Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

2021 Oscars: The Best Supporting Actor Contenders (February)

Last season in supporting actor was a bit of a déjà vu from 2012 when all nominees were former Oscar winners, offering nothing in the form of new talent or a chance for a first-timer. This season should be (could be) different with quite a few potential breakthroughs that could find their way in with previous nominees and winners.

Right at the top of that list is Steven Yeun in A24’s Minari, the huge hit from Sundance that won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for US Dramatic films. Only a handful of films have ever done that, including 2009’s Precious and 2014’s Whiplash, both of which were nominated for Best Picture and won supporting acting Oscars. Although The Farewell was snubbed at the Oscars, between its strong box office, Spirit Award wins and being such a big part of the Oscar conversation last season, Minari could be the Asian-American breakthrough the Oscars have needed for a long, long time. I could absolutely see Yeun being an undeniable critics’ favorite like Mo’Nique and J.K. Simmons were and riding it all the way to the Dolby.

2021 Oscars: The Best Actress Contenders (February)

Oscar winner Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) is about to head up the main jury of the Cannes Film Festival in a few months but he’ll also have a new film this year, Da 5 Bloods for Netflix, about group of veterans from the Vietnam War return to the jungle to find their lost innocence, has a wealth of possible supporting actor contenders to choose from. Delroy Lindo and Jonathan Majors stand out the most right now and at the moment I’m leaning to veteran Lindo.

2021 Oscars: The Best Actor Contenders (February)

Another big ensemble with a ton of supporting actor hopefuls is Paramount’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 from Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin. Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Seth Rogen, William Hurt, Frank Langella, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen II make for a compelling lineup. Tough to say where voters would go, although if history shows us anything, probably defaulting to previous winners like Redmayne and Rylance or SBC playing Abbie Hoffman. Still, keeping my eye on this and the lesser known names.

2021 Oscars: The Best Supporting Actress Contenders (February)

Richard Jenkins was previously nominated for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and he’ll be back in the director’s first film since that Best Picture winner, Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures). It’s a juicy role but Jenkins is set for a truly packed year of films and performances that also includes an adaptation of the Tony-winning play The Humans (A24), which incidentally also co-stars Yeun. Jenkins’ role won Reed Birney the Tony for Featured Actor in a Play (supporting, essentially) so it could go either way for Jenkins.

Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the smash hit musical The Prom is ripe for some attention with James Corden, Andrew Rannells and Kevin Chamberlin in supporting roles. David Fincher’s Mank could provide some strong supporting contenders, and I’m mostly looking at Charles Dance to rise to the top. Both films are from Netflix.

Ridley Scott’s new film The Last Duel has Adam Driver, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and a curious release date of January 8, 2021. The King Charles VI epic is still shooting and it’s not really known who would be lead or supporting (although it seems like Affleck) so I’m doing much with this right now.

Outside of my initial top picks I’m also looking at Trevante Rhodes in The United States vs. Billie Holliday, Stanley Tucci in Supernova, André Holland in Passing, Kaimana in Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins at Searchlight Pictures, David Alvarez in West Side Story For 20th Century and Brian Tyree Henry in the Untitled Lila Neugebauer Project aka Red, White, Water for A24.

This seems like a good place to start. Check out a full list below of Best Supporting Actor contenders and my current top 10 (in alphabetical order) for February.

  • Demián Bichir – Land (Focus Features)
  • Charles Dance – Mank (Netflix)
  • Richard E. Grant – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Searchlight)
  • Richard Jenkins – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight) or The Humans (A24)
  • Michael B. Jordan – Untitled David O. Russell aka Amsterdam (20 Century)
  • Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Marlon Wayans – Respect (MGM)
  • Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)


  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Ben Affleck – The Last Duel (20th Century)
  • David Alvarez – West Side Story (20th Century)
  • Javier Bardem – Dune (Warner Bros.)
  • Demián Bichir – Land (Focus Features)
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
  • Adrien Brody – Blonde (Netflix)
  • Bobby Cannavale – Blonde (Netflix)
  • Timothée Chalamet – The French Dispatch (Searchlight)
  • Kevin Chamberlin – The Prom (Netflix)
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – Prisoner 760 (STX Entertainment)
  • Willem Dafoe – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight)
  • Matt Damon – The Last Duel (20 Century)
  • Charles Dance – Mank (Netflix)
  • Benicio Del Toro – The French Dispatch (Searchlight)
  • Adam Driver – The Last Duel (20th Century)
  • Colin Firth – Supernova
  • Brendan Gleeson – Macbeth (A24)
  • Richard E. Grant – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Searchlight)
  • Jon Hamm – Wild Mountain Thyme (Bleecker Street)
  • Armie Hammer – Next Goal Wins (Searchlight)
  • Lucas Hedges – French Exit (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Simon Helberg – Annette (Amazon)
  • Lance Henriksen – Falling
  • Brian Tyree Henry – Untitled Lila Neugebauer Project aka Red, White, Water (A24)
  • André Holland – Passing
  • Arliss Howard – Mank (Netflix)
  • Richard Jenkins – The Humans (A24)
  • Richard Jenkins – Kajillionaire (A24)
  • Richard Jenkins – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight)
  • Michael B. Jordan – Untitled David O. Russell aka Amsterdam (20 Century)
  • Kaimana – Next Goal Wins (Searchlight)
  • Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • Jonathan Majors – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  • Matthew MacFadyen – Operation Mincemeat (Cohen Media Group)
  • LeRoy McClain – Respect (MGM)
  • Rob Morgan – Untitled Nora Fingscheidt Project (Netflix)
  • Robert Pattinson – Tenet (Warner Bros)
  • Tom Pelphrey – Mank (Netflix)
  • Andrew Rannells – The Prom (Netflix)
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Trevante Rhodes – The United States vs. Billie Holliday 
  • Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • Stellan Skarsgård – Dune (Warner Bros)
  • LaKeith Stanfield – Untitled Fred Hampton Project aka Jesus Was My Homeboy (Warner Bros)
  • Jeremy Strong – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paramount)
  • David Strathairn – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight)
  • David Thewlis – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
  • Stanley Tucci – Supernova
  • Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
  • Christopher Walken – Wild Mountain Thyme (Bleecker Street)
  • Marlon Wayans – Respect (MGM)
  • Forest Whitaker – Respect (MGM)
  • Finn Wittrock – Deep Water (20th Century)
  • Steven Yeun – The Humans (A24)
  • Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)
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