December 06, 2006

Can Academy ignore Gibson?

Praise for Gibson Film, Quandary for Oscar Voters[C]an the 5,830 voting members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences an organization that like broader Hollywood, includes many people who are Jewish—ignore a film that may well be considered by critics to be among the best of the year?

Murray Weissman, who has worked on Oscar campaigns for many years and is working for the Weinstein Company on its hopefuls this year, said some voters would not see the film on principle.

“There is still a lot of resentment out there among the Academy members, certainly the Jewish group of them, over the incident,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are very unforgiving. I have run into some who say they will not see any more Mel Gibson movies.”

Yet, Mr. Weissman added, those who saw the movie and believed it deserving would vote for it. “The movie academy is of full of professionals; they will respect a good movie,” he said. “If the guy made a classic film and it’s absolutely brilliant—hey, I’m Jewish—I’d probably embrace it. But going in, I’m shocked and dismayed at his behavior.”

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