Vulture’s Guide to Decoding 2011’s Oscar-Season ‘For Your Consideration’ Ads
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Vulture’s Guide to Decoding 2011’s Oscar-Season ‘For Your Consideration’ Ads

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The King’s Speech

The Real Estate: Cover, November 29
The Push: Best Picture
The Target: Every other Best Picture contender
The Text: Those ghastly pictures from the film’s original, terrible poster
The Translation: Front-runner? We’re so confident we haven’t even bothered to take new photos!




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Toy Story 3

The Real Estate: Full page, December 10
The Push: Best Picture
The Target: Snobs who just can’t think of a Pixar film as a “real movie”
The Text: A still from TS3's heart-stopping furnace sequence, plus the tagline “Not since Titanic ... "
The Translation: We don’t care if we’re square. We’re still better than everyone else.




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How to Train Your Dragon

The Real Estate: Four-page pull-out cover spread, plus the full back cover, December 10
The Push: Best Animated Feature
The Target: Academy voters who can’t shut up about Toy Story 3
The Text: Big, dramatic stills of sad moments from the movie
The Translation: We’ve got heart, too! And money to burn.




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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

The Real Estate: Inside cover, December 14
The Push: Best Animated Feature
The Target: Anyone who forgot about that movie with the owls
The Text: An owl, flying RIGHT AT YOUR FACE!
The Translation: Vote for us or beware the owly consequences!




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Frankie & Alice

The Real Estate: Full page, November 29
The Push: Best Actress
The Target: Anyone who watched any of Halle Berry’s movies since Monster’s Ball
The Text: “Berry shows total commitment to the part, allowing herself to go unhinged ... a virtuoso job!”
The Translation: Unlike in Die Another Day, X2, Gothika, Catwoman, X-Men: The Last Stand, Perfect Stranger, and Things We Lost in the Fire, she’s really trying this time!




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Secretariat

The Real Estate: Full page, December 6
The Push: Best Actress
The Target: Voters who think Diane Lane has played too many complicated, interesting, sexually adventurous characters
The Text: A huge, beautiful, gauzy photo of a blond-wigged Lane
The Translation: This is as anodyne as she gets, Oscar voters. Seize your chance.




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Animal Kingdom

The Real Estate: Quarter page, December 6
The Push: Best Supporting Actress
The Target: Voters who might dare consider not nominating Jacki Weaver
The Text: “Jacki Weaver sets the screen ablaze.”
The Translation: And she will set your house ablaze, too, goddammit.




8 of 23

I Am Love

The Real Estate: One-third page, November 29
The Push: Best Actress
The Target: Anyone who hasn’t gotten to the bottom of their screener pile
The Text: Ebert: “No Oscar voter should dare to nominate for Best Actress without seeing Tilda Swinton in I Am Love.”
The Translation: We know our screener didn’t come in a fancy package like the Fox Searchlight ones. We can’t even afford color for our Variety ad! Please just watch the freaking movie.




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For Colored Girls

The Real Estate: Full page, December 6 The Push: Best Supporting Actress
The Target: The nearly infinite number of Academy voters who have not seen the latest Tyler Perry film
The Text: "I wish all nine actresses could be Oscar-nominated!"
The Translation: If you like giving awards for Most Acting, look no further!




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Solitary Man

The Real Estate: One-third page, November 22
The Push: Best Actor
The Target: Friends of Michael Douglas
The Text: "Michael Douglas is fully alive."
The Translation: Michael Douglas is fully alive!




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Blue Valentine

The Real Estate: Two-thirds page, November 22
The Push: Best Actor, Best Actress
The Target: Voters who haven’t seen the movie because they don’t want to slit their wrists afterwards
The Text: A photo of Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling smiling.
The Translation: Look, guys! It’s not so depressing!




12 of 23

Biutiful

The Real Estate: Half-page, November 29
The Push: Best Actor
The Target: Voters who haven’t seen the movie because they don’t want to slit their wrists afterwards
The Text: A photo of Javier Barden not exactly smiling, but not actually weeping or screaming
The Translation: This is the best we could do.




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Touching Home

The Real Estate: Quarter-page, December 7
The Push: Ostensibly Best Actor, but really Biggest Mensch
The Target: Ed Harris
The Text: “Opens Friday, December 17 in Los Angeles.”
The Translation: Ed Harris! You gave a wonderful and totally unseen performance in our teensy-weensy movie based on our real-life father. We couldn’t pay you jack, but at least we can buy you a Variety ad and an L.A. opening. You are awesome.




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Essential Killing

The Real Estate: One-fifth page, December 7
The Push: Best Actor
The Target: Vincent Gallo
The Text: “Never less than stunning.”
The Translation: There is no chance you will ever be nominated, Vincent Gallo, but we are terrified of you, so here are some "For Your Consideration" ads.




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The Town

The Real Estate: Full page, December 1
The Push: Best Director
The Target: Anyone who thinks Ben Affleck is sort of a meathead
The Text: Affleck literally looking through a camera, plus a New Yorker quote
The Translation: We couldn’t find a photo of him doing that thing where you make your fingers into a square to frame the shot.




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The King’s Speech

The Real Estate: Half-page, December 1
The Push: Best Director
The Target: Youth-loving voters looking for the next great director
The Text: Apple-cheeked Tom Hooper talking to Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth
The Translation: This movie was practically directed by a 14-year-old.




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Hereafter

The Real Estate: Inside cover, December 1
The Push: Best Director
The Target: Everyone who hated Hereafter
The Text: A photo of Clint
The Translation: What, you’re gonna not nominate Clint, just because the movie was lousy? He’s Clint!




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The Ghost Writer

The Real Estate: Full page, December 9
The Push: Best Director
The Target: Academy voters who badmouth Roman Polanski at parties but secretly voted for The Pianist
The Text: “Winner 6 European Film Awards.”
The Translation: We’re perfectly happy to give him awards in sophisticated Europe. Don’t be so provincial!




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Another Year

The Real Estate: Quarter-page, December 16
The Push: Best Director
The Target: Anyone who still thinks of Mike Leigh as the dyspeptic rabble-rouser of Naked and Life Is Sweet
The Text: An adorable photo of a beaming, white-bearded Leigh
The Translation: Why would you nominate Polanski? Our guy’s basically Santa Claus!




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Barney’s Version
The Real Estate: Half-page in Variety’s special Best Makeup insert, December 15
The Push: Best Makeup
The Target: Voters who think makeup awards are only for movies set in the Renaissance or outer space
The Text: Four photos of star Paul Giamatti at four different ages
The Translation: You wanna talk makeup challenges? We had to make Paul Giamatti look more haggard!




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Unstoppable

The Real Estate: One-third-page ads on five consecutive pages, December 14.
The Push: Tech categories
The Target: Art directors, editors, sound engineers, and anyone else who might be impressed by Tony Scott’s train movie.
The Text: Quotes from critics about how good the crafts were
The Translation: Hey, something’s gotta lose to Inception in all these categories. Why not us?




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Louis

The Real Estate: Half-page, December 13
The Push: Best Cinematography
The Target: Legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (or his agent).
The Text: “FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Best Cinematography, Vilmos Zsigmond.”
The Translation: I’m Dan Pritzker, billionaire director of a silent black-and-white passion project about Louis Armstrong. I’ve got enough money to hire Wynton Marsalis to play live jazz accompanying showings of my movie. So I can definitely afford an ad in Variety thanking an extremely experienced DP who may or may not have basically taught me how to direct a movie.




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Burlesque

The Real Estate: Full page, December 15
The Push: Best Original Song
The Target: Hollywood lifers with CD wallets full of Celine and Cher
The Text: A full-page photo of Diane Warren
The Translation: Diane Warren rules Hollywood.




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