Here in the final stages of the 2022 Oscars season, several Academy Awards voters told Gold Derby who they voted for — and why. They asked us not to reveal their identities, but they were otherwise eager to share their views of the year’s best films. Now that voting has concluded, we’ll share a few with you. The comments below by Voter #2 for each category are part of the thought process in choosing these potential winners.

Also, you can click here to see the ballot of Voter #1 revealed recently.

This is one of the rare films lately that you must go out to the theater and see on the big screen because it was so compelling. I have watched it twice. Some people felt like not enough happened, but I don’t think that’s true. It was an epic story with amazing visualization and the relationships playing against warfare and immigration. Big budget; big production; extremely well made. Second place is “Don’t Look Up.” Third place is “Belfast.”

BEST DIRECTOR: Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”)
She was dealing with pretty complicated material and really explored a different side of the western and masculinity as we know it. It pulls off a lot of things that are bubbling below the surface. It gets even more powerful the more you think about it.

BEST ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)
This is a brutal category! With Penelope Cruz, it is about the artistry of the performance and emotion she brought to it. I’ve seen her in Q&A discussions explaining all the amazing choices she made to play this role, and she gets my vote.

BEST ACTOR: Will Smith (“King Richard”)
That’s pretty easy. He has a wide range in his performance, and even though it’s an outward role with an A-type personality, he was restrained and filled it up authentically. I never lost track and thought I was right there with the character.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)
She’s a key balance in the film. I’ve watched her work over the years, and when you look at everything, she is so quintessential and the very symbol of a long-standing actress working hard to make it here. She deserves the recognition.

That whole cast brought the film to life with a challenging project, but he grabbed a big share of my heart with his passion.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe (“Drive My Car”)
The more I read about the background, and of course the power of the film itself, I felt it deserves the recognition for such craft.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Adam McKay, David Sirota (“Don’t Look Up”)
I’m a big Adam McKay fan and never understood the critics being mixed on this film. I just bought into the satire throughout and want it to be recognized.

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