Biggest news and move this month comes from LaKeith Stanfield in the freshly titled Fred Hampton biopic Judas and the Black Messiah. A spectacular first trailer and the insistence on being “only in theaters” puts him and the film up the chain of Oscar contention.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 continues to confound as to who among its massive cast will rise to the top and why. Since last month’s predictions, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II indeed got that Emmy nomination for Watchmen and he’s got some support as a possible winner there, although, like with this film, will be fighting off a lot of internal competition. I’m sticking with Mateen II and Sacha Baron Cohen but Emmy nominee Jeremy Strong and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne are very close behind. Kelvin Harrison Jr. (above in photo) also plays Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya does in Judas and the Black Messiah) but word is his role is quite small.
The men of Mank will run into a similar problem, with Tom Pelphrey (that Emmy snub stings, he could have used it here) and Charles Dance the most likely contenders. The bigger problem? Netflix has both this and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Oh, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which has Chadwick Boseman as a possibility. Can the streamer really dominate this category that completely?
Regina King’s feature film directorial debut One Night in Miami got picked up by Amazon Studios and has found strong festival footing; it will show up at Venice and Toronto on its way to a fall or winter release. A fictional story, set on the night of February 25, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali, played by Eli Goree of TV’s Riverdale and Ballers) as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the sports world. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match, Clay – unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws – instead spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically black neighborhoods celebrating with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir, TV’s upcoming The Comey Rule playing President Barack Obama), singer Sam Cooke (Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom, Jr.) and football star Jim Brown (Clemency‘s Aldis Hodge). The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people. Like a handful of movies this year, One Night in Miami boasts a packed ensemble cast and at this stage, no way of knowing who is lead or supporting or the standout in either. My gut is telling to go with Leslie Odom Jr but Ben-Adir is about to get some recognition soon.
Bill Murray pops up as a contender for Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks for Apple/A24, which just dropped a trailer last week. Described by Coppola as her take on a screwball comedy, this frothy performance might be a welcome counterpart to the drama-heavy lineup here. Speaking of A24, they haven’t put Minari in any upcoming fall festivals so I wonder what they’re doing with this Sundance winner with an awards-worthy turn by Steven Yeun.
Gone from July predictions are Adam Driver in The Last Duel for 20th Century, which has officially moved to October 2021 and Richard Jenkins in The Humans from A24 as there hasn’t been a single blip on the film yet.
Here are my ranked 2021 Supporting Actor Oscar predictions for August.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
- 1. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- 2. Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- 3. LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
- 4. David Strathairn – Nomadland (Searchlight)
- 5. Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
- 6. Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)
- 7. Tom Pelphrey – Mank (Netflix)
- 8. Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami (Amazon)
- 9. Jonathan Majors – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
- 10. Jeremy Strong – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Other contenders: Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami (Amazon), David Alvarez – West Side Story (20th Century), Charles Dance – Mank (Netflix), Richard E. Grant – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (20th Century), Lucas Hedges – French Exit (Sony Pictures Classics), Michael Keaton – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix), Jesse Plemons – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros), Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Benicio del Toro – The French Dispatch (Searchlight), Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix), Marlon Wayans – Respect (MGM/UA), Forest Whitaker – Respect (MGM/UA)