An anonymous Oscar voter spilled all the tea on Ansel Elgort and ‘Dog Power’ won big

BILLIONhree server instead of no server? Eight categories presented before the TV show, then edited for faster consumption? The story of coming of age feels interesting CODA aims to upset the most glorious art film of the year The power of the dog?

The Oscars ceremony, which airs this Sunday, March 27, is packed with things but probably won’t let you get bored. So for the eighth year in a row, I turned to an anonymous voter for the Oscars for their thoughts on what might be.

Hello, anonymous Oscar voter. I feel that last year’s heavy, swashbuckling Oscars—necessarily scaled back for the COVID era—was a torture, especially since they barely bothered to show the cinematics. Agreed?

Totally have a billion percent agree. It has nothing to do with respect for the movies. And they never cut anyone off, so it lasts. It doesn’t feel very choreographed. They put all their eggs in one basket and the basket fell down.

Will this year be better? At least they have one host — three at Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall, in fact.

I don’t think the problem is that they don’t have a server. The problem is that they don’t want to trade what is given. This year, even though they have three hosts, it still looks like they’re trying to pull off a gimmicky shtick. I have faith in those three, but I have no faith in how they will be used. I love Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. In Billy’s case, in everything he does, from his monologue, where he performs a song based on Best Picture selections, to everything presented, he has always put a strong emphasis on movie. But this year, I think they intentionally picked three people who just wanted to make more shtick dishes, like Jimmy Kimmel bringing a group of people on stage or Ellen ordering pizza.

Not for small talk, but Disney didn’t invite West story actress Rachel Zegler – who won a Golden Globe – to be at the Oscars, but the Academy overcame that by making her the presenter. Do you think she was initially snubbed because they didn’t want to also have to invite co-star Ansel Elgort, who might have to answer questions on the red carpet about his allegations? I’m just guessing here.

I agree with you 100 billion percent that they didn’t intentionally invite her because they didn’t want to invite him. Making her a presenter is an inspiring outlet.


Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort as Maria and Tony in West story

© 20th Century Studios

Of course, if I saw Ansel there, I would know my theory was wrong.

Yes, but I bet you 10 on one, he won’t be there.

Also absent from the VIP list appear to be those in eight categories that will be presented before the TV show. Think?

I think that’s the worst mistake they can make. You don’t improve an awards show by editing what it’s supposed to be…the prize. Instead, you improve the presentation. So if this is how the Academy thinks it’s going to do it, they might not be aware of who they’re going to start with, which is why the Oscar shows are going downhill.

As for the awards themselves: At the Critics’ Choice Awards, Jane Campion said that King Richard The subjects (and producers) Serena and Venus Williams are wonders, but they “don’t fight men, as I have to”. Her cocky comment caused a stir and she later apologized, but did the blunder hurt her chances? The power of the dog?

It certainly doesn’t hurt it for me since I don’t know about it. I voted Campion for Best Director and Dog for Best Movie. Now that I’ve heard about it, I’m pretty sure she said it thinking they weren’t directors, not dealing with that society, but it’s a bad choice of things to say. It may have affected my vote.

So wait a minute: Don’t you just vote based on work? Want to comment?

It depends. It shouldn’t. [pauses] No, actually, it’s a conundrum because the work has to speak for itself. Actually, it doesn’t affect me, and I guess it won’t affect me, but it will affect some people. A comment like that could cost her, though I think she’ll still win.

The film’s biggest rival, CODA, is essentially an oxymoron — a crowd-pleasing box office failure that never found a crowd. Can it win Best Picture because it feels comfortable, along with a rare look at people with disabilities?

I think the reason it’s nominated is because it feels good and people love it because it’s so sweet, but overall, Best Picture isn’t for movies that are just sweet.

What about Green Book?

Green Book there’s an advantage to it, which CODA same, but Green Book there was a much larger statement about that time period and the factors at play. CODA is something literally based on “feeling good”, about people with disabilities, while The power of the dog constantly reveal different sides to the characters. In the end, it becomes a completely different picture. I think that will win.

I think the reason it’s nominated is because it feels good and people love it because it’s so sweet, but overall, Best Picture isn’t for movies that are just sweet.

Will Smith seems to have been locked out of Best Actor because of his quirky yet inspiring King Richard performance, complete with an Oscar bait speech, although Benedict Cumberbatch was a solid runner-up as DogUnique men’s wardrobe.

Yes, Will Smith looks like a playboy, but I voted for Cumberbatch. I think Will is due, to be honest, because he has had excellent performances throughout his career and has never been acknowledged for them. He will win, partly because he gave a sincere performance in King Richard, but I also think that’s his job. Cumberbatch has really lived up to his role and hasn’t showered for two weeks and he’s great, and I think he deserves it too, but it’s the “Who’s more deserving” battle? I think it will come to Will.

Best Actress seems a bit like a wild card, although I think it comes down to the very game that Jessica Chastain is in. Tammy Faye’s Eyes.

I agree. I voted Nicole Kidman for Being a Ricardian because I’m in love with that movie. I think she did a remarkable job – not in the beginning, when it threw me away, but in the end, I was sold. But Jessica will win. She really embodied that character from start to finish and she did the makeup for that part. She became that character, both physically and personally. And, like Will Smith, she’s due.


Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The power of the dog


Best Supporting Actor seems to be the duel between Troy Kotsur, the deaf father in CODAand Kodi Smit-McPhee, the wild child bullied in The power of the dog. Battle of the oppressed?

I met Kodi and he is very nice. He doesn’t quite resemble his character, but it doesn’t feel much when he’s acting in the movie as himself. Not the sublime part, but it’s still less acting. Since this is his first appearance, it is impossible to know if he will do the same in his next role.

But how do we know that Troy Kotsur might be a chameleon?

I also do not vote for. I voted for JK Simmons as William Frawley in Being a Ricardian. He starts off as an unknown – Fred Mertz – and in the end, he’s actually a powerhouse in that movie. JK has proven that he can be other people. In this case, it was unexpected. He had an amazing performance. But I think the winner will be Kodi.

And finally: Best Supporting Actress seems to be leaning towards Ariana DeBose because West story. If she wins, she will be the second Anita to win, since Rita Moreno – her current West story costar — won in 1962. My personal fan, however, is Aunjanue Ellis.

Who is she?

Will Smith’s supportive but strong wife in King Richard. She is a great actress.

Well, when I watched Ariana DeBose’s performance, I thought, “Where is she from? Why have I never met her? “It’s like she entered the movie having 50 years of experience. I’m sure people feel the same way when they see Barbra Streisand in Funny girl. I hope it’s a long slide for Ariana. This is like watching the birth of something new. This was the first shot out of the gate for her. Unlike Kodi. He certainly didn’t explode.


Ariana DeBose as Anita in West story


What about Dogby Kirsten Dunst? It was her first nomination. You already love the movie, so why not vote for she Best Supporting Actress?

I really don’t like her in the movie, to be honest – especially when she turns out to be an alcoholic. The only performance that mattered was Benedict Cumberbatch. Any other character could have been assigned to someone else and it would have been like a movie.

One final question: Are you looking forward to Sunday’s prizes or scaring them off?

I am afraid of them. It could be another shipwreck. I hope to be pleasantly surprised, but I don’t expect much of it. An anonymous Oscar voter spilled all the tea on Ansel Elgort and ‘Dog Power’ won big

Russell Falcon

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