Is this finally Amy Adams’ shot? After five nominations and a huge snub for Arrival two years ago, Adams may be poised for her best chance at an Oscar with Backseat. Playing Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney (played by Oscar winner Christian Bale), she’ll have by far the best female role in the film but after seeing first set pics of her and knowing that there’s a crazy musical sequence set in the capitol (and really, we shouldn’t have to wait this long for an Enchanted sequel), I can’t see much standing in her way if the movie’s strong and she’s good in it. Unless there’s an issue of category placement. This is the only thing giving me some pause. While the size of her role remains to be seen, if it’s borderline she’ll have a much harder time in lead. Plus, with HBO’s Sharp Objects coming out soon, Adams could have a Nicole Kidman-like run of Emmys, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes, SAG and Oscars over a one year (but not calendar) period.
As good as Adams’ chances are, she’s going to be given a run for her money by a tremendous slate of contenders this year. Two-time Emmy winner Regina King (ABC’s American Crime) has the juiciest role in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and this could be her first Oscar nomination. If the film is strong enough, she could even win.
Watch out for Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots. After crashing the Oscars with her first Best Actress nomination in I, Tonya, Robbie is going deep period with makeup and wigs as Queen Elizabeth I opposite Saoirse Ronan. This is a major role and a perfect afterglow nomination. Focus Features is giving the film a prime awards release date in early November so they’re serious about its chances and just over-performed with its three players this last season (resulting in 14 nominations and three wins).
Claire Foy landed the prime role of Neil Armstrong’s wife in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land follow-up First Man and the classic long-suffering supportive wife is a staple in this category. The SAG-winning actress could find herself with her first nomination here.
After one of the most complete awards runs in recent memory with HBO’s Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman is back to dominate film awards playing the mother of a boy (played by Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges) sent to gay conversion camp by his parents in Boy Erased.
It’s been 17 years since Sissy Spacek was last nominated for an Oscar (2001’s In the Bedroom) and it’s high time the Oscar winner return. She could, along with Robert Redford, in Fox Searchlight’s Old Man and the Gun. Spacek has been an outlier contender a couple of time but it never clicked. This could be the one.
Olivia Colman is just about to take over for Claire Foy in The Crown and could be her direct competition here at the Oscars in Fox Searchlight’s The Favourite from Oscar nominee Yorgos Lanthimos.
Vera Farmiga (The Front Runner) and Laura Dern (JT Leroy) are both looking for another nomination to add to their lists and Michelle Yeoh could land a nom if Warner Bros’ Crazy Rich Asians is a hit. In the era of diversity and #OscarsSoWhite the primary focus has been on black performers but it’s important to recognize that Asian and Asian-American actors and actresses (as well as Hispanic and Latino) are often left out of that conversation entirely. There hasn’t been an Asian actress nominated in this category since Rinko Kikuchi for 2006’s Babel. Downsizing‘s Hong Chau got close last year with SAG and Golden Globe nominations but missed out in the end. It’s a glaring oversight of opportunity and representation that needs to be rectified.
Elsewhere, Cynthia Erivo could find the missing piece of her EGOT, the Oscar, with her supporting turn in Widows from 20th Century Fox. Janelle Monáe, so good in Hidden Figures and Moonlight, could be the female hit in The Women of Marwen from Universal. Ruth Negga might be looking at another nomination, this time for 20th Century Fox’s Ad Astra. Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) could coattail with Nicole Kidman in Neon’s Destroyer. In fact, a handful of supporting actresses could tag along with potential Best Actress nominees: Kristen Wiig, Zoe Chao and Jane Curtain in Amazon’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Anna Deavere Smith in Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? and don’t ever, ever count out Meryl Streep. Although her role is said to be more of a cameo, keep your eye open for her in Mary Poppins Returns.
Here are the first Best Supporting Actress predictions for the 2019 Oscars.
1. Amy Adams – Backseat
2. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
3. Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots
4. Claire Foy – First Man
5. Nicole Kidman – Boy Erased
6. Sissy Spacek – Old Man and the Gun
7. Olivia Colman – The Favourite
8. Vera Farmiga – The Front Runner
9. Laura Dern – JT Leroy
10. Michelle Yeoh – Crazy Rich Asians
Any number of these other contenders could easily find themselves a major player as the year progresses:
Jennifer Aniston – Dumplin’
Annette Bening – Georgetown
Lucy Boynton – Bohemian Rhapsody
Linda Cardellini – Green Book
Zoe Chao – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Jane Curtin – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Cynthia Erivo – Widows
Adèle Exarchopoulos – The White Crow
Eiza González – The Women of Marwen
Denise Gough – Colette
Salma Hayek – The Hummingbird Project
Lena Headey – Fighting with My Family
Carol Kane – The Sisters Brothers
Diane Kruger – The Women of Marwen
Olga Kurilenko – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Lisa Lu – Crazy Rich Asians
Teresa Mahoney – Peterloo
Tatiana Maslany – Destroyer
Rachel McAdams – Disobedience
Janelle Monáe – The Women of Marwen
Chloë Grace Moretz – Suspiria
Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
Ruth Negga – Ad Astra
Alison Pill – Backseat
Charlotte Rampling – The Little Stranger
Elena Sofia Ricci – Loro
Emily Rios – If Beale Street Could Talk
Andrea Riseborough – Burden
Julia Roberts – Ben is Back
Michelle Rodriguez – Widows
Saoirse Ronan – The Seagull
Amy Ryan – Beautiful Boy
Léa Seydoux – Kursk
Anna Deavere Smith – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Meryl Streep – Mary Poppins Returns
Tilda Swinton – Suspiria
Holland Taylor – Gloria
Marina de Tavira – Roma
Katherine Waterston – Mid 90s
Jacki Weaver – Widows
Kristen Wiig – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Letitia Wright – Black Panther