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 #5 for each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.
BEST PICTURE: “Minari”
I’ve watched it a couple of times and was even more delighted by it the second time. The performances are incredible, and it’s such a touching story. It’s personal to the filmmaker but also very universal. Second place is “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Third place is “Promising Young Woman.”
BEST DIRECTOR: Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
It is astonishing that this is only her third feature. She has a unique sensibility, and her vision is so precise and self-assured. It’s just wonderful to see.
BEST ACTRESS: Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
That film was a bit of a mess but certainly not her fault. If anything, she carried it with her beautiful performance. It was soulful and she was a revelation. That is a really tough category, and I loved Vanessa Kirby too. I could have voted for anybody and felt good about it.
BEST ACTOR: Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
I realize Chadwick Boseman is likely winning, but to me, no one touches Hopkins’ performance this year. It was so masterful and so complex. It’s his very best in my opinion.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)
I loved “Minari” so much! She made me laugh and cry and think of my own grandmother who helped raised me. I just loved her performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
I don’t think there’s any contest here. It’s hands-down the best performance of that group. I have watched that film several times and just have chills every time he is on screen. Following his interviews and campaign, he has such a reverence and respect for Chairman Fred Hampton. You can tell he gave it his everything.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”)
This was one of my favorite films of the year, and I was so sad not to see it get more recognition, especially Picture and Director. I thought it would get in for a lot more. This is the perfect category to honor it with an impeccable screenplay and dialogue.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
There is no film more original than this one, whether you liked it or didn’t. We can all agree it is wildly original. It’s hard to strike a balance between the very serious things on its mind and the pure entertainment. It really delivers, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
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