Alex Stedman at Variety says that a new poll shows Republican dissatisfaction with the Academy choosing 12 Years a Slave as Best Picture:
In a survey released by Public Policy Polling, the organization asked 1,152 registered voters, via telephone and Internet, their thoughts on the Steve McQueen’s most recent film being named best picture at the Oscars...In all 53% of respondents who identify as Democrats said they agreed with the selection of “12 Years a Slave,” while only 15% of the Republican participants answered the same way. Also 23% of the Republicans went on to say that they disagreed with the selection, while only 10% of Democrats did as well.
Thanks to conservative writer James Bowman, we know that the primary Republican problem with 12 Years a Slave is that it didn't show any happy slaves.
But the question that Public Policy Polling didn't ask, and the question that I really want answered is: Which of the nominated movies would Republicans want to win the Best Picture Oscar? One of American Hustle's main characters is a corrupt FBI agent, so that's out. Dallas Buyer's Club is definitely not going to win over Sarah Palin voters. Gravity features a female lead character, so Republicans won't approve. Her is about a liberal freak who sodomizes his phone—thanks a lot, Hollyweird—and Nebraska kind of makes fun of the real America. Philomena is too British, and while the economic values on display in Wolf of Wall Street are certainly appealing to a Republican mindset, there's way too much sex and drugs to ignore.
No, I think the Republican Oscar winner would have to be Captain Phillips, because it features a hardworking American who fights off foreigners with the help of the Navy. (And no major female characters.) But even Captain Phillips isn't entirely Republican-friendly, because it also features foreign pirates who aren't totally unlikable monsters. So maybe they'd give the Best Picture Oscar to a bowdlerized, 45-minute cut of Captain Phillips that trims out every scene shot from the pirates' perspective. I imagine that would really do well in movie theaters in conservative districts. Especially if they managed to edit in a few scenes of Kirk Cameron running around the ship trying to find a quiet place to pray for protection from the pirates. That's the movie Republicans would want to see.