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Kate Winslet and Alicia Vikander are duking it out for Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander The Danish Girl
With less than a full week now until the Academy Awards, we’re continuing to focus in on a few of the races that might still be up in the air. In terms of the big eight (minus Best Picture, which I’ll tackle in a few days), the only category up for any real amount of debate is Best Supporting Actress, where the case can be made that Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs is sneaking up on Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl. Can Winslet wind up pulling the upset on Vikander at the last moment? Let’s discuss it a bit now and see if we can figure that out…

Best Supporting Actress has been a weird category all season long. There was a long period where Vikander, along with Rooney Mara for Carol, were potentially going to go Lead, as opposed to Supporting. Once we finally got the nominees, which in addition to Mara, Vikander, and Winslet, including Jennifer Jason Leigh from The Hateful Eight as well as Rachel McAdams from Spotlight, it was then a matter of seeing who would do best with the precursors. We never got a strong sense, though after a while it seemed like Vikander and Winslet were pulling away. Now, we’re at a point where it seems like they’re the only two logical winners. The question is, which one will emerge victorious?

The case for Vikander is a pretty simple one to process here, in that she’s won the most this season in the Supporting Actress race. She beat Winslet head to head at SAG, which holds a lot of water, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that she’s poised to be the next big thing. Her film seems to be slightly more preferred to Winslet’s, while it also engages the heart more. This does set her up nicely to be the frontrunner, though I’ll concede that it doesn’t make her an unbeatable one. If you’re a betting man or woman, I’d bet on Vikander, but she’s not in an invincible position, not by a long shot. She is, however, the prohibitive frontrunner.

Steve Jobs Michael Fassbender 2
The case for Winslet is slightly more flighty, if that makes sense. It puts a ton of credence onto the BAFTA and Golden Globe wins for her, though they came when she wasn’t up against Vikander. That’s what gives me the real pause. If not for that, I’d look for the highly regarded and well respected Winslet to win her second Oscar. Plus, then you’d get to see in all likelihood DiCaprio and Winslet both holding Academy Awards. Winslet is definitely behind Vikander in the Supporting Actress race, but she just might be within striking distance. Had she won in one or two more places, I might have actually gone out there on a limb for her and predicted an upset. I just don’t think I can do it though, with the evidence we have here.

In short, I think Vikander will ultimately hold off Winslet’s insurgency in the end, taking the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. It’s not a done deal, by any stretch, but the factors favoring Winslet just don’t overtake the ones favoring Vikander. We’ll have to see how this wraps up on Sunday night, so be sure to sit tight for the resolution. More likely than not, it’ll be Vikander’s performance in The Danish Girl getting the Oscar, but Winslet in Steve Jobs isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Check back in for my final predictions on Friday, where I’ll have one last say on this race…

Prediction – Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Stay tuned to see if Vikander or Winslet takes Supporting Actress at the Oscars!

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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