Significant changes in supporting actor this month as two events have dramatically shifted our view on this race.
First was the tragic passing of actor Chadwick Boseman, which sent a shockwave through Hollywood as the Black Panther actor had been quietly battling colon cancer for the last four years. His impact on the industry was significant with the second half of his nearly 20-year career playing some of the greatest Black icons of all time including James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson. Boseman has the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, with Viola Davis playing the titular role and him playing her ambitious horn player, based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Second is The Trial of the Chicago 7, which opened in select theaters on September 25 and has given us a clearer picture of who among its incredibly large cast of players is in the running for a supporting nomination, and maybe even lead. In one sense, having seen the film and performances now didn’t make it easier, it’s even a bit more difficult. In terms of screen time we have Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Mark Rylance. For impact we have Frank Langella and Michael Keaton. All of them are previous Oscar winners or nominees so in Yahya Abdul-Mateen II we have a fresh face and, on top of that, a brand new Emmy winner for HBO’s Watchmen limited series. Jeremy Strong also won an Emmy this season, for the HBO drama series Succession, but his role might be too minimal and one-note when up against the powerhouses in this film. But, there is a real possibility that either Cohen or Redmayne get bumped up to lead so it’s anyone’s game here.
Gone from the lists this month are David Alvarez in West Side Story after 20th Century Studios pushed the film to Christmas 2021 and Benicio del Toro in The French Dispatch. His film was pulled by Searchlight Pictures with a rumor that it will be pushed to Summer 2021 and debut at the Cannes Film Festival.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Supporting Actor for September.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
- Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
- Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
- David Strathairn – Nomadland (Searchlight)
- Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)
- Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
- Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami… (Amazon)
- Frank Langella – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Other contenders: Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami… (Amazon), Charles Dance –Mank (Netflix), Richard E. Grant – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (20th Century), Lucas Hedges – French Exit (Sony Pictures Classics), Aldis Hodge – One Night in Miami… (Amazon), Michael Keaton – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Jonathan Majors – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix), Bill Murray – On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+), Tom Pelphrey – Mank (Netflix), Jesse Plemons – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros), Jeremy Strong – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix), Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix), Marlon Wayans – Respect (MGM/UA), Forest Whitaker – Respect (MGM/UA)