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Poll: Will Melissa Leo’s personal Oscar ads backfire?

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‘She lost my vote!’ an academy member reportedly told Tim Appelo of the Hollywood Reporter after seeing an Oscar campaign advertisement placed by Melissa Leo. Usually, ‘For Your Consideration’ ads are handled, placed and paid for by a film’s studio or producers, but Leo is mounting the drive herself -– and paying the bills.

‘This entire awards process to some degree is about pimping yourself out,’ she told the New York Times. ‘I’m confident my fans will understand the ads were about showing a different side of myself.’

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The ads show Leo looking quite lovely and glamorous –- in sharp contrast to her wrinkled look as a hard-bitten working-class momma in ‘The Fighter.’

‘It’s clear that she’s not just out for herself,’ asserts Appelo. ‘She genuinely yearns to strike a blow to reform ageist sexism in the biz.’

Such solo campaigns have had mixed results, historically. One paid off for Joan Crawford when she mounted a career comeback drive that led to a best actress victory for ‘Mildred Pierce’ (1945). Going rogue got Candy Clark nominated in the supporting slot for ‘American Graffiti’ (1973) and Sally Kirkland in the lead race for ‘Anna’ (1987), but they had no chance of winning.

-- Tom O’Neil


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