Gold Derby brings you one final interview in our exclusive series this week of Oscar mystery ballots. We have been asking about votes in the top eight categories just before the 2018 Academy Awards this Sunday on ABC. All of these exposed secret ballots have only been published once voting ended on Tuesday, February 27.
Voter #7 is a member of the Public Relations branch and has worked for and with some of the biggest studios and networks in show business history, including many successful awards campaigns. The comments below in each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.
BEST PICTURE: “The Shape of Water”
Without a doubt. I loved “Three Billboards” and I loved “Lady Bird,” but we’re in show business, right? When we’re dealing with a lot of issues of getting people into theaters, “Shape of Water” is a film that should only be seen in a theater. It loses a lot by watching it on TV but not some of the others. When I got my screener, I told people they could not come over and watch it here. We’ll go to the theater instead. Second place is “Three Billboards.” Third place is “Lady Bird.”
BEST DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”)
It’s his time. It would be wonderful if Greta Gerwig won for “Lady Bird,” but she’ll be back. Jordan Peele will definitely be back. Christopher Nolan is probably not going to be too happy, but he’s probably not too happy already. It’s an amazing film and one I’ve seen countless times, which is a real testimony because I hate watching movies more than once.
BEST ACTRESS: Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”)
Her performance is amazing and she brought the film to life. From the perspective of refreshing and a really striking performance, she gets it hands down.
BEST ACTOR: Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”)
Best Actor for me without a doubt is going to be Gary Oldman. I was lucky enough to be at the Toronto Film Festival screening, and that just set me off. Oldman embodied Churchill and was so convincing and I’m hoping the makeup guys get an award as well.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”)
She took an unlikeable character and owned it. You really were incredibly offended by the way in which she raised her daughter with the physical abuse and verbal abuse. Allison Janney just knocked me out.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”)
It’s an even tougher category. I would like to see it possibly be Woody Harrelson, but Sam Rockwell dominates him in that film. You can’t believe what the character does, and it’s such a great turn. Whenever he’s on screen, you can’t take your eyes off him.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin (“Molly’s Game”)
It’s Aaron Sorkin because it’s an amazing screenplay, but he shouldn’t be a director. The way he writes dialogue and creates his characters makes you hope she’s going to end up alright. She’s going to figure out how to beat the system. You’re just mesmerized by the script whether it’s his film or television. Unfortunately he fell into some kind of hubris thinking he could direct.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor (“The Shape of Water”)
I don’t think anyone would object if any one of these would win, but I have to give it to “Shape of Water.” You’re looking at a unique perspective on a love story; his version of “Beauty and the Beast.” I fell in love with the movie from the minute it opened. The challenges of communicating when people aren’t able to is really amazing that he conquered it. You’re faced with two lead characters that don’t utter a word.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.