Song of the Day #5,347: ‘Stay High (Childish Gambino Version)’ – Childish Gambino

I’m sheepishly glad I haven’t watched Till at the time I’m writing this because I no doubt would have to find a way to fit Danielle Deadwyler into my five Best Actress nominations. And I had a brutal time compiling this list as it is.

I also have yet to see To Leslie, but I haven’t been lobbied by any A-list stars to vote for Andrea Riseborough either, so I don’t think she’d make my list.

Here are some of the actresses who landed outside of the final five:

Lesley Manville was delightful in the charming Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, bringing a lot more pathos to her role than the movie required.

Viola Davis, snubbed by the Academy, was a force of nature in The Woman King.

Florence Pugh always delivers award-worthy work, and this year she was excellent in both critical punching bag Don’t Worry Darling and the little-seen Netflix release The Wonder.

Michelle Williams brought complex life to a role inspired by Steven Spielberg’s mother in The Fablemans.

Newcomer Frankie Corio, just 12 years old, has the natural presence you see in the best child actors. She plays off of Paul Mescal beautifully in Aftersun.

Former Academy darling Jennifer Lawrence probably would have waltzed to a nomination for Causeway several years ago.

Regina Hall doesn’t get enough credit for her comedic or dramatic chops. She goes broad but also shows glimpses of the hurt behind the cheerful facade of her preacher’s wife character in Honk For Jesus, Save Your Soul.

Jenna Ortega had a breakout year thanks to the Netflix show Wednesday but she started it off with her raw, vulnerable performance in school shooting drama The Fallout.

Finally, Jenny Slate gives a hilarious, heartfelt voice performance as the title character of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. If voice work is ever going to receive an acting nomination, it should be for a tour de force like this one.

And the nominees are…

Cate Blanchett – TÁR
However good you’ve heard Blanchett is as problematic genius composer Lydia Tár, she’s actually better. This is a meaty role and Blanchett tears into it with gusto, never seeking sympathy but somehow earning a measure of it by making Lydia so imperfectly human.

Mia Goth – Pearl
If the Academy wasn’t so biased against horror films, Goth would have been an easy contender in this category. Her 7-minute monologue at the film’s climax, filmed in a single unbroken take, was the most riveting scene of the year. Goth lays bare a soul and a psyche cracking at the seams.

Zoe Kravitz – Kimi
Kravitz skillfully embodies agoraphobic techie Angela in this taut thriller, building her from the outside in through a series of physical quirks without losing sight of the relatable human being within. Forget bodily transformations and heavy accent work, this is what it looks like to disappear into a character.

Emma Thompson – Good Luck to you, Leo Grande
Critics throw around the word “brave” when describing acting performances, as if these highly-paid artists were strapping on weapons and heading to war. But Thompson’s work in this two-hander is truly courageous, requiring her to bare both her body and soul with unflinching honesty.

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Yeoh is such a likable performer that it’s easy to forget how bitter and cruel her Evelyn Wang is, particularly to her daughter. The film’s conceit is that she is the worst possible version of herself, the result of every wrong choice in her life. But Yeoh manages to find the seed within that connects her to all those other, “better” Evelyns, and make her the film’s true heroine.

And the winner is… Mia Goth. In this lineup of great actresses and great characters, Goth’s Pearl is the one who entered the pantheon. Anthony Perkins wasn’t nominated for playing Norman Bates, either.

[Verse 1: Childish Gambino]
I already feel like doing it again, honey
‘Cause once you know, then you know
And you don’t wanna go home
Back to where it is that you come from

[Refrain: Childish Gambino]
I just want to stay high with you

[Verse 2: Childish Gambino]
‘Cause where I come from
Everybody frowns and walks around with
That old ugly thing on their face
‘Cause where I come from
We work hard and we grind and we hustle all day, don’t we?
(Yes, we do)
There comes a time, there comes a time
At night, where we come play
And there’ll be smiling, laughing, jumping, clapping
Yell and holler, just feel, just feel great, yeah yes

[Refrain: Childish Gambino]
I just want to stay high with you
With you

[Verse 3: Childish Gambino]
So, don’t question my state of mind
I’m doing wonderful, just fine, thank you
(Thank you)
Everything is everything and everything is beautiful
(How did you get like that too?)
See, all I do (is keep it cool) and don’t worry ’bout what everyone is doing, no
I already feel like doing it again, honey

[Outro: Childish Gambino]
I just wanna stay high
I just wanna stay high
I just wanna stay high with you (Ooh darling), with you
With you, with you
With you (Damn)
With you (Damn)
With you
With you

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,347: ‘Stay High (Childish Gambino Version)’ – Childish Gambino

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Since I’m not seeing Pearl, I’ll have to take your word for your pick….and I’ll stay with Yeoh.

  2. Peg says:

    Since I am still heartbroken over Daniele Deadwyler’s snub I can’t really get into this conversation. So I’ll go with Cate Blanchett who was definitely magnificent in this role. Runner up would be Emma Thompson for the same reasons you stated.

  3. Maddie says:

    Repping the Pearl support over here!! Mia Goth was fully robbed of a nomination. I’m not sure that she’d be my personal winner, but she should have absolutely been in the line-up.

    I absolutely need to see Kimi after seeing Zoe make the Montauk cut. Been on my list for a while.

    For my contenders, I’d add Anya Taylor Joy who was essential to making The Menu’s emotional core work (and feels like the lead actress there?), Aubrey Plaza in Emily the Criminal, and Elizabeth Olsen in Multiverse of Madness.

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I have too many feelings on this year’s Best Actress race to begin there, so I’ll start with raving about today’s SOTD. As a longtime Childish Gambino fan I cannot express how long I waited for him to realize that he has the voice of an angel. Throughout his early mixtapes, his first EP, and even his debut album he would casually come and kill the chorus then go back to rapping. It is so quintessentially Donald Glover that his main contribution to music now is what for the longest time was his side hustle: his mellifluous yet funky voice that feels instrumental while packed with emotion. If you had told me Freshman year of high school that Childish Gambino would be dropping albums worth displaying his vocal chops instead of the jaw-dropping blink and you miss it choruses I had to hold on to, I’d be in a grateful disbelief.

    Alright, back to the actresses. This is a somewhat unexpected five and I am unable to comment on Mia Goth or Zoe Kravitz as I have not seen their performances in those films. I certainly feel compelled to now. I will advocate here for “The Menu” as I’m wont to do and push for Anya Taylor-Joy here who bites into a cheeseburger like no other competitor in this field can. The only one who might come close is Zoey Deutch with her pitch performance in “Something From Tiffany’s” notably absent from your list. In all seriousness, it’s Cate Blanchett who should get the gold. She is a different breed of actor and is far and away the favorite in conversation for greatest actress of our generation. Lydia Tár is debatably her best vessel. The film lives and dies by her performance and the film excels.

  5. Peg says:

    I agree that Kimi is definitely worth seeing. Somehow I ignored the streaming TV stars like Lawrence, Thompson and Zoe but I saw all the movies and enjoyed them. If Andrea Risebourough wins you will hear a lot of cursing from this viewer.

  6. Peg says:

    Just listened to the SOTD Daniel and I like it!

  7. Amy says:

    My list: Danielle Deadwyler in Till, Emma in Leo Grande, Aubrey Plaza in Emily the Criminal, Cate in Tar and Michelle Yeoh in Everything. My winner would be Danielle Deadwyler.

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