Supporting Actress is taking some shape as three contenders have secured Critics Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations but that means there are two spots that are pretty fluid right now and could go many ways.
Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers) and Margot Robbie (Bombshell) have everything so far and should all be pretty safe (some are trying to make a case that Lopez could be a surprise snub but I don’t see it) but after that it’s a wide open race. No less than five actresses come in with just a single precursor and each from films strong and week.
I’m sticking with Zhao Shuzhen to score a passion-based vote even though she only has CCA. The Farewell hasn’t, well, fared well, this awards season and it’s going to be up the Academy to subvert what’s come before and put her in the way they did with Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira last season. Granted, Roma was a much stronger film and player and that pair was literally everywhere in the world promoting the film and themselves.
Florence Pugh hasn’t showed up anywhere yet, even though most of us expected her to, and it seems that Little Women has so far been underseen. But it’s hard to think that Pugh, who had such a classic Hollywood breakthrough year, won’t find a lot of support within the Academy. Nominating her here rewards her for her body of work (which we see the Academy do all the time) and it coronates her as a new talent to watch.
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) and Annette Bening (The Report) may come to the tables as an Oscar winner and an Oscar nominee, respectively, but they’d be sole nominees for their films and in films that simply aren’t making a dent anywhere else. Bates has the upper hand as Richard Jewell showed up at AFI and NBR (Bates won NBR) and it’s hard to know if the SAG entry mistake that slotted her in lead instead of supporting would have netted different results had it been entered correctly, but I can’t imagine the film’s dismal box office and critical response is going to do her any favors. Scarlett Johansson earned a SAG nom for Jojo Rabbit and for much of the season we’ve been contemplating her ability to go from no-time nominee to two-time Oscar nominee in the same season. Jojo Rabbit has been quietly amassing guild nominations (including SAG Cast) and with that TIFF Audience Award in its back pocket, that’s nothing but good for Johansson – unless voters want to lean towards her co-star Thomasin McKenzie.
Who am I really looking out for to be the big spoiler though? Nicole Kidman in Bombshell. She earned a surprise SAG nom and the film did too. Kidman has come close with scattered precursor support before (The Paperboy, Boy Erased) but only once has been able to land a nomination in a film that’s not a Best Picture nominee – Rabbit Hole, which was seen as a big comeback for her. With Bombshell possibly being a Best Picture contender this might put her in line for her 5th nomination.
Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Supporting Actress for December 19, 2019.
Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry
1. Laura Dern – Marriage Story (Netflix) – CCA, GG, SAG
2. Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers (STX Entertainment) – CCA, GG, SAG
3. Margot Robbie – Bombshell (Lionsgate) – CCA, GG, SAG
4. Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell (A24) – CCA
5. Florence Pugh – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
NEXT UP (alphabetical by actor)
Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell (Warner Bros) – GG
Annette Bening – The Report (Amazon) – GG
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight) – SAG
Nicole Kidman – Bombshell (Lionsgate) – SAG
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey (Focus Features)
OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by actor)
Julia Butters – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
Penélope Cruz – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)
Thomasin McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Da’Vine Joy Randolph – Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)