Colin Farrell and Austin Butler were the two winning lead actors in the film categories last night. As Sarah wrote in today’s open, there’s a three-way race right now for Oscar Best Actor and both had the stage at the Golden Globes to make their case to the Academy in the absence of Brendan Fraser who, early on, had confirmed that he would boycott the Globes because they have yet to address his allegations of harassment from their former president Philip Berk.  


We say this every year – every award show preceding the Oscars is an opportunity for the contenders to “audition” for the Oscar Academy, to give the Oscars a preview of what they can expect should the Academy decide to honour them with the award. As Duana just wrote, Colin’s acceptance speech was very appreciative and very Irish. Austin Butler’s acceptance speech was also very appreciative and also very Elvis.  

Ever since the movie came out last summer, people have been talking about Austin’s Elvis voice. And Austin has been talking about his Elvis voice. During press interviews before and after the film’s release he’s shared that how immersed he became in the role, to the point where he knows that this is not the way he sounded before he became Elvis, he’s aware that his speaking tone hasn’t reverted back to “normal”, because that’s how profoundly playing Elvis changed him.  


The internet and social media have been clowning him for this. I mean, I get it. It’s irresistible. But is it annoying? To be more specific, is it annoying enough to become a vulnerability for his campaign? Like will it be held against him? It’s one thing for Twitter to be laughing about this in good fun. But has the laughing become backlash? From my perspective… not yet.  

And his team would definitely be paying attention. Remember, they hire people for this – to run Oscar campaigns, to strategise on how to secure nominations and then, hopefully, wins. They timed Austin’s momentum perfectly, keeping him under the radar through the early part of the season and only sending him out later in 2022, so as not to oversaturate the campaign trail with his youth and beauty.  

Now he’s secured the first high profile win of his career and while doing so, he’s speaking in the Elvis drawl while namechecking everyone, his mentors, in the room, and outside of the room… including the great Denzel Washington who personally put in a phone call to Baz Luhrmann with his endorsement for Austin to be cast. And he’s speaking like Elvis in the presence of Elvis’s ex-wife and daughter! The guardians of his legacy!  


They don’t seem to mind… so should anyone else? Well I guess it’s up to the voters. And the voters aren’t on Twitter or TikTok. The voters are in the industry. In the industry, they love that familiar actor’s story, the story about how a performer is so committed to their craft, they become irrevocably changed in the process – the character leaving a mark on their soul. In Austin’s case, the character has left a mark on his voice, like his vocal chords actually morphed. LOL, I know. It’s funny to me too, and I love him, I love him so much, I love his performance, I love the way he’s managed his celebrity, I love how nice he was to me and our team when he came to our studio… and still I think the voice is hilarious.  

But will Oscar voters be amused in the same way?