CULTURE

Why Is Sean Penn Making America Like A Star Is Born Less?

His op-ed in defense of Bradley Cooper didn’t really help him.


Jerod Harris via Getty

Did Sean Penn place a rather large bet on A Star Is Born taking home a certain number of Oscars? He’s certainly campaigning for the film like he has some kind of personal stake in it. And while it’s not unheard of for A-listers to go to bat for one another or to hype their favorite film of the year on social media, it did strike most people as, let’s say, a little random that Penn dedicated an entire op-ed on Deadline to essentially telling the Academy that if they don’t vote that way, they are dumb and bad at movies. On Friday, Penn wrote, “Cooper, Gaga and Elliott should own the acting category and the film would do the academy a service. There are many really good films and performances nominated this year. There are also many perishable trend-pieces that, win or lose, will be lost to memory. In a fair world, A Star is Born sweeps the awards.”

Not even going to get into the grammatical and syntactical confusion that is “and the film would do the academy a service.” But let’s just take a moment to marvel at the fact that Sean Penn, an Oscar-winning actor and the director of the acclaimed Into The Wild, can find nothing more eloquent to say about movies like Roma and The Favourite than calling them “really good.”

To be clear: A Star Is Born is really, really good. It is, as Penn calls it, “a gift.” Whether or not it should sweep the awards isn’t for us to say, but the fact that it’s a fantastic film isn’t up for debate. What is questionable, though, is exactly why on Earth is Sean Penn doing this?

The Internet had basically the same reaction, saying that of all the people to get voters excited about a smash-hit movie-musical remake of a classic, Sean Penn is maybe…not the one.

But wait, maybe this is all part of the plan? Maybe Penn is two steps ahead of us? The Internet hasn’t been talking about A Star Is Born this much in weeks, so perhaps in some sort of reverse-psychology way, Penn will actually…nag the Academy into doing what he wants. Whoa.

Related: Bradley Cooper Says He Was “Embarrassed” at Not Receiving a Best Director Nomination

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