Oscar voting ended on Tuesday, February 21, and Entertainment Weekly has anonymously surveyed multiple academy members from different fields to find out who they voted for. Those academy members include a veteran actress, a director of big-budget blockbusters, a screenwriter of historical dramas, a producer with a diverse resume, a documentary filmmaker and a marketing exec with experience in the Oscar derby.
Yes, a lot of them picked the frontrunners in major categories, like “La La Land” for Best Picture, Best Director (Damien Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone). But they’re not all predictably falling in line behind the expected favorites. For instance, two of the anonymous voters picked “Moonlight” for Best Picture, including the blockbuster director, who said of the micro-budgeted indie, “To know that [director] Barry Jenkins made it on such a small budget is out of control. It’s something that feels enduring. It screams achievement.”
In the race for Best Actress, French actress Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) also had support from a pair of voters for her turn as a rape survivor , with the marketing exec singing her praises: “The others are all fine performances, but Isabelle’s is the standout.”
And might we be underestimating Best Actor underdog Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”)? The buzz in that category has revolved around top rivals Denzel Washington (“Fences”) and Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”), but two of the surveyed academy members thought Mortensen stood out the most, including the documentarian, who says, “What’s great is he was able to capture both sides of the righteous fanatic.”
Read more of what these Oscar voters had to say here, including their picks for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. It’s always risky to make predictions based on anecdotal evidence — this is a rather small data set — but do these academy member picks sway your predictions one way or another? Winners will be announced this Sunday, February 26.
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