Probably the most difficult category of all, with precursor nominations and wins all over the map, literally. SAG gave us what seemed like a realistic top five, minus the Amanda Seyfried snub. The Golden Globes threw us for a loop with the Jodie Foster win (the nomination itself was a surprise), Maria Bakalova took Critics Choice then BAFTA and their 7-12 person jury went and turned everything upside down, snubbing Foster, Seyfried, Helena Zengel, Glenn Close and Olivia Colman. I’m not going to over-read BAFTA but there are tells and it probably is just good for those that got in and merely not so bad for those that didn’t, if that makes sense.
The only two survivors of actual industry nominations? Bakalova and Youn. The Borat sequel keeps getting stronger, with ACE, WGA and PGA nominations and even though Bakalova shockingly lost the Globe (in lead) to Rosamund Pike, she hasn’t missed a beat. Although Youn missed a Globe nomination, Minari has soared above expectations with ACE, SAG, DGA and PGA nominations (it was WGA-ineligible otherwise it would have hit there too). The two actresses, as wildly different in all regards as could be, dominated the critics’ wins – they shared the top four gets in the best volley of the season – with Youn coming out ahead in total wins. Even with all of this, the Academy’s aversion to nominating Asian actors and crude comedy performances could put either of them in jeopardy. Although, Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids is the best comparison for Bakalova; PGA nominee, screenplay nomination. There is precedent. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Bakalova could be this year’s GG/SAG/BFCA/BAFTA nominee who gets snubbed at the end for a more seasoned performer or a different kind of new blood. Or she’s this year’s Mira Sorvino/Marisa Tomei and goes all the way.
Olivia Colman (The Father) had been solid until the BAFTA snub (those juries, film and TV, have something against her lately) and her film is stumbling at the gate when it should be galloping through it. It missed ACE today, ADG, PGA. The saving graces for her are Florian Zeller’s DGA nomination for First-Time Director and the BAFTA nomination for Best Film.
Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) gives me Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell teas and she’s even in a better spot than Bates was last year. Despite missing at BAFTA, her film is peaking at the right time and like Colman, earned a Best Film nomination at BAFTA. Both actresses have co-stars in Best Actor contention (one lock) and Adapted Screenplay hopes (again, one lock). The two, as previous Best Actress Oscar winners, have more similarities than differences but can Foster make up missing everything but the Globe in the final stretch? Consider this; the only eligible BAFTA Best Film nominees since 2000 to miss the top 8 major categories at the Oscars were Big Fish and Drive.
Then we have the trio of Netflix hopefuls; Close, Seyfried and Ellen Burstyn. All would have likely made it in under the old BAFTA system. Close has GG, SAG and BFCA – a good combo. Her film is going to get a makeup and hair nomination, making Hillbilly Elegy look a lot like Albert Nobbs. Seyfried missed SAG and Mank couldn’t even pull off a cast nomination there; only Gary Oldman got in (Close’s co-star Amy Adams did). Both have been former frontrunners here that are now struggling to even get a nomination. Burstyn (Pieces of a Woman) may only have BFCA but with a locked Best Actress nominee in Vanessa Kirby, she could Laura Dern in Wild her way to a spot. I think she’s closer than people think. But then, that comparison also works for Seyfried, especially as Oldman is a previous winner with no chance of winning this time around. But we have plenty of examples of younger actors hitting precursors along with their lead co-stars and missing out: I’m looking at you, Andrew Garfield, Shailene Woodley and Mila Kunis.
What to do with Helena Zengel… For the longest time News of the World looked like the studio film that would go all the way to represent a year of very few studio releases due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down theaters for a full year. Tom Hanks even got COVID and couldn’t manage enough sympathy votes from any major awards body. I don’t say that cynically, but I thought maybe he’d be somewhat of a player here a while back. Instead, it was his young co-star that stole the awards limelight with SAG and GG nominations. The Oscars are kinder to young actresses than they are to young actors (read into that what you will) but I have a hard time seeing her leapfrog while her film has faltered everywhere. No PGA, Golden Globe, BAFTA, ACE nominations. It got WGA but even that adapted screenplay nomination is up for grabs.
I’m torn on Dominique Fishback. The BAFTA nomination is great, but Judas and the Black Messiah, which should be surging, feels like it’s struggling a bit. Yes, it hit PGA and WGA, excellent gets. But ASC and ACE said no thanks, so did SAG outside of Daniel Kaluuya. Although he’s the frontrunner to win in supporting actor, that’s not usually a category that brings in a coattail. It’s far from impossible but I probably have her in 7th. Judas would have to absolutely blow up at the Oscars for her to happen. Again, not impossible.
Speaking of coattail, can we just get a damn Swankie (Nomadland) nomination here? Please?
Do we make anything of Priyanka Chopra Jones (The White Tiger), a longshot contender here, announcing the Oscar nominations? Will husband Nick Jonas call her name on Monday morning? Nah, at least not in this category. I don’t think…
Here are my final 2021 Oscar nomination predictions in Supporting Actress.
- 1. Youn Yuh-jung – Minari (A24) – BAFTA, BFCA, SAG
- 2. Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios) – BAFTA, BFCA, GG, SAG
- 3. Olivia Colman – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics) – BFCA, GG, SAG
- 4. Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian (STX Films) – GG
- 5. Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix) – BFCA, GG, SAG
Watch out for: Amanda Seyfried – Mank (Netflix) – BFCA, GG