Anonymous Canadian Oscar voter No. 2: ‘Meryl Streep? I don’t think so’

Here’s what she says about the other eight Best Picture nominees:

Call Me by Your Name: “I loved it, but I felt it wasn’t a Best Picture.”

Darkest Hour: “I didn’t like it too much.”

Get Out: “I liked it, but I think I liked it more for the political reasons than as a film. I was so thrilled that it was Black, you know?”

Lady Bird: “I thought it was lovely, but small.”

Phantom Thread: “I didn’t like it too much.”

The Post: “I liked the second half. I didn’t like the first half.”

The Shape of Water: “I really liked it, but I thought Dunkirk was a better film. I wasn’t into seeing the sophisticated version of Beauty and the Beast. But I loved it — it was my second choice.”

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: “I loved the film and I loved Frances McDormand in it. But somehow I didn’t know if it was really a dark comedy. I felt it had mixed messages and it confused me.”

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Del Toro “was really in charge of his craft. Even thought I chose Nolan’s Dunkirk for Best Picture, I thought there was something about the way Guillermo took the leap and pulled all the elements together, which were fantastical. I voted for that, the fantastical elements and his ability to do that.

Dunkirk was my second choice, and for the very same reason. (Nolan) just took a leap that was fantastic for me. I must say that all my responses are more emotional than intellectual — I guess I don’t think like a critic!

“Intellectually, I really felt I should love Three Billboards, and I did. But there was something that didn’t feel quite right. I don’t know what it was.”

Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards

“She was superb, and I wasn’t crazy about the film. That’s sort of interesting, because sometimes I wasn’t crazy about the films but I liked the acting, such as Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour. But Frances was superb. What a performance! Amazing!

“I thought Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) was lovely. So sweet, and I think, after seeing her in Maudie, that if I could have voted for a couple of performances last year which were superb, I would have voted for her.

“Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), I loved that film — but not for Best Actress. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) is superb, too. She was really good. What a great year for fabulous performances by females.

“But Meryl Streep (The Post)? I don’t think so. I’ve just had it with the fluttering hands and breathlessness. I just can’t take it.”

Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

“I voted for Gary Oldman because he was superb, he really was. He was the best thing in the film. He became Churchill without actually becoming a caricature, which is very commendable.”

“I loved Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), but I didn’t vote for him. I feel that he has a long life ahead. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread) has won before, and I’m also tired of the repressed male thing. I thought Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) was good, but I didn’t think he was fantastic. And as for Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.), no way! I didn’t even like the film, and I didn’t believe him for a second.”

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

“Allison Janney, wow! She was fabulous. Such a bitch! She’s every woman’s nightmare. And all the others, every woman was superb. Every woman has been fabulous this year. Even the mother in Lady Bird (Laurie Metcalf) was really good.”

Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

“Absolutely Willem Dafoe! I loved him, and I loved the film. I thought he was so contained and he really was the backbone of that film without being overtly present. He was just a strong, lovely presence. It was so beautiful. What a lovely performance.

“Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards) was really over the top, and I’m probably the only person in the world who thinks so. And I thought Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards) was OK, but not great.

“Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), I thought he was very good. I liked him. As for Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), I didn’t like the movie, so it didn’t help too much. And I think he was nominated for the wrong reason, as a consolation prize for stepping in for Kevin Spacey, which is not the right reason to vote for anybody.”

Best Original Screenplay: Get Out

“I voted for Get Out because I really thought it was unexpected. It had unexpected moments that weren’t thrust down my throat. They sort of evolved organically. I felt that Three Billboards was written by a theatre writer. It was very stagey. It didn’t feel cinematic to me. I liked The Big Sick; I thought that was lovely. But I thought Get Out was very good.”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name

“I loved Call Me by Your Name. Fabulous! I thought (screenwriter) James Ivory did a fantastic job on it.

“I really liked The Disaster Artist. As part of being an Academy member, you get sent a lot of screenplays and I’ve actually read them. I loved reading them. Mudbound was good, too. I wasn’t crazy about the other two (Logan and Molly’s Game).

Best Animated Feature: Coco

“I went for Coco. I loved Coco. It was fun, and it’s so true.”

Best Documentary Feature: Last Men in Aleppo

“I think it’s really important about what’s happening in the world and Syria. I think we need to know about people out there who are really courageous. It moved me tremendously. And also it’s a very brave documentary.”

Best Foreign-Language Film: Loveless

“It was heartbreaking and it’s also so telling about Russia today and what’s happening in the world. And it’s so restrained. It just broke my heart.”

“But I loved On Body and Soul, too. I thought it was magical. It really was. It touched me deeply. And I thought A Fantastic Woman was superb, too. It was tough, but Loveless touched me the deepest, I think. And it’s so political, without being overtly political.”

Best Original Score: Dunkirk

“For the music, I voted for the person who did Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer). I thought that was a fabulous score.”

Best Original Song: ABSTAINED

“I didn’t vote for anything in this category, because I’m not a song person.”

Best Sound Editing: Blade Runner 2049

“Denis Villeneuve created a world that I’ve never been in. He just managed to instill dread in it, which was fantastic.”

Best Sound Mixing: Blade Runner 2049

“Same reason as above. Denis created a world, and mixing is about all of the sounds coming together. It was a very cohesive whole, especially in the scenes with Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling. So subtle. I really loved it.”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: ABSTAINED

“I didn’t vote for any, because I didn’t think any of them were good. Usually prosthetics win.”

Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread, I’m sorry to say! I thought the dresses were superb.”

Best Cinematography: Dunkirk

“It was a real toss-up between Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049. Roger Deakins did Blade Runner, but I loved Dunkirk so much.”

Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049

“I actually really liked the film. And I thought the effects were superb, as was the cinematography. Effects are really difficult (to do). Sometimes they can be really hokey, and really expensive ones can look like they’re effects. But I think Denis Villeneuve was really involved in this. The effects felt like an extension of the characters. They felt real.”

Best Film Editing: Baby Driver

“It was beautifully cut! How energetic. Every cut was cut so beautifully to music and to action. It was superb.”

Best Production Design: The Shape of Water

“Guillermo de Toro created a world that was totally original — a world in Toronto! I was so thrilled when I saw the Elgin (Theatre).”

The respondent abstained from voting for Best Live Action Short Film, Best Animated Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film, because she hadn’t seen the films. She offered no comments about them.

Peter Howell is the Star’s movie critic. His column usually runs Fridays.


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