Out of 31 Gold Derby experts, only four — Variety‘s Tim Gray, Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, Decider‘s Chris Rosen and myself — have stood up for Dolomite Is My Name‘s Da’Vine Joy Randolph. Her performance as Lady Reed is arguably the most touching and open-hearted of the year. In any category.
And 27 GD know-it-alls have blown her off. Nice one, guys!
Three other contenders deliver the intrepid beating heart thing. The Farewell‘s Zhao Shuzhen, who plays the ailing grandmother, Nai Nai. Bombshell‘s Margot Robbie, who portrays a fictitious Fox News comployee, Kayla Pospisil**, but in a stunned and shattered victimhood mode. And Richard Jewell‘s Kathy Bates, in her most noteworthy feature film performance since…what, Gertude Stein in Midnight in Paris?
The performances of the other three highly-rated contenders — Marriage Story‘s Laura Dern, Hustlers‘ Jennifer Lopez and Little Women‘s Florence Pugh — are all about spunk and spirit and strutting around. (Pugh delivers all this plus impudence.)
I respected Robbie’s performance and felt sorry for Pospisil (that awful scene in Roger Aisles‘ office), but at no time did I feel any kind of profound or meaningful kinship with her (mainly due to the rightwing thing). The emotional currents that seep out of Randolph’s Lady Reed are far more affecting, and yet Robbie has been included on 25 out of 31 GD lists. She’s obviously a bigger name that Randolph, but her performance isn’t in Randolph’s league. At all. Seriously.
Dern and Lopez are on pretty much everyone’s list. Shuzhen is on 17. Pugh is on 20.
The last time I checked performances that make you feel something deep and poignant are the ones that result in acting nominations…no? I guess gutsy and ballsy have more clout these days.
** Pospisil is a very strange last name. A mixture of a prescription drug and an opossum.