Monday, June 17, 2024

Oscar Surprise: Longtime (Anonymous) Academy Member Chooses “Jojo Rabbit,” Joaquin, Renee, Scarlett, Hopkins


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.

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.

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