Rosamund Pike: 2015 Best Supporting Actress contenders

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As you fine ladies and gentlemen all know by now, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what folks like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing to run down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what or who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.

Today I’m continuing with another of the big acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actress.

Here are the ten particular women that I have in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:

1. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) *could go Lead – I also have Pike as a contender in Best Actress, but if she goes Supporting, she very well could win the Oscar this year. David Fincher’s film seems like it could be an acting showcase, so unless you have her in Lead already, there’s absolutely no reason to not have her listed prominently in Best Supporting Actress. It could be her year.

2. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year) – The other actress I think is highly in contention to win this category is Chastain. She’ll have some other Lead performances vying for Oscar’s attention, but this seems like the bait and flashy sort of supporting turn that the Academy loves to give a prize to. She’s getting to the point where a win makes a lot of sense, so keep a close eye on her ladies and gentlemen.

3. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) – If there’s one supporting role that will really have critics pulling for a nomination, it’s Arquette’s in Boyhood. I’ve seen the film and know how great she is, so I feel like a nod is very possible. Turning that nom into a win will be a challenge, but she could certainly contend, no doubt about that much.

4. Jena Malone (Inherent Vice) – One of my hunches this year is that Malone will be the scene stealer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. Other folks are backing different horses, but I’ve always thought she was an incredibly underrated actress and PTA is the sort of filmmaker who could help relaunch this next phase of her career. Maybe I’m way off, but I think she’s got a shot.

5. Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars) – The Best Actress winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Moore is almost assuredly going Supporting here, which means she could very well be in line for another nomination. I have my doubts

6. Jennifer Garner (Men, Women, & Children) – I’m bullish on this new Jason Reitman film (I love Chad Kultgen’s novel), but I’m not sure what’ll happen with all of the actors and actresses vying for nominations. Garner could potentially go Lead, depending on what happens with Rosemarie DeWitt. Once we know more about how this was adapted, it’ll be easier to see if someone should crack the five. For now, Garner just misses.

7. Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods) – Much like with Men, Women, & Children, this will come down to category placement and who gets a push. Kendrick can act and she can sing, so she fits, but is there a chance she goes Lead? What if Emily Blunt and/or Meryl Streep go Supporting? Those sorts of questions need to be answered before you can really know what to make of her in this one.

8. Judy Greer (Men, Women, & Children) – My point gets proven. What if Greer takes votes away from Garner, or vice versa? What if the aforementioned DeWitt goes Supporting too? One of the three will probably go Lead and DeWitt seems to be there now, but one trailer could change everything, and likely will. The book is an ensemble piece, so it’ll have a lot to do with how Reitman decides to focus things.

9. Laura Dern (The Fault in Our Stars or Wild) – She’s probably more likely for Wild, but Dern was amazing in The Fault in Our Stars, so she could use that first half performance to boost her chances here for this one. A ton will depend on if Reese Witherspoon is a true contender in Best Actress, but if she is, Dern could certainly wind up along for the ride as well.

10. Vanessa Redgrave (Foxcatcher) – If Oscar voters are truly going to go nuts over Bennett Miller’s flick, then perhaps a woman could join the trio of men vying for citations? Sienna Miller is a possibility, but Redgrave seems like the one who makes more sense to me. She just has to avoid getting lost in the shuffle of praise for Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum this fall.

Next in line I’d have these ten contenders (just sans my commentary here) for Best Supporting Actress:

11. Naomi Watts (Birdman)
12. Kristin Scott Thomas (Suite Française)
13. Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
14. Emma Stone (Birdman)
15. Holly Hunter (Manglehorn)
16. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
17. Viola Davis (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby or Get on Up)
18. Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher)
19. Kristen Stewart (The Clouds of Sils Maria)
20. Vera Farmiga (The Judge)

Finally, here are ten more possibilities to give us a top 30 to cull from, just sans commentary as well:

21. Noomi Rapace (Child 44)
22. Shohreh Aghdashloo (Rosewater)
23. Melonie Diaz (The Cobbler)
24. Jane Fonda (This Is Where I Leave You)
25. Rosemarie DeWitt (Kill the Messenger)
26. Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
27. Glenn Close (5 to 7)
28. Krysten Ritter (Big Eyes)
29. Marsha Gay Harden (Magic in the Moonlight)
30. Anne Hathaway (Interstellar)

That’s what the Best Supporting Actress race could very well be made up of folks. Stay tuned next week for my look at the Best Adapted Screenplay race!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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