Eavesdropping on what Oscar voters say after screenings held on weekends at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills is a fave (and very naughty) derby pastime. But beware: don't trust isolated, small-sample opinions about top contenders that may be completely contrary to the actual consensus view.
That said, these snoop reports are fun, anyway. Let's peek in.
"Plants in the audience tell us 'The Departed’s' Saturday afternoon unspooling was packed and extremely well received despite 'a few walkouts,'" reports Pete Hammond at Hollywood Wiretap.com. "Two voting members, both women, told us they 'loved' the film, a good sign for Martin Scorsese's bloody return to form."
That report is significant because many Oscarologist privately snarl, "'The Departed' is such a guy movie and it's too violent. Female academy members will never go for it!"
Hammond adds: "Sunday night’s 'Little Children' screening drew about 350 to the Goldwyn Theatre and mixed to good reaction for Todd Field’s highly praised and complex second feature ("In The Bedroom"). Previous week's academy fare included an overwhelmingly positive reaction and turnout for 'The Queen' with 'heavy applause' when Helen Mirren's and Michael Sheen's names appeared on screen as well as 'good' response to the less-well-attended 'The Last King Of Scotland,' with Forest Whitaker’s Idi Amin being the subject of the talk heard afterward in the lobby."