This category is chaos. I’ve had Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) at #1. I’ve had her at #5. I’ve had Amanda Seyfried (Mank) climb to the top spot only to see her snubbed at SAG. Seyfried made AACTA, Close didn’t. Olivia Colman (The Father) made everything but nothing points to her as a potential winner, especially if her lead co-star probably isn’t going to.
Youn Yuh-jung (Minari) and Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) have vollied the majority of critics’ wins back and forth all season. While Youn is in the stronger film and in a very Academy-friendly role, Bakalova’s could be ‘too crude’ for voters who prefer their ingenue supporting nominees to be less so. But, it’s a physically and emotionally transformative performance. It could really go either way.
This is where you start looking in the nooks and crannies to bolster instinct. Is Jodie Foster’s Golden Globe nomination (over Youn) an anomaly? Will kid actor Helena Zengel benefit from News of the World overperforming, but even more, do it without Tom Hanks? What of Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman? The Oscar winner is on her third 20-year cycle for a nomination. Can she make it with minimal precursor help on the strength of her co-star being a likely Best Actress nominee? What if Swankie (Nomadland) pulls off a Marina de Tavira and gets in with nothing but being in a top 2 film? I know that’s not an apples to apples comparison but there are clear similarities between Roma and Nomadland that could play out in this race.
So, after all that’s happened I’m kind of back where I started, with Close at #1. It’s going to be a bit unprecedented if she wins, she’s secured zero critics’ support and with the few stragglers left it will remain that way. All she has to do is start winning the industry and televised awards though because this won’t be like The Wife. She was seemingly pre-ordained there and it wasn’t until BAFTA that the cracks appeared, making room for Olivia Colman to sneak by. Plus, there will be some poetic justice, or at least parity, if Close bests Colman just two years later.
The Golden Globe Awards are February 28, BAFTA nominations come out March 9, Oscar nominations drop March 15 and the Screen Actors Guild Awards are April 4.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Supporting Actress for February.
Green – moves up ↑; Red – moves down ↓; Blue – new entry this month +; Black – no change ↔
1. Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy ↑ (Netflix) – GG, SAG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
2. Youn Yuh-jung – Minari ↔ (A24) – SAG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
3. Olivia Colman – The Father ↔ (Sony Pictures Classics) – GG, SAG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
4. Amanda Seyfried – Mank ↓ (Netflix) – GG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
5. Maria Bakalova – Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm ↑ (Amazon Studios) – GG (lead), SAG, BAFTA longlist, BFCA
6. Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman ↓ (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist, BFCA
7. Helena Zengel – News of the World ↑ (Universal Pictures) – GG, SAG, BAFTA longlist
8. Dominique Fishback – Judas and the Black Messiah ↓ (Warner Bros) – BAFTA longlist
9. Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian ↑ (STX Entertainment) – GG, BAFTA longlist
10. Priyanka Chopra Jones – The White Tiger ↑ (Netflix) – BAFTA longlist
Other Contenders: Olivia Cooke – Sound of Metal ↔ (Amazon Studios), Valerie Mahaffey – French Exit ↔ (Sony Pictures Classics), Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always ↔ (Focus Features), Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite ↓ (Neon) – BAFTA longlist, Swankie – Nomadland ↔ (Searchlight Pictures)
Image courtesy of Amazon Studios