Secret Oscar Voter # 1: Ballot revealed with ‘CODA’ for Best Picture

Here in the final stages of the 2022 Oscar season, several Oscar voters told the 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 on the best film of the year. Now that the voting is complete, we will share a few with you. The comments below of voter # 1 for each category are part of the thought process in selecting these potential winners.

It just made me appreciate how powerful a movie can be. I was fascinated by the frugality of how it was shot. That’s why we make movies in a way, to tell stories in a non-conventional way. I now wish I had seen it on a big screen. As we combat more stereotypes and stigmas, only exacerbated by politics, we show and educate how people who are different from us are not really different from us. It surprised me so much that you want to mess up this movie. Second place is “West Side Story.” Third place is “Belfast.”

BEST Director: Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”)
I will vote for Steven Spielberg, but Jane Campion will win. Within two minutes of starting the movie, I forgot the original version of Robert Wise. It’s a great achievement! He adapted the story to be more relevant and changed things to make his own interpretation.

BEST ACTIONS: Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)
It’s such a personal project by her, so I’m not surprised she was nominated. She has been working on it for years and that passion came through. At one point, the leader for me was Kristen Stewart, then Olivia Colman, then Nicole Kidman, but here Jessica is coming from behind in the last few weeks and will probably win. And in my mind, it’s who’s going to win.

BEST ACTIONS: Will Smith (“King Richard”)
It’s a brilliant achievement that could have been written for him to get the nomination and the Oscar win. He has played real roles before as in “Ali”, and now wins everywhere. If it were not for Will, I would vote for Andrew Garfield because I really love that movie too.

BEST ACTOR: Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)
She gave a super amazing performance and stole the show! The academy could have been sentimental and also nominated Rita Moreno, but they did not. It will also be a consolation prize, as “West Side Story” will not win any more awards.

BEST ACTOR: Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)
This is a hassle for me with Troy. Before “CODA” caught fire, I started hearing from everyone that I should watch this movie. I did so and was blown over. Before that, it was supposed to be Ciaran Hinds hands-down. This film does not take advantage of his handicap but helps to make it mainstream and that is the miracle of this film.

BEST CUSTOMIZED SCREENPLAY: Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”)
It is a very complex story told in a way that one can understand it and that people can connect to. I enjoyed everything about it, from the harsh western aspects to the romantic undercurrents. It was delivered in a great way!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Adam McKay, David Sirota (“Don’t Look Up”)
This is definitely more challenging. I would give it to Adam McKay because that’s what original manuscripts should do. It requires a topic that people are not comfortable discussing and do not run away from it. I just thought that the sense of humor and the way he satires things as he has matured brings up issues that need to be discussed.

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