The season’s biggest category question has finally been answered; Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will compete in Supporting Actress for The Favourite while Olivia Colman gets bumped up to Lead. Appropriate that the two will battle against each other as they are also rivals in the film. Both Stone and Weisz move up and both are in the top 5.
That pairing, while seemingly solid for nominations, are still likely to be held back by each other just a bit. Double Supporting Actress nominations aren’t uncommon at the Oscars (they happen more than any other acting category) and often one is nearly a co-lead or at least has the larger role while the other is a true supporting character much like Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain in 2011’s The Help and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah in 2002’s Chicago. In those cases, Spencer and Zeta-Jones, the larger roles, won. In other cases, like 2010’s The Fighter, even though Amy Adams had the larger role, it was the scenery-chewing of Melissa Leo that earned her an Oscar. More often than not though, dual nominations here result in neither winning; Oscar history is littered with losses over the decades. The 2000s alone have five years of supporting actress duels where neither won. I say this only to remain cautious of Stone and Weisz, even though they are both previous Oscar winners, a fact that might hurt them more than help them.
What all of this does is keep Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) at #1. Her standout reviews from the Toronto, New York and Mill Valley Film Festivals position her very well. She just won her third Emmy in four years so her reach and respect in this industry runs deep. That reach makes a strong case for a Screen Actors Guild win and a start that, in many ways, could mirror Mahershala Ali’s run for Barry Jenkins’ previous film, Moonlight. In that season, Ali won SAG then lost the Globe and BAFTA only to come back and win the Oscar.
It’s also good news for Amy Adams, who is confirmed to run supporting for Vice. The five-time Oscar nominee should be a frontrunner and reportedly has the scenes to make it happen but is the Academy ready to give in and hand her an Oscar? Something in Adams’ favor will be that not only will she be competing for the Oscar, with HBO’s Sharp Objects being eligible for the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild this season she’ll be front and center at every party, screening and soiree, only lifting her visibility and viability as an Oscar player.
Colman’s move did something remarkable; if your placement last month didn’t move it made for a sea of green, allowing most top 10 contenders to move up. Outside the top 5 Claire Foy (First Man), Marina de Tavira (ROMA) and Cynthia Erivo (Bad Times at the El Royale) all find stronger footing.
I know that most pundits have Foy in their top 5 but I’m not as bullish on First Man‘s chances as they are. The box office this last weekend only solidified that for me but she’s still a contender.
Marina de Tavira has been at every festival with ROMA and as the film’s sole English-language speaker has been the voice for the film in many ways with interviews and red carpets. She moves up again this month.
Cynthia Erivo bounds back into the top 10 based on having the best reviews for Bad Times at the El Royale, which was already a well-reviewed film. The poor box office will hurt her a bit but I’m anticipating Widows to come through with strong numbers. Her role in Bad Times is more substantial and I think 20th Century Fox, which is releasing both films, would be smart to push her for Bad Times, especially when they have a better push here for Widows with Elizabeth Debicki.
Natalie Portman moves up and threatens to infiltrate the top 10 with Vox Lux in a major way as Neon has already begun its campaign for the previous Best Actress Oscar winner with the first real FYC ad of the season (featuring a quote from my Cinemalogue collaborator Rubin Safaya). The film is landing at every festival possible just like the studio did with I, Tonya last year after its Toronto debut. I’m going to keep a close eye on this because Portman could move up fast.
The month’s sole debut comes from a two-time Oscar winner in this category – Dianne Wiest. No one knows how big her role in The Mule is but her and its very existence in this season’s race warrants a placement.
Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions in Best Supporting Actress for October 17th, 2018.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut
1. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
2. Amy Adams – Vice (Annapurna)
3. Emma Stone – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
4. Rachel Weisz – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
5. Nicole Kidman – Boy Erased (Focus Features)
6. Claire Foy – First Man (Universal)
7. Marina de Tavira – ROMA (Netflix)
8. Michelle Yeoh – Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros)
9. Cynthia Erivo – Bad Times at the El Royale (20th Century Fox)
10. Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features)
Linda Cardellini – Green Book (Universal)
Elizabeth Debicki – Widows (20th Century Fox)
Natalie Portman – Vox Lux (Neon)
Sissy Spacek – The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight)
Dianne Wiest – The Mule (Warner Bros)
Kathy Bates – On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features)
Blythe Danner – What They Had (Bleecker Street)
Cynthia Erivo – Widows (20th Century Fox)
Vera Farmiga – The Front Runner (Sony)
Leslie Mann – Welcome to Marwen (Universal)
Tatiana Maslany – Destroyer (Annapurna)
Rachel McAdams – Disobedience (Bleecker Street)
Thomasin Mckenzie – Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street)
Janelle Monáe – Welcome to Marwen (Universal)
Sarah Paulson – Bird Box (Netflix)
Alison Pill – Vice (Annapurna)
Meryl Streep – Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney)
Tilda Swinton – Suspiria (Amazon)
Maura Tierney – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)