As one of only two acting contenders to sweep all precursors, Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) is on her way to an Oscar win. Better still, DeBose also comes in as the critics’ favorite, leading in her category and making her bonafides real, more so than almost any contender across all four acting categories.
Narrative came early for DeBose, taking over the role made famous by one of the most celebrated EGOT winners in history, Rita Moreno, who won the Oscar in this category for playing Anita in the 1961 version of West Side Story. A win here will close a circle of history as Moreno also has a supporting role in the new adaptation.
DeBose will join Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as one of only two Afro-Latinas/os to win an Oscar for acting and will also become one of the very few openly LGBTQ actors (DeBose identifies as queer) to be open at the time of both their nomination and win.
A fun, and wild fact: West Side Story director Steven Spielberg is a three-time Oscar winner himself but in his storied and prolific career his films have only produced two acting Oscar winners, Daniel Day-Lewis in 2012’s Lincoln (Best Actor) and Mark Rylance in 2015’s Bridge of Spies (Supporting Actor). DeBose will be the third and first female winner.
Here are my final Oscar predictions for Supporting Actress.
1. Ariana DeBose – West Side Story (20th Century Studios) – GG, CCA, SAG, BAFTA
2. Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – GG, CCA, SAG
3. Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – GG, CCA, BAFTA
4. Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter (Netflix) – BAFTA
5. Judi Dench – Belfast (Focus Features)