Best Supporting Actress is pretty much won by Viola Davis for her incredible performance in Fences.
With the shocking — but actually not shocking at all — news that Viola Davis (Fences) would be campaigning in Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, the category turned from a free for all to all but won. Davis has the reputation as a great actress, a career trajectory (and Oscar history) that would mean she’s prime for a win and an incredibly emotional role. On top of that, she has been everywhere during awards season. In addition to sweeping every award along the way, she received honors from the Critics Choice awards, a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, and has introduced Meryl Streep not once, but twice! A win by anyone else would be shocking.
If Davis hadn’t moved into the category, it would likely have been Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) winning the trophy. Though her total screen time amounts to less than 10 minutes, the impact of her scenes is palpable and would have been a shoo-in. However, with the waning support for the movie and Davis so solidly in the lead, she’s not going to factor into the race too much.
However, the true dark horse would have been and is still Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures). After a Best Ensemble win at the SAG Awards and her movie likely being the highest grossing best picture nominee, Spencer could have been the spoiler to Davis. What is working against her is the fact that she recently — at least in the eyes of The Academy — won for The Help. Thought it’s not unheard of for an actor to win Oscars in close proximity, it’s definitely a rare occurrence.
Nicole Kidman (Lion) does some really great work in the Best Picture nominee. In another year she would have been a stronger contender, especially with her film’s late surge and the key Oscar scene in her back pocket. However, in such a competitive year it is not enough. Plus, her thin screentime is bolstered by the fact that she only has one really strong scene that isn’t the centerpiece of the movie that way Williams’ scene is. I guess she’ll just have to cry into her Best Actress Oscar when she loses this one.
The final contender is Naomie Harris (Moonlight). Though her screen time is similarly thin, she is the only actor in the movie to appear in all three acts. Plus, she has a strong scene in every act. However, she is often overshadowed by the other performances. This is just her first nomination and it’s clear from this performance that she will have many more chances for an Oscar to come.
Check out the rest of our 2017 Oscar Predictions!
Will Win: Viola Davis, Fences
Could Win: N/A
Dark Horse: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Should Win: Viola Davis, Fences