Most Likely to
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Sound of Metal
1 2 3 4 5
And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to...
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
I have thoughts. Read them in my response to the winners & telecast.
And I'd say that this is how this happened, and how we could have predicted it better: voters have to decide between what performance they really believe in, and what they want the award to do for the world. I imagine that many voters preferred Hopkins' performance, but agreed that it was a good thing for the world to watch Chadwick Boseman posthumously win this, especially in a year of heightened BLM consciousness. What does a voter do if stuck between these two sentiments? I imagine that given Boseman's strong standing in the odds would make any voter feel more comfortable voting with their own personal preference (based solely on the work), since they can rest easy knowing that what they think is best for the world will happen anyway. I imagine this is exactly what happened when Glenn Close lost to Olivia Colman two years ago - everyone assumes the odds are right, so feels free to privately vote how they'd personally like to.
Tea leaves that might have led us to predict this: The Father did very well with the nominations, and Ma Rainey underperformed greatly (missing Best Picture and Screenplay). The Father was late to the game, meaning Hopkins didn't have a fair crack at too many of the precursor awards, until the BAFTA, which has a voting structure & body most like that of the Oscars, and which he won. I presume I wasn't alone in thinking "the BAFTAs routinely under-reward black performers, and Hopkins is British, so this doesn't tell us much." We should have listened to this more closely.
But, hindsight's 20/20. Meanwhile: congrats to Anthony, we will miss your work Chadwick, and justice for Riz (my fave of the year :)
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.