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13 days til Oscar - Voting Begins Tomorrow!

Timothée & Glenn, together again at the BAFTAsOscar voting begins tomorrow. The Academy will have eight days to pick their winners -- we're in the homestretch! That's right y'all, we made it through the PGA's Green Book fandom, the DGA's Roma love and Eighth Grade surprise, the entirety of the Sundance Film Festival, the SAG f***ery where only lead actors won prizes, the adorable Oscar Nominee Luncheon, BAFTA's love in for The Favourite, the Cold War surprise at ASC, Four current Oscar nominees winning Grammys (including Bradley Cooper of all people), and here we are.

The only thing left (er, actually, it's still a lot) is our last minute frenzy of interviews and coverage, the remainder of the Film Bitch Awards, final Oscar predix, Supporting Actress Smackdown, César Awards, Spirit Awards, CDG Awards, and OSCAR NIGHT. Please visit us every hour on the hour and express your love so that we can borrow your energy to conjure the stamina.

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Reader Comments (27)

Despite Green Book winning PGA and the spreading of wealth among the guilds, I still feel Roma is a lock to win. It would've won the Globe over Bohemian Rhapsody if it were eligible in the drama category, and it seems to win every time the films are considered for the grand sum of their parts.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I'm not sure there's such a thing as a lock in the age of the preferential ballot.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

Close will become the 13th woman to win Best Actress as a lone nominee.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Voting is *just* beginning? Crazy.

Good for Glenn for staying "out there." Campaigns don't power themselves and she's really come into her own over the last few weeks—check her IG for proof! I'm loving fun Glenn.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

I just switched my Best Actor prediction from Cooper to Malek in my Oscar pool. Now I feel dirty.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Even at the Baftas won only lead actors

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrown Cow Stunning

Brown Cow -- it's the way of the future (sigh). They're going to need to add a "cameo" category so that real supporting actors who are 'barely in their movies' according to many people on the internet can have a chance to be honored.

February 11, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I really hope Oscar voters have better sense than other voting bodies and not give Rami Malek the Oscar. Malek is a fine actor and will hopefully have more opportunities to shine, but this performance is not one that should be heralded as best of the year. It's not a performance that will endure and will be pointed at derisively as a stupid choice.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

If Rami Malek wins the Oscar, I´m sure he will regret winning in no time. The nomination can boost his career, but winning for this awful performance in this terrible movie directed by Bryan Singer will be seen as a huge embarrassment very quickly. It will become a tragic joke, like Brokeback Mountain losing to Crash.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRafael

@Nathaniel: To be fair, this kind of shenanigans has always been around. Tatum O'Neal won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for playing a character that was in every single scene of her film but one. Heck, the novel the film was based on was named after her character. Meanwhile, Madeline Kahn, an actual supporting actress from the very same film went home empty-handed. And even earlier, Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for a performance that literally landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Lead Actor, as well.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Question for all:

What if they got rid of Best Supporting Actor/Actress category and just expanded the Lead Actor/Actress category to 10 nominees and call it Best Performance.


February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

MrW - Do you mean Barry Fitzgerald? He was nominated in both leading and supporting categories.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErik

@Erik Of course I do, sorry for the embarrassing mix-up.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

MrW: Just saw your comment and wanted to respond (not speaking for Nathaniel, of course!): I just feel that category fraud happens a lot more now. Sure, in the past there were some leading roles nominated in the supporting categories - but there were a couple of ways in which things were different back then (not in O'Neal's time, perhaps, but in Gwenn's).

Back then, the supporting actor Oscar was really for character actors, no matter the size of the role. They were eligible for the lead category too but would typically get nominated in support. That is, I think, why we see the likes of Charles Coburn in The More the Merrier and Walter Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre nominated in support for what are almost certainly leading roles.

Another thing that was different is that there was a period in which category placement was determined by the studios, who would submit actors in either the lead or the supporting category. Voters, I believe, didn't have a chance to course-correct. That's, I think, why Katy Jurado wasn't nominated for supporting actress for her wonderful (and Golden Globe-winning) supporting performance in High Noon: UA submitted her in lead by mistake. That's certainly what happened with Roddy McDowall in Cleopatra in 1963: Fox submitted him in lead by mistake (and apologised to him in, I think, the pages of Variety).

I'm not 100% sure of all the above, but I think that's what happened back in the day. There's a very good book on this subject: Category Fraud, by Brian Lindsay.

Even the O'Neal example I can understand: sure, her role is unquestionably a leading role, but at least the child angle is there. Wrong, but understandable.

Today, though, it's adults getting nominated in supporting categories by voters who are free to put them in lead where they belong but who don't for one reason or another (mostly, I suspect, because they simply don't think much about it).

I truly believe that if Thelma & Louise came out today, one of them would be campaigned as a supporting role.

Meanwhile, as Nathaniel so rightly says, genuine supporting roles are squeezed out of the category in which they deserve recognition because lead roles are taking up spaces!

And it feels as though there's a whole way of thinking now that overlooks two things: 1) a film can have more than one lead (especially overlooked in the case of films with more than one lead of the same gender) and 2) supporting roles are smaller that leads: ten minutes (or even five minutes) of screen time isn't a blink-and-you-ll-miss-it cameo, it's a supporting role!!

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

I wonder if there's a thing that the Academy can do similar to the Tony's i.e. the latter clarifies who is lead vs supporting (featured) for awards eligibility. I have no idea how that process actually works with the Tony's. And obviously there's WAY more films/actors to consider in one year versus Broadway shows... but it's... a thought.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Kristopher Tapley called the Cold War and Willem Dafoe nominations but he's kind of douchebag, right?

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Ryan -- the Tony process, contrary to what some people have said, would be totally doable for Oscar too. The way the Tony works is if you're above the title you're automatically a lead and if you're below the title you're automatically "featured" (supporting). Individual shows can petition the Tony nominating committee for exemptions (which they occassionally grant) but mostly it's already set in stone just by your billing. This would clear so many things up. People understand (when they're not thinking about awards) that Mahershala Ali and Viggo are both leads in GREEN BOOK (and they're both above the title on the poster). But as soon as it comes time for awards people (and fans) bend themselves into all sorts of shapes to "explain" why Mahershala "isn't really a lead" despite having second billing and the movie being a two-hander.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

DAVID -- that would be more honest as to how they vote but i fear that way only one or two actual supporting roles would get nominated a year... the kind that might have easily won in a year when they weren't campaigning against a lead. And then they woujd also actually never win Oscars.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I don't think the Tony method jives with film marketing. On many movie posters you see 5-7 names "above the title" including the "with" and "and" cameos. That's just how studios sell films with lots of stars in them.

Sure, you could get exemptions for every single one of those cases (and there are many—like Adams and Rockwell who are above the title for Vice) but that wouldn't stop a studio from requesting an exemption for Mahershela, Rachel, etc. Or the AMPAS from granting it.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

Nathaniel: I can see that the Tonys method is clear and would help prevent leading roles getting shoved into the supporting categories - but how would it work on film in the opposite direction, i.e. when a film like Working Girl has Sigourney Weaver second-billed (above Melanie Griffith!) in what is clearly a supporting role? Same goes for, say, the top-billed Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. Or a film such as American Hustle, which has five names above the title, two of which were the definitely-supporting Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. (On the plus side, it would have ensured a lead nomination for Albert Brooks in Broadcast News!)

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Olivia Colman aluded to the Lead/Supporting thing in her Baftas speech.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

C'mon voters, show some spirit, and if nothing else change up the Best Actor results!

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Michael Musto has an "Anonymous Oscar voter" article at Daily Beast, and the voter, although loving Mahershala Ali's performance, is voting for Richard E. Grant just because of the category fraud. If there are enough voters like this one, combined with the fact that Ali has already won an Oscar, and had not won a BAFTA, gives me some hope that Grant may just eke out a win.

February 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Edward & H -- obviously it's not a perfect fix but it would be a start. They could obviously monkey with it and just make a rule like "top two billed are lead" everything else supporting (unless they request exemptions)

February 11, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@MrW, yes, but those were exceptions rather than every-year occurrences. Now, we get those kinds of nominations (and wins) on the regular, at the expense of actual “supporting” actors.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Things are not looking good for Glenn. The Favourite is surging.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

@Emma: The Favourite lost the BP BAFTA to Roma.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

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