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 #2 for each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.
BEST PICTURE: “Minari”
This year, more than any other year, it is about the purity of the film and not the hype. Will the Academy go for two international-type films in a row? That’s why my gut is going the way it is. Second place is “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Third place is “Promising Young Woman.”
BEST DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Spike Lee got left out, and this was one of the best movies he has ever directed. “Mank” was terribly disappointing, so it will not be David Fincher. It will probably be Chloe Zhao. For Chung, it was a personal story and universal about immigrants to find their way in the U.S. The chemistry between the little kid and his grandma was due to the director, and I felt good after watching that.
BEST ACTRESS: Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
There really is no weak link from anyone’s performances here. Just from the freshness perspective, I go with Andra Day, especially with the backstory that it is her first movie. She started drinking and smoking so she could experience what Billie did.
BEST ACTOR: Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Without a doubt, this one is a no-brainer. Obviously his passing influences this significantly, but his performance was really strong. But I’m seriously disappointed that Delroy Lindo did not receive a nomination… for his once-in-a-lifetime performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)
The wisdom is that Glenn Close will get it because it is her time, but she doesn’t get my vote; not for this movie. In another universe, are we talking about “Borat” in terms of the category is bizarre, but we’re in a Covid universe. For me, it is Youn from “Minari” because it is such a great movie.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
He’s a brilliant entertainer and was very convincing. He has been working like crazy to get it publicity-wise and really wants this. It’s a real toss-up between him and Daniel Kaluuya.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
When you’re looking at the real-life characters and the actors, you got the feeling that it is so true and natural. As much as I don’t think it is Best Picture, it really does have the best script for this category.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
I hope this goes to “Judas.” As a story, it was told so brilliantly and I didn’t know so much about Fred’s life and he was so young. I am hoping it got enough exposure… but do think it is a year where it’s about the films and not who you shakes hands with at parties. People are watching everything this time. That’s why there will be a sprinkling of choices this time and not anything sweeping.
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