In the umpteen years I have been a member of the Motion Picture Academy, the rules have changed regarding what studios are allowed to send voters during Oscar season. Way back when we would get glossy brochures hyping a movie, resembling a cross between the Christmas issue of Vogue and a surprise box from Bonwit Tellers. Bribes, basically. Now we are supposed to get virtually nothing but a DVD of the film itself.
But studios cheat. Today I received a plain manila envelope hiding a fancy package of glossy stills from The Tree of Life, a film that didn’t thrill me. But its studio (20th) is pushing it like crazy, in part because it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
This kind of mailing is no more than litter – and from filmmakers with supposedly “green” credentials. Go figure. I can’t imagine it sways a vote. And yet two of these babies arrived in our house because my wife is a member of the WGA. Four (!) DVDs of the movie had arrived previously. Anyone need any coasters? We’re recycling.