I had a chance meeting with a longtime Academy voter tonight. Since voting has closed, this person shared their main choices for the Oscars with me.
Remember, this is a member probably for 40 plus years. They made a lot of movies before moving to TV, where they had profoundly long lasting success. They are also Jewish, which matters because of their Best Picture choice: “Jojo Rabbit.”
What? I gasped. I said, I found it anti-Semitic.
“No, you didn’t understand it,” they said. “You realize that the mother– superbly played by Scarlett Johansson– hates them. She is trying to teach her son a lesson. She does, too. I thought it was brilliant.”
Consequently, this voter’s choice for Best Supporting Actress was Scarlett, not Laura Dern. “Marriage Story,” they said, “was my second choice film.”
Third choice? “1917.”
Best actor? No hesitation: “Joaquin! That’s an amazing performance. And the movie was wonderful. What he did…”
Best actress? “Renee Zellweger.” Even though the movie may not be factual? “Doesn’t matter. She got Judy.”
Here’s a surprise: no Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor. This person selected Anthony Hopkins, from “The Two Popes.” They said, “I just loved listening to him [and to Jonathan Pryce]. I voted for the screenplay, too.”
At this point were interrupted. I said “The Irishman” was my favorite movie of the year. They replied: “That was low down on my list. I felt like I’d seen it before.”
Well, it’s just one vote, but from a veteran with good taste. Just FYI. We never discussed “Parasite,” but I got the feeling they weren’t a fan.