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Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders

As you all very fine ladies and gentlemen must all must know by now (since I’ve pretty much hammered it into your collective heads at this point), 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 my yearly ritual of running 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 on with another of the big acting categories and I bet you guessed which one it is. Yes, it’s now Best Supporting Actress time.

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

1. Claire Foy (First Man) – As wide open a category as we have, acting wise, Best Supporting Actress doesn’t have a clear front runner. If you need to pick one though, Foy seems as good a bet as any. Getting the best buzz, acting wise, out of First Man, she can potentially not just get her first nomination this year, but win the Oscar as well.

2. Amy Adams (Untitled Dick Cheney Biopic) *Could Go Lead – So much depends on what this movie turns out to be. If it’s a contender, look for Adams, if she goes Supporting, to be a real force. That’s a huge X factor though, one we won’t find out anything about for some time still…

3. Sissy Spacek (The Old Man and the Gun) – If Robert Redford ends up getting close to winning Best Actor, Spacek could easily come along for the ride. A win might be tough to come by, but a nomination is hardly out of the question. We still don’t know if The Old Man and the Gun is just Redford or bust, but that will sort itself out during the season. Ironically, I see it this afternoon, so look for further thoughts soon!

4. Emma Stone (The Favourite) *Could Go Lead – Category placement for all of the ladies of The Favourite will determine who is campaigned here. Frankly, it seems like whichever ends up Supporting will score a nod. Right now, I see Stone getting that treatment, so at the moment, she’s in. Would that surprise you at all?

5. Vera Farmiga (The Front Runner) – With Supporting Actress so messy still, a prior nominee like Farmiga could certainly slip in. The Front Runner may or may not stick around as a contender, but if it does, watch out for her. She retains top five status for the moment, but that might not be for too long…

6. Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased) – Kidman is another vet who always seems closer to another nom. She’ll have Destroyer hoping to fit her into Best Actress, but her turn in Boy Erased has her eyeing the Supporting lineup. When in doubt, don’t bet against Kidman. We’ve learned that before, so keep that in mind here in 2018.

7. Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots) *Could Go Lead – The other real question mark this season is if Mary Queen of Scots has got the goods or not. Rumors suggest it does not, but rumors are just that. Until proven otherwise, look for Robbie to be hanging around as a contender here.

8. Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) – This film is quietly earning some raves. The word for If Beale Street Could Talk isn’t as unanimous as Moonlight, but King seems like at least a fringe player here. With some solid precursor love, she could even become a likely nominee!

9. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) – Don’t laugh. If the Supporting Actress field remains as is, Blunt may well be a legit force. A Quiet Place would be a populous choice, and if Mary Poppins Returns doesn’t get her in, this could be how she scores her first career Oscar nomination.

10. Marina de Tavira (Roma) – It wouldn’t be shocking to see de Tavira slip in for Roma, though the same could be said for Elizabeth Debicki for Widows, Natalie Portman for Vox Lux, or Amy Ryan in Beautiful Boy. Things are just that fluid. Time will tell what happens, but keep these almost second tier contenders in mind…

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

11. Natalie Portman (Vox Lux) *Could Go Lead
12. Elizabeth Debicki (Widows)
13. Amy Ryan (Beautiful Boy)
14. Meryl Streep (Mary Poppins Returns)
15. Blythe Danner (What They Had)
16. Rachel McAdams (Disobedience)
17. Tilda Swinton (Suspiria)
18. Michelle Rodriguez (Widows)
19. Zoe Kazan (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)
20. Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians)

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

21. Mackenzie Davis (Tully)
22. Laura Dern (JT Leroy)
23. Maura Tierney (Beautiful Boy)
24. Kathy Bates (On the Basis of Sex)
25. Laura Harrier (BlacKkKlansman)
26. Jennifer Ehle (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
27. Katherine Waterston (Mid90’s)
28. Jennifer Jason Leigh (White Boy Rick)
29. Riley Keough (Under the Silver Lake)
30. Sasha Lane (Hearts Beat Loud or The Miseducation of Cameron Post)

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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