Here in the final stages of the 2021 Oscars season, several Academy Awards 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 voting has concluded, we’ll share a few with you. The comments below by Voter #4 for each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.
BEST PICTURE: “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Every year this is an agonizing process because there are two or three that I really, really love. I went with “Judas” because the way it made me think about the Black Panthers was different than the way I felt at the time and events were unfolding. It really exposes the systemic racism that is plaguing our country right now. Second place is “Nomadland.” Third place is “Sound of Metal.”
BEST DIRECTOR: Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
She has an ability to distill in a very simple and elegant style a lot of story and character. I know a lot has been said about the non-actors in it and the improv, but the naturalism and intimacy she brings should be recognized.
BEST ACTRESS: Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
She really pulls off this very challenging role, and there is a body of work thing going for as well. She’s just always so good! That category is brutal because you can look at all five performances and see how much soul went into each of them.
BEST ACTOR: Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Sometimes I get conflicted about doing posthumous recognition, but in this case the body of work is too memorable and the impression he made in his short time cannot be overlooked. This was a crowning achievement! I thought the movie was excellent and want to make sure it gets some recognition.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
This one is hands-down for me! I often find that the Oscars do not recognize comedy as much as we should. Comedy is harder to do. The challenge she has in that film and the way she pulls it off is totally engaging. She’s also been so endearing as a discovery this season.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
I found his performance riveting, and every time I see that video where he says “I am a revolutionary,” it’s so powerful! The film is wonderful, and he anchors it.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”)
This was a very challenging concept. When you deal with a play and bring it to the screen in a proper way, it’s very effective. They did a great job depicting those characters and their interactions.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
The challenge there in wrestling that story into a moving two-hour movie was amazing. There was so much to deal with including the court transcripts and the span of the story. He captured a lot of very powerful, emotional beats that are important for us to know about in this day and age.
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