Roger L. Simon

The envelope, please

My “Official Final Ballot” arrived at my house today and is due back at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before the end of business on February 28, 2006. The following words from Sid Ganis (our president) are written on the front of the accompanying instructions.

The Academy Board of Governors urges that you not reveal to ANYONE how you vote on the Academy Awards. Forecasts of our awards winners reduce the impact of our presentation program and are unfair to our nominees.

Well, okay, Sid, I’ll keep that in mind, although the “impact” of the “presentation program” has already diminished to such a degree I would not lose excessive sleep over it. But, no, I’m not going to reveal my votes at this time, although I will say that the two films I liked best this year — Walk the Line and The Chronicles of Narnia — weren’t even nominated for Best Picture, so I am likely to be a half-hearted voter at best, a far cry from where I was a couple of decades ago when I first joined the Academy and was thrilled even to go to one of the screenings. “But that,” as Christopher Marlowe famously wrote, “was in another country and besides the wench is dead.”