Friday, June 21, 2024

Oscar Race: 2 Serious Voters Discuss Their Choices Thus Far


I happened to sit down with two Academy voters last night–two actors (I’m not giving gender) who are names. They are not A list movie stars, but they are typical of a veteran Oscar voter. Each one has name brand brand acting to their credit. One of them plays character parts in film mostly. The other had a long, wildly successful TV run and is also a member of the DGA. They are people past the age of 65 who look terrific and still work, are still vibrant.

Here is our non scientific discussion.

Each of them loved “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” They cited all the actors from each film. “Basically it’s a toss of the coin,” they agreed. One said: “I loved Jesse Eisenberg.” The other was wild for Colin Firth. “King’s Speech” had the ever so slightest edge in their thinking. “Jeff Bridges for True Grit, maybe.” said one. And Hailee Steinfeld? “Maybe.”

There was disappointment about Ben Affleck and “The Town” not getting more attention. They loved Natalie Portman, but “Black Swan” not so much. Ditto James Franco but not “127 Hours.” They loved — LOVED– “The Fighter.” Each voter cited all the actors from “The Fighter.” Only one had seen “Rabbit Hole” and really liked Nicole Kidman.

Some more thoughts: Annette Bening got a very positive response–simultaneous “yes”es– but “Kids Are All Right” had a lukewarm response. Neither of them had seen “Inception.” They had lots of good things to say about–surprisingly–“Justin Timberlake. He was great being bad.” One of my voters shouted out the name “Gosling!” during our discussion of the Best Actors. They agreed to Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were terrific and would be nominated. The film, not so much.

These are two former New Yorkers, by the way, who are here often but live in Los Angeles. They take the voting seriously and don’t pass it off to kids, assistants, maids, or pets.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News