Secret Oscar Voter #1: Ballot exposed with ‘Parasite’ for Best Picture, tough call between Renee Zellweger, Charlize Theron

While ballots were being mulled over, several Oscar voters told Gold Derby who they voted for — and why. They asked us not to reveal their identities, but they were otherwise eager to share their views of the year’s best films. Now that 2020 Academy Awards voting has concluded, we’ll share a few with you. The comments below by Voter #1 for each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.

BEST PICTURE: “Parasite
I haven’t seen a movie like it. All of the elements came together to make a perfect film for me. I didn’t even notice the subtitles the second time I saw the movie because I knew what was coming. It was like I was seeing it with new eyes. I loved what he had to see, but he doesn’t beat you over the head with it. He’s been exploring these themes in his movies for a long time. Second place is “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Third place is “Jojo Rabbit.”

BEST DIRECTOR: Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
The direction and tone he was able to capture and create really stood up for me on a second viewing. What he and his editor did was extraordinary and was extremely difficult to pull off.

BEST ACTRESS: Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) or Renee Zellweger (“Judy”)
This is a really hard category. All the performances were fantastic, but I haven’t fully made up my mind in this category. As I am talking this through, I haven’t voted yet and am still revisiting movies. I saw “Bombshell” more recently and Charlize blew me away. But in some ways, I didn’t find her a terribly sympathetic character, but her performance was illuminating. I also really loved Renee in “Judy,” who was other-worldly in her transformation.

BEST ACTOR: Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
First of all, he’s one of our greatest actors. His performances was transformative, transfixing and absolutely monumental. There were parts of “Joker” that were incredibly tough and any quibbles one could take with the edginess or the hardness of the material itself, one could not deny the performance this actor laid out for us.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)
I feel like it was a Scarlett I hadn’t seen before. There was something so darling and relatable in her character. I loved it, and I loved her.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”)
This is another tough category, because I really liked Brad Pitt. “Beautiful Day” was very high on my ballot for the nominations, and I don’t really recall a time when something hit me so hard emotionally. That was due in great part to Tom’s performance, and he’s such a truly gifted performer who’s been overlooked a lot for amazing performances like “Captain Phillips.” It’s not a career achievement situation, but I don’t know without Tom if that story I was being told would have affected me in the way that it did.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
I thought the story was fantastic and really well told. I went in with lower expectations because I read some of the things about the movie. I thought it could go either way. But the way the movie was told really worked for me, and I loved it.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”)
It was one of the best of the year and was very high on my ballot for the nominations stage. It has this one nomination, whereas some of my other favorites have several places where I can show my appreciation for their accomplishments. With “Knives Out,” this is the only place I can support it. It had the best dialogue. It was subversive and had something to say. It stood apart from the crowd by being totally enjoyable.

PREDICT the Oscar winners; change them February 9

Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on February 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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