used to like babes. What happened?

Erik Lundegaard

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Dear Golden:

Some things can never be forgiven.


February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik


With all due respect to Ben Affleck, who has certainly shown he will be carving out a wonderful career in the future, the momentum for Argo in Best Picture strikes me as an outside push. Please vote for the movie you love most. In the past, you have ignored internet swells and critics stomping their feet - I only ask that you do the same this year, and that you choose the film you truly admire most.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Johnny Greenwood's score was terrific and deserved more notice and Roger Deakins is most deserving not just for his body of work, but for this film as well.

Please give the supporting to Sally Field. Its a much deeper, truer portrayal of mental illness than anything in SLP, more fully realized than the other, albeit excellent perfs in the category. Every scene you watch her riding the knife edge of a full breakdown or sanity and the internal fight she is waging to stay the course. If it weren't for DDL's stupendous work in the same film, this would be the perf of the year.

Anyone else as excited as I am that Shirley Bassey is going to perform at the ceremony?

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Cosign for Riva, Anderson, and "The Master" recognition. Will add "How To Survive A Plague" FTW please in Best Doc. Feature. If you haven't seen it, it's available on Netflix streaming and iTunes, Amazon Instant, etc.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

Emmannuelle Riva for the win, if there is any justice. But then again Jean-Louis Trintignant was omitted for Lead Actor nomination. We can only hope, and sometimes Oscar does reward the very best. But only sometimes.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

My perfect world oscar picks:

Best Picture: "Amour"
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis "Lincoln"
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva "Amour"
Best Supporting Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman "The Master"
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field "Lincoln"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony Kushner "Lincoln"
Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola "Moonrise Kingdom"
Best Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Cinematography: "Skyfall"
Best Art Direction: "Anna Karenina"
Best Costume Design: "Anna Karenina"
Best Original Score: "Life of Pi"
Best Song: "Pi's Lullaby" "Life of Pi"
Best Make-up/Hair: "The Hobbit"
Best Sound Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Sound Mixing: "Skyfall"

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEric P.


Please go back in time and nominate Rachel f'ing Weisz. If not possible do yourselves a favor and watch 'Amour' before casting your Best Actress vote, con crying out loud!

Yours truly,


February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Dear Academy,

We all love Robert De Niro, but before voting, just think. How will history will see a win for this performance when compared to his previous wins in The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull? Don't tarnish his legacy. Tommy Lee Jones is grumpy and dooesn't smile, but do you really think you're seen any actor doing work THIS special this year? Vote for him, maybe he will smile.

Caleb Roth

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I'd like to co-sign Carlos' post above: let's go back in time, remove Quebooboo and give that nomination to Rachel Weisz. Barring that, let's be real and give Best Actress to Emmanuelle Riva.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Dear Academy,

We all love Robert De Niro, but before voting, just think. How will history will see a win for this performance when compared to his previous wins in The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull? Don't tarnish his legacy. Tommy Lee Jones is grumpy and dooesn't smile, but do you really think you're seen any actor doing work THIS special this year? Vote for him, maybe he will smile.

Caleb Roth

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I'd like to co-sign the Rachel Weisz write-in campaign, too.

Or FYC her for Film Bitch (you never said a single word about this performance, Nathaniel!).

(Sorry for the double comment. Please delete one of them)

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Dear Academy, please give Best Actress to the most-deserving--Jessica Chastain, who carried a politically charged, physical and emotional landmine of a movie on her able shoulders. Assuage some of the unspeakable damage you have done by snubbing director of the year Kathryn Bigelow and give BP to ZD30, the film achievement of 2012.

Let Adele have her own place in the spotlight, and do not rush her into some misjudged James Bond medley.

AND totally agree with catbaskets!

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

My random picks for a few...

Picture: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Director: Michael Haneke
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Supporting Actor: Robert DeNiro
Supporting Actress: Amy Adams
Animated Film: ParaNorman
Foreign Film: A Royal Affair
Original Screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom
Adapted Screenplay: Lincoln

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Dear Academy,

Correct the wrongs of the past and award Jessica Chastain your Actress in a Leading Role for 2012. Don't let her become a Glenn Close, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Gena Rowlands, who are all very likely to die Oscar-less.

Correct the wrongs of the past and award Joaquin Phoenix your Actor in a Leading Role for 2012. See Joaquin Phoenix transform and transcend all expectations.

Make Amy Adams Lee Grant and give her a win for Actress in a Supporting Role for 2012.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Dear Academy --

WIth all the talk of Stonewall and gay marriage from the White House, it's easy to forget that twenty-five years ago, when AIDS hit, the government turned its back on a disease that was seen as just punishment for a despised population.

"How To Survive a Plague" captures the remarkable moment when a community stood up against all odds for its right to live. It's a film that will remind you how democracy really works -- people raising their voices.

There's your Best Documentary vote.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Ooh, this is like Siskel & Ebert's Memo to the Academy. I'll do mine.

Mark Boal, Best Original Screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty
-Taking history of nearly a decade, policy wonk post-9/11 CIA jargon, and explorations of obsession, monomania, burden, and loss while denying the audience the easiest passage and digestion of these themes make this script the biggest miracle of the category.

Zero Dark Thirty for Best Picture
-The most fully realized picture of the year. It all comes together in the ensemble, direction, production design, editing, cinematography, and musical score. Even if you ignored some of those driving aspects in the nomination process (of which were quite baffling) it can all be forgiven if you honor it with Best Picture.

Jessica Chastain for Best Actress in Zero Dark Thirty
-She is the vessel that drives the monomania of the film. Carrying the burden as the defining thread of the film as well as carrying the burden of loss and obsession in the film, she sticks largely to a pretty rigid, direct script. I can see why the performance has some critics, she is not easy to relate to, but I fail to see how one can object to her performance when it defines the movie and brings out a script. It is not a role of where you can imagine somebody else playing (it is not hard to get a short enough soundbite or scene that does the character justice) but a role that you have to judge the performance on believing the character's process from what she sees and says as a believable if biased expert.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Dear Oscar,

Just vote with your heart. Don't give in to peer pressure.

Your pal,

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Dear Academy --

I love Jennifer Lawrence, but she will have plenty of other chances for hopefully much better roles. Please give the award to Riva or Chastain.

Also, please vote for the exquisite ParaNorman. Look, I very much love Brave and Wreck-It-Ralph as well, but can you just award someone other than Disney/Pixar? This would be a well-deserved winner.

And finally, I *love* Adele, but don't feel pressured to vote for her just because she's Adele! If you truly like the song out of all the nominees, go right ahead. But don't just automatically vote for her.

Your ever loving fan,

P.S. I know I "love" too much. It's a sickness.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I would like to co-sign CMG's thoughtful and astute memo on ZD30. The Academy can do the right thing by honoring the true Best Picture of the Year, and at the same time send a message that encourages brave, exceptional and intelligent filmmaking that challenges our minds and pervades our souls. Or they can reward Argo, and we can keep having the safe, middlebrow, noncontroversial, nonintellectual movies that Hollywood keeps the masses choking on.

PS. On another topic, let's have more of our legendary movie stars as presenters and less Twilight posers.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Dear Academy,

It's sacrilegious in my circles to say this, but I'll do it anyway: It is ok if the most critically acclaimed foreign film of the year doesn't win the Foreign Language Oscar. Watch the other foreign nominees and if you like one better (*ahem* No *ahem*), then feel free to vote for it. Besides, you can make it up to Amour by voting for Riva for Best Actress.


February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

CMG's memo--perfect!

On another topic, let's have more legendary movie stars as presenters and less Twilight/superhero-movie posers.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Ugh I made a post earlier and it totally didn't post ... blah

Well, Jessica Chastain or Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress! Noooo Jennifer Lawrence, though I know she will get it :(

Joaquin Phoenix or Hugh Jackman for Best Actor!

As much as I'm okay with Anne Hathaway's inevitable win, as it's deserved, how interesting would it be if Helen Hunt ended up as a two-time Oscar winner? Or if Jacki Weaver won the Oscar she deserved for Animal Kingdom for a shock nomination that she would have had no chance in hell of getting if the movie she's in wasn't so well-loved? She went from unknown to a two-time Oscar nominee, this time was not because she gave a standout performance or even because she was still riding a wave from her last nomination, though. Okay, maybe there was a little teeny wave, but for the most part it was just Silver Linings having insane support.

As for supporting actor, I typed out a huge long thing that I'm not gonna retype, but I basically went from "I don't really care, just don't give it to Arkin" to "give it to Tommy Lee Jones!!!"

As for director, you already shocked us with the nominees, so we're in for a surprise either way we go. Make that surprise worth it ... ;) Haneke (though I really did not like Amour ... I know, I'm gonna be burned at the stake for that) or Zeitlin!

As for Best Picture, we know Argo will win ... but a shock would be really nice! A lot of deserving pictures in there.

And I know Adele is getting her Oscar, but just for safe measures: don't fuck this one up, Academy. I know you like to screw this category up. Don't. If she doesn't get it, I will never forgive you.

That's all. :)

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Give supporting actor to anyone but jones.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

mark, not Arkin though. He doesn't belong in this race.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Co-sign on Riva getting that Oscar even if i do love Jennifer Lawrence. She'll most certainly have her time in the future so it won't be a big deal. Chastain too.

Best Supporting Actor is such a big mess. I can't support any of those guys. If DiCaprio was in Waltz's spot, this would be soooooooo much easier.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

Riva. Just Riva!

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhcu

Dear Academy,

Please let NONE of the expected front-runners win, so we don't have another snooze-inducing show and foregone conclusion year after year after year. It's such a weird, wide-open year that I want to see nothing BUT surprises.

Best Picture - Life of Pi
Best Director - Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Actor - Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Actress - Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Supp. Actress - Sally Field, Lincoln
Supp. Actor - Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (okay, so maybe one front-runner)
Original Screenplay - Moonrise Kingdom
Adapted Screenplay - Life of Pi
Cinematography - Life of Pi
Production Design - Anna Karenina
Costume Design - Anna Karenina
Original Score - Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Original Song - Pi's Lullaby, Life of Pi
Sound Mixing - Skyfall
Solund Editing - Skyfall
Film Editing - Lincoln
Visual Effects - Life of Pi
Make-Up & Hairstyling - The Hobbit

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I support all the Rachel Weisz love and wish she could be a retro nominee, I lost interest in Best Actress when she wasn't nominated.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Hugh Jackman. If he wins I won't even care if SLP is Best Picture.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Vote FOR what you love, not AGAINST what irritates you.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAR

Dear President and Politician of the Academy

I truly beg you for the life of me. Please no more Ms. Most popularity vote but instead focus on who is the best worthy performance of the year.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchand


February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Consider Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress! Please.

JLaw and Chastain will be back in more than one round.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJones

I was talking to a friend today about Riva, and she thinks the Academy will see Riva's performance as too sedentary to reward. Riva does spend half the movie in a bed barely speaking, and the other half in a wheelchair. I am afraid it might not happen. I'm trying not to get too excited.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

It's not about the performance for Riva. The problem is that voters are icy toward Haneke films and recoil at the subject matter and also the fact it is foreign film that requires reading captions.

Had she been American and this story had been by an American auteur who while polarizing was still respected, this would be in the bag.

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and Best picture to Les Miz for a Musical with a heart ..... They all deserve that award......

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMigeul

Dear Academy:

I truly wish the Best Foreign Language Film award goes to Austria (Amour), Denmark (A Royal Affair) and Norway (Kon-Tiki). These 3 films are amazing and truly deserving. Honestly, that would be the best honour you can give to a Foreign Language Film this year, and not to a bad quality film.
Just vote with the heart to one of these 3 films, please.

Thank you.

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

Dear Academy

Best Director to Ang Lee, for bring to life a book that everyone said couldn't be filmed.

And Best Cinematography to Roger Deakins, for bringing to light what no one else could film. 0-9 is not funny.

February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJOnathan

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