Best Supporting Actress looks like it’s going to Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), but the race for a nomination in the category is tight.
Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars this year is a pretty crowded category. And as the Golden Globe nominations and SAG awards nominations displayed, is going to be a harder one to predict than we thought. However, there has been one pretty consistent winner from the critics’ prizes so far. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), the decorated TV and stage actress, may finally get her due for film with Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age stunner. She’s the most prominent supporting character in the film and spends most time sparing with Saoirse Ronan’s character. With Lady Bird being such a popular movie this season, Metcalf could be the representative winner for the film.
Another consistent actress so far this season has been Mary J. Blige (Mudbound). Though this isn’t the first film for the singer turned actress, it’s certainly her first serious acting role. And she’s been receiving strong notices for it across the board. Though Netflix hasn’t been a strong contender at the Oscars so far — they’ve failed to get any major nominations for feature films — she could certainly be the first. And though she’s nabbed Globe and Critics Choice nominations, she could befall the same fate as Idris Elba a few years ago and miss at the Oscars.
No actress fits Best Supporting Actress more than Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) — but c’mon Hollywood, give her a leading role! She’s received two nominations in this category for The Help and Hidden Figures — she won for the former. And even though Hidden Figures had a more clear option in Janelle Monae, the awards bodies went for Spencer, which means she’s built quite the name for herself in terms of awards circuits. Plus, her performance in The Shape of Water is solid and gives her a lot of screen time. The role is pretty similar to her scene-stealing turn in The Help in that it’s filled with ripe one-liners, but carries emotional weight in the end. But, Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) was the definition of a scene-stealer and could sneak her spot away as well. She surprisingly won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, which has been a pretty good predictor for nominees. However, she missed out on the Golden Globes, which might not be an issue considering Melissa McCarthy wasn’t nominated at the Globes for Bridesmaids, then ended up being nominated for Oscar. I think Haddish could hold on to a spot along with Spencer.
For some reason, mother roles tend to do well in this category. Specifically, the mother of the main character. Think Patricia Arquette in Boyhood or Naomie Harris last year in Moonlight. That’s why Metcalf is a smart choice as a frontrunner. But before Metcalf, Allison Janney (I, Tonya) was being touted as a favorite. Though she’s been mostly ignored by the critics’ awards, she was nominated at the Globes and will certainly be one of the more recognizable names on the list. However, I, Tonya has proven to be a divisive movie, which may hurt it, and Janney, in the long run. That could leave a spot open for another mother to take the spot, Holly Hunter (The Big Sick).
A lot of pundits are putting their money on Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) to get in. But there doesn’t seem to be as much excitement around the performance. Kind of like Kristen Scott Thomas (Darkest Hour). They’re both getting notices since their films seem to be big players in the race, but if you’re looking for a performance that is really being singled out despite the movie it’s in, then Hong Chau (Downsizing) could be it. She nabbed a surprise Golden Globe and SAG nom, has been one of the few positive discussion points about Downsizing, and she’s been on the campaign trail. She is a real dark horse in the race.
Check out all our 2018 Oscar Predictions!
Current Predictions (12/11/17):
- Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
- Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
- Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
- Allison Janney, I, Tonya
- Hong Chau, Downsizing
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Kristen Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour