Of all the acting categories, Best Supporting Actress is typically the one with the potential for an upset. Marisa Tomei taking home the Oscar for My Cousin Vinny in 1993, beating the likes of Vanessa Redgrave, Judy Davis, Joan Plowright, and Miranda Richardson, is arguably the biggest Supporting Actress upset (though it was deserved). Marcia Gay Harden winning for Pollock over favorite Kate Hudson in Almost Famous was a big one as well. I say all that to say this: Best Supporting Actress is typically the more competitive, more loaded of the actress categories.
Best Supporting Actress
There is a favorite early on in the race, and it is Jennifer Jason Leigh for her role as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight. It appears to be her award to lose, but there is certainly time for things to change. Her biggest challenge has to be Rooney Mara as Therese in Todd Haynes’ Carol. Another solid contender, and probably a sure bet in this category, is Alicia Vikander for her role as Gerda Wegener opposite Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl.
This is where the field opens up a bit more. Kate Winslet seemed like a lock for some time for her performance in Steve Jobs, but the film’s epic failure could hurt its chances for a few awards. not here, however, as Winslet and a prestigious picture seem like a favorite combo of the Academy. In the fifth slot, Joan Allen has a chance for her role in Room, though her odds feel slight. Depending on the sort of push Love & Mercy makes with voters, Elizabeth Banks is also a possible outsider who could sneak into the spot. Academy favorite Jane Fonda in Youth is another possibility, but buzz has been building for Kristen Stewart, and her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria. Her performance as Valentine is gaining some serious traction recently, and Best Supporting Actress is always a place for a surprise. Seeing Stewart grab a nomination could change her career, and the Academy likes to change careers.
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
Up next week, Best Supporting Actor…