Brutally Honest Oscar voter: Emma Stone wasn’t that wonderful in ‘La La Land’


2017 BAFTA Awards - Arrivals

The Hollywood Reporter does a series ahead of the Oscars every year, and it’s one of my favorite magazine features ever. It’s the “Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot” series, wherein an Oscar voter fills out their ballot in front of THR and the voter explains why they’re voting the way they are. THR usually does about four or five of these pieces ahead of the Oscars, once Oscar voting is finished (voting ended earlier this week). The first ballot is from a “a longtime female member of the 1,158-member actors branch who — this season, anyway — is not associated with any of the nominees.” You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Her Best Picture vote went to Hell or High Water: “I hated Arrival — it just sucked. I didn’t like Fences because they just filmed the play… But I think Denzel decided that every word of the script [by the late August Wilson] was so precious that he wasn’t going to “mess” with it, and the movie suffered as a result. I loved the first half of Lion, but I felt like a different director and cinematographer made the second half. I thought Hidden Figures was wonderful — because it’s a great story, not because it was especially hard to tell. It’s almost like a glorified Movie of the Week. Moonlight and Hacksaw Ridge were really very good, but I don’t think of them as a best picture. La La Land was tremendously enjoyable, but not all that deep or memorable. That left me with Manchester by the Sea and Hell or High Water, two compassionate movies that were incredibly well written, directed and acted. Hell or High Water isn’t going to win, but it was my favorite, and it will be remembered as a true American classic.”

Best Director vote for Kenneth Lonergan: “Forget about Arrival [director Denis Villeneuve]. After that, it was tough. I decided not to go with Hacksaw Ridge, and not because of anything to do with Mel Gibson’s personal problems — even though I’m Jewish. I think he’s a different person now; he’s a very talented director, and I wish him well. [Moonlight's] Barry Jenkins did a really good job, but the movie’s three parts aren’t as connected as they could have been. That left me with Manchester [Kenneth Lonergan] and La La Land [Damien Chazelle]. Damien is such a sweetheart; I loved what he did with Whiplash and this one, and he’s probably going to win. But I voted for Lonergan, because it was harder to make everything click on that movie, and he really succeeded.”

Best Actor vote for Viggo Mortensen: “Denzel has played this role a million times before, and he got the Tony for it — I’m sure he was amazing onstage, but he didn’t do anything unexpected on film. You’ve got to seem alive in the moment, and maybe if he’d gotten a really great director to direct him, that person would have nudged him to do that. [Hacksaw's] Andrew Garfield and [La La Land's] Ryan Gosling were very good, but not Oscar-level. [Manchester's] Casey Affleck had a role worthy of his brave acting, and he was absolutely wonderful. But I loved, loved, loved Viggo Mortensen’s performance [in Captain Fantastic]. He is an actors’ actor, and I voted for him. Unfortunately, it’s probably the only vote he’ll get.

Emma Stone isn’t that cute: “I liked none of them [for Best Actress]. I thought Meryl [Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins] played it like a clown — she’s cute and adorable, but this woman didn’t matter to me in the end — but people are gaga over Meryl, and I think she solidified her nomination when she gave that speech at the Golden Globes. I don’t think she would have gotten nominated without it. I hated Jackie so much — it was just shallow crap — so no Natalie Portman. [Elle's] Isabelle Huppert is an ice-cold actress, and I eliminated her because when you get attacked, beaten and raped, you’re not the same person afterward, but she was, and I wanted to slap her to try to get a reaction out of her. The girl in La La Land [Emma Stone] is going to win because she’s adorable and everybody loves her, but I don’t think she was as wonderful as people are saying. That leaves me with Ruth Negga for Loving, who was fairly one-note, but engaging enough.

She doesn’t “get” Mahershala Ali in Moonlight: “I thought [Lion's] Dev Patel and the kid from Manchester [Lucas Hedges] were really good, but not great. The guy from Moonlight [Mahershala Ali] was good, but I don’t think his character was that developed — I mean, he’s this great guy, and then all of a sudden he just disappears. I really liked Michael Shannon in a movie that I didn’t like [Nocturnal Animals] — in fact, I voted to nominate him. But my heart is with Jeff Bridges, because I loved [Hell or High Water]. The acting was sheer perfection. Jeff makes it look easy but, boy, what he does is not easy.

[From THR]

For Best Supporting Actress, she ruled out voting for Viola Davis because of category fraud, which worries me – as in, I worry that Viola might not have this locked up, despite the fact that V has won every major award thus far. The voter went for Naomie Harris for Moonlight, which mystifies me – I thought Naomie was fine in Moonlight, but how in the world do you vote for Naomie and NOT Mahershala Ali, who was the strongest part of the ensemble?

I also agree that Emma Stone is going to win but that “I don’t think she was as wonderful as people are saying.” Once the La La Land haze dies down, people are going to be embarrassed that the Academy went so hard for La La Land and Emma especially. Emma’s character is awful and poorly drawn. What else? Now that I’ve seen Manchester by the Sea, I’m sort of mystified by all of this talk about how “brave” and “challenging” it is, or how Casey Affleck just nailed it. Like, Casey was good at playing a man who was an empty shell of grief, someone who is sleepwalking through his life. It IS very one-note because Casey’s job is just be dead inside.

And how can you hate Arrival? It’s a good movie! And Amy deserved a nomination.

2017 EE BAFTA Film Awards - Arrivals

2017 BAFTA Awards - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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142 Responses to “Brutally Honest Oscar voter: Emma Stone wasn’t that wonderful in ‘La La Land’”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    I really enjoyed Hell or High Water, surprisingly enough.

    • HeidiM says:

      So did I. I thought it was really well done. But I have admit I haven’t seen any of the other Oscar pics.

    • Karen says:

      I think that was my favorite of the best picture nominees (that I’ve seen).

      But it won’t get love I fear. La La Land will win as its a made for film original musical about Hollywood, even though the story, music and characters are not as great as they’re selling it to be.

    • Dee Kay says:

      Hell or High Water is #1 on my 2016 list. Hidden Figures takes the #2 slot. I think all the lead actors and supporting actors in both films deserved nominations.

      • Pam_L says:

        I completely agree with you! I finally got a chance to see Hell or High Water back in September at our small Indy theater once it went into wide release and I was blown away. I thought about it for days after seeing it, which is a true mark of a good film. I spread lots of word of mouth love for it too. An incredible film that would have gotten more love if CBS Films had premiered it at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2016 instead of Cannes in May 2016. Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, and Chris Pine all deserve Oscars for their performances, but Ben Foster stole my heart. I’m so disappointed that he wasn’t nominated for any awards for his performance.

        Also agree with you about Hidden Figures. Great minds and all that. :)

    • smcollins says:

      I really liked Hell or High Water as well. For a “small” movie it really delivers a punch. Ben Foster was incredible, and Jeff Bridges was fantastic as ever (not to ignore Chris Pine’s superb performance).
      I also agree with the voter about Viggo Mortensen’s performance in Captain Fantastic. He embodied that character wholeheartedly and was, well, fantastic (his best performance since A History of Violence imo).
      I’m really looking forward to the show on Sunday. Should be interesting. 😁

      • LadyT says:

        I agree with you. The surprise of it all was Chris Pine. Who knew?

      • Pam_L says:

        LadyT

        I knew. Chris Pine is an incredible actor, it’s just that many people haven’t seen him in anything other than Star Trek. He was really, really good as Jack Ryan, but that film was cast wrong as in Keira Knightly. She looked ten years older than Pine and her story line just didn’t fit. If they had left out the romance angle and just concentrated on Pine and Costner, who were both good, it was the best I’ve seen Costner in a long time, that film would have rocked and would have turned into a franchise. Try some of his smaller films (like Bottle Shock 2008, People Like Us 2012, and Z for Zachariah 2015) or a couple of big Studio films (like Unstoppable 2010 and voicing Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians 2012) and you will see what some of us have always know. Chris Pine is the real deal.

      • mazzie says:

        Pine’s a character actor with a pretty face.

  2. Rocio says:

    Arrival 4 ever! I’m still pissed that Amy didn’t get a nom.

    • slowsnow says:

      Count me in this group. I really liked Arrival – as in a truly strange and interesting, original script but not in a 2001 Space Odissey kind of masterpiece – and especially Amy Adams,

    • HeatherAnn says:

      I wanted to like it! I just watched it last weekend. I don’t know, maybe my expectations were too high, but I was so bored and I didn’t think Amy was compelling (I normally love her). There was just a lot of heavy breathing and looking scared. I feel like I must have missed something because everyone else loved it.

      • Keaton says:

        This is exactly what I felt about it @HeatherAnn. I really did want to like Arrival. I didn’t HATE it but I didn’t LOVE it like I expected to love it. And I really wonder if part of the problem is that Amy wasn’t that compelling. I hate to say that because I think she’s such a great actress and deserves alot more award show love. But I’m not sure if she has that special SOMETHING to carry this type of film. She seems capable of carrying smaller pictures but perhaps not something of this nature. I dunno.
        FWIW I loved the cinematography in Arrival.

      • Zuzus Girl says:

        I’m with you HeatherAnn. I just finished watching it an hour ago and actually fell asleep several times. I did not find it compelling in the least and as much as I like Amy Adams, she has played this type before. She’s had much better roles in the past.

    • Jellybean says:

      I loved Arrival. First time I saw it I didn’t touch my sweets, I was too focused on the screen. Second time the stomach churning tension was gone, but I was still totally engaged. Amy Adams totally deserved a nomination, it was exactly the type of non-flashy, honest performance that I love and she was truly the focus of the entire film. I also loved Hell and High Water and it will be one of the few DVDs I buy this year; I pre-ordered Arrival. I thought Hacksaw Ridge was a good film up to the last 20 minutes, which seemed more like a campaign to get the lead character a sainthood and, despite recognizing the amazing heroism of the man, I did get the giggles, because it was so overplayed. I haven’t seen the rest.

    • Rachel says:

      I liked the idea of it. But the cheesy aliens ruined it for me.

      All around, I told my husband it felt like this generation’s Contact.

      • Slowsnow says:

        Arrival is not sophisticated but I liked the plot around language and the idea of other ways of communicating.
        What did it for me was Amy Adam’s acting. I love understated performances. When you have a lot of text it guides the actor and the viewer. When you don’t it’s the body language and the face that says everything. And Amy nailed it for me. Renner not so much.
        But the best film, around these issues is Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson. Loved it loved it loved it. Much more sophisticated. Came out two years ago I think.

    • a reader says:

      CO-SIGNED to the moon and back! loved it.

    • MorningCoffee says:

      I just watched Arrival last weekend and loved it! Meryl stole Amy’s nom.

  3. mom2two says:

    I’d love to see Viggo shock everyone and win…but I agree with the brutally honest voter, he is not going to get many votes.

  4. teacakes says:

    WTFFFF @that comment about Isabelle Huppert’s character in Elle.

    The last Oscar ballot interviewee also said crap like this, that he wasn’t voting for her because her character wasn’t sobbing on the floor or whatever people expect rape survivors to do in the aftermath of being raped. As if there’s only one acceptable way to process such a violation. FUCK OFF WITH THAT.

    On the upside – this person appears to have watched way more and voted for more categories than the average AMPAS voter bothers with. And abstaining in categories they didn’t understand, too.

  5. DianaB says:

    I don’t agree with anything this voter has to say except that Emma wasn’t all that. Arrival was a terrific film, original, engaging, complex. Amy deserved that nomination. I really don’t think Viola is committing voter fraud. To me, at least in the movie, she is a supporting character to Denzel’s principal and he was excelent in that. Also, Hidden Figures was the bomb! that OS was awesome and Taraji was so great. LaLaLand was tremendously enjoyable? Girl, bye! that movie was such a snooze fest and this is coming from someone who loves even the crappiest movie if it has music or dancing at its center. Lalaland was nothing special and I can’t believe all the praise it gets. Haven’t whatch MBTS, hopefuly today, but CA should not be considered for anything having in mind what an A-hole he is.

    • Shijel says:

      Eh. Arrival. I went in with great expectations and came out loving only the original soundtrack and the cinematography. It could’ve been so much more and it settled for….. that. I agree with you on La La Land though. Me and my SO tried to watch it a few days ago and all I could picture before we walked out was “bland wheat bread”. What a boring, self-congratulatory, bland mess with weak singing and even weaker dancing, and the weakest plot.

    • LAK says:

      It’s standard practise for studios to do this type of voter fraud when they fear their candidate might be overlooked in the category they should be in. They submit them for the support category because that guarantees a win.

      The voter further explains that this practise ends up cutting out other performances that should be in that category in favour of the nominee who shouldn’t be in there. She mentions an actress from a film who they feel would have made the cut in the support category if Viola was in her correct category.

      Ultimately the voter is saying viola was too good a performance to relegate it to the support category and in doing so cut out another performer.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    Hell or High Water was my favorite of the nominated Best Pictures.

    My favorite film was Time code, which is one of the shorts

  7. JA says:

    Arrival was a great movie that I enjoyed and Amy carried it throughout. I hope she gets nominated for her excellent work soon. All the hoopla for lala has turned me off. Ehh will watch when its at redbox

  8. An says:

    Emma’s a basic white girl who gave a basic performance in an overrated movie. It’s a travesty that she will win a Best Actress Oscar for that. I’m still mad that Viola did not compete in Lead. She would have easily won here. Also, Casey Affleck’s “brave acting”? lol This person has not seen enough of Casey’s mumbling, grim performances apparently. It is literally the only character that he can ever play.

    • Patricia says:

      What does Emma being white have to do with it? Very strange comment to me.

      • slowsnow says:

        I kinda understand the comment, particularly with the whole backlash of last year about a very failing representatibility of the Academy nominations and wins. It proves the point that the quirky, non-threatening, cute white girl is a favorite and always will be.
        I agree that Emma is not all that as an actress (as a person she seems really witty and nice as far as I see), she is very one-tone and not as ground-breaking as everyone thinks she is.

      • ell says:

        @slowsnow same. she seems lovely as a person, but i’ve never seen her in a role and thought she was great. she’s… ok.

        she also never seems to pick interesting roles.

      • An says:

        The fact that she’s lily white has everything to do with it. If a WoC does that role exactly the same as Emma she’d get a pat on the back not an Oscar. She would not be winning because it is literally the fifth-most challenging role in the category. Look at the kind of role that Viola had to do just to win a Supporting Oscar. Typical Hollywood, rewarding the white girls more for doing a lot less. It’s just a fact.

      • Bluer says:

        I agree with ell. She’s overrated and I don’t get the fuss over her acting – it’s average to me.

    • LadyT says:

      Using the term “brave” when applied to acting makes me absolutely crazy. Going deep into character, which we all know is pretend, is brave? Cancer patients are brave, soldiers are brave, etc. Actors are doing their job.

    • teacakes says:

      She’ll join the following undeserved (as in, certainly not the best performance among the nominees, but won because of campaigning) Best Actress wins for movies no one cares for five years down the line:

      Reese Witherspoon for Walk The Line
      Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
      Natalie Portman for Black Swan
      Jennifer Lawrence for The Silver Linings Playbook

      yeah, she’ll be right at home. And I actually like her otherwise.

      • Slowsnow says:

        Wow @teacakes seeing this list depressed me. Not that I don’t like these ladies but there are better actresses out there.

      • smcollins says:

        The only one I disagree with is Reese Witherspoon. I think she deserved her win for WtL. I love Sandra, but never understood her winning for The Blindside (apparently neither did she). But it’s true that it’s all about who has the best campaign, or which studio paid the most (I’m looking at you Weinstein for Shakespeare In Love).

      • JulP says:

        Agree with this list 100%. I love Sandra but I still cannot believe she won an Oscar for a decent performance in what should have been a Lifetime movie. Last night I was looking through The Playlist’s rankings of recent best picture nominees and I was reminded that the Blind Side was nominated for Best Picture too!! It’s truly unbelievable the amount of crap that gets nominated (I’m looking at you, Hacksaw Ridge)

      • Areil says:

        LOL
        Atealst Emma did her own dancing in LaLa Land.
        Natalie Portman lied about the ballet in Black Swan, and took credit for an actual ballerina’s work.
        That was disgusting, and I really don’t want to see Portman win this year. So Emma it is.

    • Georgia says:

      An I could not agree with you more. I will be sadly, sadly disappointed it ruth negga doesn’t win because she truly deserves it since no black actress has taken that category since Halle 16 years ago and that,s not fair. The oscar is supposed to be based on the best performance and whose been overlooked even though they deserved it in the past. Although I love love musicals emma stone doesn’t deserve only because she is white. It sounds like this one actress came to her senses and voted for ruth. I will get fierce in my living room if ruth does not win Bc best actress is the most important category for black women as several have won supporting over the past several years.

    • Georgia says:

      An I could not agree with you more. I will be sadly, sadly disappointed it ruth negga doesn’t win because she truly deserves it since no black actress has taken that category since Halle 16 years ago and that,s not fair. The oscar is supposed to be based on the best performance and whose been overlooked even though they deserved it in the past. Although I love love musicals but it would be criminal for emma stone to just because she is overhyped because she is white. It sounds like this one actress came to her senses and voted for ruth. I will get fierce in my living room if ruth does not win Bc best actress is the most important category for black women as several black have won supporting actress over the past several years so if viola doesn’t get win it really wouldn’t matter very much to me. Ruth has more acting experience than Emma anyway but is considered a newcomer because you didn’t know her because she is black.

    • Fiorella says:

      There are some different issues. One, the voting system brings into play the campaigning and the personalities of the actors (not just their performances in the films.) so the less talented person can always win. Then there are fewer woc than white women nominated every year. So statistically it’s unlikely for a black woman to have a meh role and get nominated and win. It is what it is, a bunch of old white guys voting. Are there other awards that are usually awarded to those most deserving ? (Honest question)

  9. Simone says:

    GO VIGGO!!!! I am a huge fan!

  10. Kasia says:

    This honestly comes off as way too bitter to be amusing. I don’t know I might be off but the tone here is so weird and personal.

    I also don’t get why everyone is salivating over Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea.

  11. JulP says:

    I agree with you about Casey Affleck Kaiser, I saw MBTS a few weeks ago and I thought his performance was one-note. He played a depressed drunk dude from Massachusetts. We’ve seen this character portrayed multiple times before, it was nothing new (I do think Casey is a great actor – he was amazing in The Assassination of Jesse James – but I really don’t understand the praise he is getting for MBTS).

    This voter sounds a lot like the other anonymous voter from awhile ago (they both voted for Hell or High Water as best pic and clearly didn’t understand Elle). I agree with this voter that Emma’s performance is not Oscar worthy, and she’s only going to win because the Oscars are a popularity contest. But I can’t believe she dismissed the performances of Isabelle Huppert and Natalie Portman! I’m not the biggest fan of Natalie, but she was pretty great in Jackie. And Isabelle was perfection.

    As for supporting actor. I love Jeff Bridges, but he has played variations of this character several times already (as the honest Oscars trailer pointed out). The voter clearly didn’t get Moonlight either. Juan doesn’t “disappear”; the viewer learns what happened to him through the dialogue, and his impact on Chiron is felt throughout the second and third acts despite his absence. I really hope Moonlight *at least* wins best supporting actor (it should also win best pic, best director, best original score and best adapted screenplay, but we all know all of those, with the exception of the last, will likely go to LLL). And, as I’ve said before, if Viola doesn’t win her Oscar I’m going to break things! (Also keeping my fingers crossed that Denzel will pull off an upset an win Best Actor)

    • DianaB says:

      Haven’t whatch Elle, but I agree with your opinion on Jacky. Portman was great in that. And the score on Moonlight, oh my god, that was so good! I’m also crossing my fingers for a Denzel upset. That would be the greatest thing ever!

    • Annetommy says:

      I thought Manchester BTS was wonderful, and Affleck wonderful in it. I don’t agree that it was one note or that the character was an empty shell; there were outbursts of emotion, whether of violence or grief. I like understated performances, not grandstanding showboating ones. The subject matter in Manchester could easily have led to that, but it didn’t. I think Denzel will win however. I really liked quite a lot of this year’s big films; Hell or HW, Loving, Arrival, Nocturnal Animals among them. La La Land was pleasant but slight.

  12. MissMerry says:

    even without seeing it, La La Land looked like it was tooting its own horn more than it deserved. Emma is always overrated IMO.

  13. Saks says:

    Moonlight finally opened in my country and I have to say I sort of agree with her in that Masherhala Ali’s character was inconsistent. I want Dev Patel to win, round up character and terrific performance.
    What I don’t get is Casey Affleck admiration, it is a really plain performance. I hope Denzel wins.
    As for the actresses I think that Taraji, Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain should have been nominated instead of Emma, Meryl and Natalie.
    In general, I’m not really excited for the Oscars this year.

    • Shijel says:

      I absolutely love Ali, but I don’t consider his role in Moonlight Oscar-worthy, even though I loved the film. I couldn’t pin down the character. And just as I felt like I was starting to connect with the character, boom. Gone. Dead, removed from the rest of the movie. Lots of promise on both acting and writing, but gone too soon, left too ambiguous. An Oscar for a bit part, essentially? I mean I won’t be shedding any tears if he won because I love the actor, but I don’t love the role.

  14. Shambles says:

    Emma’s character was just a shallow girl with a dream. And Ryan’s character figured out that living for the shallow dream isn’t worth it (with his tenure in John Legend’s band), and so he ended up persuing his true passion in the end. The shallow dream, which by the way he only persued because he thought that’s what Emma’s shallow girl character wanted him to do. Emma’s character ended up persuing the shallow dream, so she grew apart from Ryan’s character and ended up with an equally-shallow handsome-guy type. In the end, she sees she’s the simple but full-of-love life she could have had with Ryan’s character, had she persued her dream in a more deeep and passionate way (maybe in the theater, paying her dues?) with him by her side.

    • Millenial says:

      Ugh, so the two main characters don’t get together in the end/have a happily ever after? If a movie is going to sell itself as having singing, dancing, 50′s outfits, and cute actors, I expect to feel emotionally satisfied at the end, dammit! Now it’s off my Redbox watch list.

    • mar_time says:

      I personally loved LA LA Land, saw it 3 times, love the soundtrack but thought Ryan was the better actor in the movie…Emma made two or three typical Emma faces in the beginning of the movie so it took me out of the film. If anyone is going to win an oscar for acting, it should be Ryan. Although I will say that I started crying when she sang the Audition song and that’s probably what pushed her to top pick in the category. •shrugs•

    • maisie says:

      I wouldn’t call the great Tom Everett Scott a “shallow handsome guy type.” His placement at the end of the film was a genuinely wonderful surprise and took some of the sting out of the bittersweet, Umbrellas of Cherbourg style ending of LLL.

      I really liked La La Land – it was the movie equivalent to Stranger Things. Both took elements from earlier film genres and sort of absorbed them and created something pretty great from them, even if they were not entirely original. And while one might argue that Emma Stone’s performance wasn’t the greatest in film history, it was perfect in the context of La La Land.

    • Jeesie says:

      He didn’t choose the ‘shallow dream’ because it wasn’t his dream, not for a second. I imagine John Legend’s character on the other hand was rather pleased to see his dream play out so well, just as Emma’s did. In the end all the characters followed their dreams, and Gosling’s character is the one that ends up dreaming of what could have been (the fantasy at the end was his, not Emma’s).

      Also, I’m not sure how owning a jazz club is somehow less shallow than being successful acting or singing. It’s a smaller dream, but that doesn’t somehow make it more worthy.

  15. OTHER RENEE says:

    I would have picked Taraji over Emma. I loved Hidden Figures so much. I saw it with my daughter and she loved it so much that two days later she took her (math major) boyfriend to see it. I thought LLL was overrated. I honestly don’t get the hype. I love these anonymous voter pieces. They always seem very thoughtful.

  16. paolanqar says:

    I totally disagree with this ‘Emma’s character is awful and poorly drawn’.
    Emma’s character is consistent and strong and she played it magnificently. In my opinion she is a better actress than Jennifer Lawrence.
    I loved La La Land. I was disappointed by the ending but I still loved it and thought it deserved all the accolades… but then I saw Lion.

    Lion for me is the best movie of this season and it deserves everything it’s up for.
    Dev Patel was terrific and that little guy who played Saroo deserved an Oscar nod too. And Nicole Kidman was so believable and full of compassion.
    I usually don’t cry watching films but Lion made me realise how lucky I am and how unlucky other people are and how much I take for granted, so I cried in the beginning, wiped my cheeks in the middle and I was sobbing by the end.

    I didn’t think Arrival was Amy’s best performance, she has done so much better in the past.
    ‘The Doubt’ comes to mind.

    I loved Florence Foster Jenkins but only because it is the first time where in a film I see all the characters come out in a utterly positive way at the end of the movie. There is not one negative thing in any of them. They all have their reasons to behave the way they do.

    I do hope Emma ends up winning the Oscar. And Dev Patel

  17. Lorena says:

    Who do you guys think the voter is? Just speculating.

    • Millenial says:

      Ok, I spent way too much time looking up former Best Actress/Supporting Actress nominees (I assumed this was a woman, but I could be wrong) who are also Jewish, but I only looked at the last ten years or so. Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelley, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder. I probably missed some. Out of that list, Patricia or Gwyneth.

      • asia says:

        it’s Bette Midler! jewish, long-time member (was nominated for the first time in 1979 for the Rose), moved to New York from Hawaii in 1965 and acted in plays/musicals ( from the HR piece: “I was really looking forward to learning more about James Baldwin’s life, rather than his ideas (which I already knew), because when I first came to New York as a young actress, he was such an avant-garde playwright and fascinating guy.”) She is also famously funny and outspoken (hence the joking “my big mouth” comment).

      • Millenial says:

        Oooh! I completely forgot about the comment about being there around the same time as James Baldwin. Bette is a great guess!

      • Gene123 says:

        Bette Midler is a great guess! If its Bette Milder, there goes the theory that shes angry at Arrival for Adams stealing her part. Now I want to know why Bette Milder hated Arrival so much.

        However, the perfect rape victim criticism doesnt sound like something Bette Midler would say

      • Shark Bait says:

        Someone guessed Barbra Streisand because of the love for Jeff Bridges, but she was born and raised in NYC so Bette makes better sense.

    • Ayra. says:

      Really, I’ve got no idea how the voting system works for the Oscar’s works but are all of the voters famous actors and or directors?

  18. OriginallyBlue says:

    I am sick to death of these people claiming Isabelle didn’t act like a rape victim. People process and deal with trauma in different ways. I haven’t seen the movie and don’t really want to, but the comments drive me batty.
    Viola better win this Oscar, she can act circles around a lot of these nominees, yet there wasn’t enough faith in the Academy actually awarding her so she had to campaign for something different. If Alicia Vikander got away with it last year with her mediocre acting skills and Viola doesn’t, I will be so angry.

  19. sunnydaze says:

    I really, really wanted to like Arrival as a movie. My husband tried to explain it to me, I read countless explanations, but at the end of the day I just. didn’t. get it.

    I mean, I get where it was going, I’m just exhausted by time traveling paradoxes and perhaps I don’t know enough about linguistics to understand how the hell they learned that language. I appreciate where the movie was going, I appreciate how it went about getting there, but I just can’t wrap my head around it as a whole – I have a very hard time with movies that rely on such sophisticated science to maintain plausibility (I had the same issue with Interstellar). Maybe it’s because I walk away feeling stupid *shrug*. Then again, I saw it a month after having kiddo so perhaps I was extra sensitive about the material (I hope that’s not a spoiler? Sorry…..)

    All that said, Amy Adams was spectacular. I think one can admit not liking a film as a story, but totally dig the performances.

  20. Sam says:

    We should be talking about a best actress race between Viola and Amy.

    La La Land is overrated and I have no idea how it got all the nominations or why Emma and Ryan are getting heaps of praise. Folks are gonna look back and wonder why or how it got all these nominations

    • lucy2 says:

      Given that Emma is the front runner, Viola should have gone for Best Actress, she’d have won.

      I’d like La La Land, it was enjoyable and different, but not Best Picture worthy, and Emma was good, but not Best Actress worthy, IMO.

      • Lightpurple says:

        I agree and have been saying that all season. Viola belonged in the lead category and she would have won. Which would have given Naomie or Michelle a chance to win for their amazing work.

      • Nic919 says:

        Viola is great and should have been in the lead category. But I also think that Jessica Chastain was overlooked for Miss Sloane. She is great in that movie.

        Of the ones actually in the lead category I think that Isabelle Huppert should get it. Elle isn’t simply another rape victim movie and without spoiling the end, there is a twist that opens up what the entire movie was actually about.

  21. courtney says:

    personally think Natalie Portman’s performance in Jackie left a lot to be desired maybe because I’ve never much cared for Natalie and grew up in the shadow of the Kennedy presidential library. an Oscar loses it’s novelty in five minutes or the time it takes you to get back to your seat and realize it’s only a statute as Joanne Woodward famously said in a 1995 interview when asked if she was grateful to have won at a young age

  22. kiddo says:

    I have a very high expectation for La La Land,i am huge fan of musical and i love Gosling and Stone, but when i watch it i am so disapointed. It was so shallow, and the characters so not engagaging and the movie is just pointless. Surprisingly i enjoy Hackshaw ridge so much, i dont even like any of Mel Gibson movies. Overall La la land is the most overrated movie of the year, but the soundtrack is good though.

  23. astrid says:

    to me this just shows how it’s all personal opinions after all and nobody has the same opinion

  24. ell says:

    the comment about how rape victims should act is incredibly troubling. when are we gonna accept that people react differently to trauma, and why shouldn’t that be reflected in movies as well?

    lainey wrote on a post today that male characters are allowed to act, behave and react in all sorts of ways and we just watch it and deal with it, whereas with female characters there are always certain expectations. it’s so true.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Thanks for saying this, it was my first thought too. I haven’t seen the film but Huppert is always amazing, and the attitude towards the protrayal of rape being any one way is hopefully not widespread. So it’s ok for Affleck to play understated grief as a man, but a woman suffering trauma must freak our and flail her arms around and cry? I call b.s. Plus it’s French, so probably much more realistically nuanced and subtle, too much for Hollywood.

  25. I'mScaredAsHell says:

    I’m okay with either Denzel or Viggo winning best actor. Both are talented and always deliver great performances. Just don’t let that slime bag Casey Affleck win. I pray Viola wins an Oscar cause she’s long overdue.

  26. Margo S. says:

    Wow. Not a fan of this oscar voter. You hated arrival?! And your hating on viola?! And mahershala?!?!!? How dare you.

    I hate that Damien and emma are only getting nominated/awarded because everyone thinks they are adorable… has nothing to do with the work. Whoever can suck the most a$$ and be the biggest teachers pet gets the award! Makes me mad.

  27. Elle says:

    The Oscars = Post High School Popularity Contest

  28. Ana says:

    I don’t think Viola has anything to worry about, the Academy loves to give awards to people that “had it coming”, and Viola has had a great year. She’s winning.

  29. serena says:

    No, she was very very good and I do think she deserves an Oscar. That being said La La Land does not, there are movies FAR better than that.

  30. Pandy says:

    I can’t weigh because I haven’t seen any of these movies!! And I’ve never heard the Trolls song either thank god. I just wanted to say those blues on Viola are magnificent. Wow.

  31. K says:

    I love these, they are just fun even if I don’t always agree.

    That being said I totally agree with the Emma Stone- I don’t get it she is a glorified non drugged up Lindsey Lohan. I mean she is entertaining and I don’t dislike a lot of her movies but she isn’t that great of an actress and certainly doesn’t deserve an Oscar.

  32. Lady Rain says:

    I don’t agree with this voter at all. She seems a bit out of touch and sexist by characterizing most of the female performances as “one-note” and unremarkable.

    Also, criticizing Marshala Ali’s performance as being an “undeveloped character” – this sounds more like a writing-related issue, not a performance-related one.

    And how can she dislike Arrival? It was fantastic.

  33. Wurstbonbon says:

    So she knows the name of all the actors, but when it comes to Mahershala Ali, he’s “that guy from moonlight”. Am I the only one lifting an eyebrow over this? I might have become totally paranoid. #hollywoodSoWhite

  34. arbelia says:

    Don’t worry Viola will win it , just like Alicia Vikander won last year; the problem is those people who win with a category fraud ( although in this case it’s totlly stupid , she would have win in the lead category) faces backlash afterwards;last time i went on the now dead imdb forums, the majority of people thought vikander didn’t deserve to win;

  35. M.A.F. says:

    I read this yesterday on another site and I figured it was a guy. Interesting. I have seen two of the best picture nominations (Arrival & Hidden Figures). Back when it was only 5 nominations , I would make it a point to see all 5. But now? I just can’t be bothered (plus, going to the movies is just too expensive). I do want to see Moonlight. I’ll wait until it’s on Netflix.

  36. Bluer says:

    I love Viggo as an actor and he’s so underrated and under-recognised – Eastern Promises, that movie with Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac, etc. I skipped through Hell or High Water on streaming, but Chris Pine was so good as usual. I hope Hidden Figures gets some good recognition. La La Land looks atrocious and self-indulgent.

  37. Fiorella says:

    The description of Isabelle’s characters reaction to her rape reminds me of another French movie yall might like- “love crimes” . In the same way, the protagonists reaction to something surprised me and made me contemplate the resilience of the human spirit and how much stronger she was than me. Interesting that people just wrote her off because she’s the wrong kind of victim.
    Lighter note that is really Emma’s colour and she looks incredible.

  38. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Viggo was great and probably deserved to win several films ago, but I don’t see it happening unfortunately, Affleck has this locked I think. (I haven’t seen Manchester to be fair but it all sounds very one note and grim). Viggo’s character experienced deep grief but also was a fully fleshed out character full of all sorts of fun and joy. Plus he was pretty weird in a way most films don’t allow without labelling the person nuts, and that final scene was so sad and resigned, he really was awesome. I haven’t seen any of the other films, too many people I know saying they hated La La Land, I will wait for video. Plus in the U.K. a lot of them aren’t even out yet.

  39. Marley says:

    I haven’t seen Arrival but it must be a polarizing movie because i know a few people who hated it.

    I agree with her on La la Land too. It seems like the flavour of the month but I suspect people will puzzled by the hype in years to come.

  40. Dirk says:

    The only thing Arrival should have been nominated for was AMY FRIGGIN’ ADAMS!!! And the sound design. The rest was ponderous crud. La La Land was overrated but it’s not crud, it’s just not as good as it’s chalked up to be.