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« Downton Abbey is a hit! | Main | Best Actor / Supporting Actor - Chart Updates! »

Best Actress / Supporting Actress - Chart Updates!

We fully expect Marriage Story to be nominated in all four acting categoriesBEST ACTRESS and BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS charts are now up. Strangely, this year doesn't feel as competitive as usual when it comes to these two categories. That said, given the lack of a wide field of wildly loved work, we're expecting some unexpected volatility to occur. If one of the early precursors throws a major curveball expect everyone else to follow suit if the field isn't inspiring them. 

We are starting to wonder if Lupita Nyong'o is closer to a nomination for Best Actress than we thought she'd be at this point. (She's great in Us but we assumed the genre trappings would hinder her... but is enthusiasm there for other performances the way it was earlier in the year for hers? That's a campaign strength right there if Universal goes for it.)

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Reader Comments (60)

Lots of inaccuracies about different actresses's ages here.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPete

They should have released The Wife in 2019.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Castleman

When it's a weak year they used to go straight to pet actresses Lange etc.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Nat do you see any sense in Lopez moving to Lead as the years crop of hopefuls at this point seem weak,I don't think she'd beat Dern in supporting anyway,they've wanted to reward Dern for a while now and she has the right role in the right movie but from what I gather Lopez is 1 of those star turns we get so few of now.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

ScarJo looks AMAZING for 66 years old!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRuffles

Actress feels less competitive than usual, but Supporting seems like it could still be in flux. I can see a case for all of your top 10 (re: a nomination, not winning), and it feels to me like until we see broader audience reaction to Bombshell, Little Women, and JoJo Rabbit it’s tough to forecast.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

For some reason I believe Scarlett will be "Colmaning" Renee "Close to Oscar" Zellweger. Can we add "to Colman" to Oscar predictions dictionary?

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Why would Dern get into the category so easily playing the same character she does in Big Little Lies?

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

"A second win when she hasn't had much of a career since her first seems excessive". What kind of argument is that? I thought your favorite Olivia Coleman ushered in a new era where it was *only* about the performance, and not the career? Seems like the same bullshit that was used against Glenn, but it's acceptable because Renee already has one?

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeter A.

@markgordonuk - I have no idea if Lopez would go Lead but I really hope she does.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

@Ed. I honestly think it'll be Renée who'll follow the Kidman/Cotillard/Streep/Colman trajectory, while Scarlett does well elsewhere. Remember "Judy" is a British film. Has it been confirmed what category Renée is going at the Globes??

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Mary Kay Place for the win!

There's a beautiful spot right there for Alfre Woodard but they really need to get the actors' branch behind her.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Fairly certain Scarlett Johansson isn’t 66, nor is Constance Wu 58.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

I remember when people thought Natalie Portman was gonna win for Jackie. She was never anything less than a lock, but the big prizes didn't materialize. Renee might find herself in that position this year—not a bad one at all. Her odds may be even better because the field is thinner.

It would be unfortunate to see Erivo win after reading reviews of Harriet, but it could definitely happen. The last black Best Actress winner was almost two decades ago. The entertainment media (read: Twitter) can be very hard on Scarlett Johansson—that's all I'm gonna say about that! And Renee has already won. I actually think the weak field could be great for Alfre Woodward.

And you’re right, Constance Wu cries a lot of very real tears in Hustlers—more tears than most Oscar-winning performances!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

I totally agree about Lupita's chances. Universal can do this if they put in some elbow grease.

I really hope you're wrong about Thomasin McKenzie though. She was great in Leave No Trace. Not so much in Jojo... It was fine enough, I guess, but I've noticed between Jojo Rabbit and The True History of the Kelly Gang that she whispers Every. Single. Line.

I'd much rather see Zhao Shuzhen in there...

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Clint Eastwood shack up supporting actress and release Richard Jewell this year.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful


September 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

You're right about Zelweger, I suspect. Yes, she has a comeback narrative, but I don't know if the film is going to do all that well beyond, say, THE WIFE numbers, and as you say, she hasn't had a career since her win. This isn't a Hilary Swank situation where it was just four/five years. It's been 15.

I would be so happy if N'yongo came roaring back into contention, but I don't see it happening unfortunately. Although I wonder if Jordan Peele's success with GET OUT made a campaign a contractual thing. They could clearly do far worse.

I can't wait to see who the LAFCA choose.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

It feels to me as though the Best Actress field is waiting for Ronan if she and Little Women deliver.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The choices of Oscars in acting are so comfortable that turns into predictable and boring each time.

Even some great actors won in reward of their talent instead of an specific brilliant-distinctive performance (Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Oldman, etc.)

In the past we haved the supporting categories as exception but it looks that even that categories are getting contaminated

In terms of choices i prefer the Ariel awards, at least they didn't follow the trend and didn't reward Yalitza Aparicio.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

I don't think Ronan can win an Oscar for /another/ juvenile role. She's spanning the ages of 15 and 25 with this one. Say what you want about Jennifer Lawrence's middle-aged parts but she didn't get stuck playing teenagers!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJF

I can’t believe you dropped Zhao Shuzhen so fast from the top 5!!!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

@JF, I agree with you. I love Ronan and I think she has a great future ahead of her, but is it really necessary to see her getting an Oscar nomination for wanting to be free and pursue her own dreams and go to NYC for a 3rd time?
Personally, I grew up with Ryder's performance as Jo as a reference... and that's a beautifull and perfect Jo March!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I thought Nicholson was perfect as the Joker, but we rewarded another actor for playing the character, and we're on our way to nominating a third. I also thought Judy Davis was perfect as Judy Garland.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I just don't get the Robbie nomination. Her performance is just acceptable.
With respect to the "colmanization" effect, I believe those times when they gave career Oscars to players who lost several times are over. And I guess part of the reason is that -after #metoo and the drive toward inclusion- the Academy has incorporated many young voters both in the US and from many other countries - people you can bet probabaly didn't get to see The Wife and probably don't know much about Glenn Close or, if they do, they dind't care if it was going to be her seventh loss!

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

I feel like Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen will both get in if A24 put some effort into campaigning for THE FAREWELL and it is a Best Picture nominee. Most of their other contenders are men (in THE LIGHTHOUSE and UNCUT GEMS) unless WAVES really takes off.

I also think Lupita Nyong'o can come back for US.

I feel the Actress line-up is Awkwafina, Renee, ScarJo, Lupita & Cynthia Erivo.

It will be interesting to see if LITTLE WOMEN and BOMBSHELL shake up the race. I would love to see Florence Pugh get a Supporting Actress nomination and I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a few lead citations from critics this year for MIDSOMMAR, which will help her cause.

Is The Bening going to get a 5th nomination and not win? That would be hard to take, assuming she is as good as the reviews suggested.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

No question that Zellweger and Johannson are the frontrunners. But I figure Alfre Woodard's a strong bet for a nomination too. Advance showings of "Clemency" early in the year got her career-best raves. With the film set for a December release, I believe a second (and larger)wave of intense critical approval will bring her roaring back into Oscar contention. A well-timed holiday season release (and probable box office success), not to mention widespread good will toward Sairose Ronan will probably secure her a spot in the golden five as well. That leaves Awkwafina, Erivo, N'Yongo and whoever else scores between now and year's end (I'm hoping Theron) to fight it out over that final nomination.
Re Zellweger's "Judy" : I'm happy for her and am looking forward to seeing the film. But a part of me wishes the project could have starred Tammy Blanchard. She played the teenage Judy in "Me and My Shadows" and I don't think anyone else has ever nailed the Garland magic quite as well. Now she's the right age to play late career Garland. But I guess this latest project wouldn't have been bankrolled without a star name in the lead. What's more, Zellweger's a great talent and seems to have done a wonderful job. So kudos to her.

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Word was Streep campaigning for supporting for The Laundromat? Is she really going for Lead?

September 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Jamie -- i can't keep up with everything. at first it was lead. now im hearing supporting. why cant they let it go this once. after i heard that she plays too roles and one is Latina i was like uh-oh.

September 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Outside of Renee (who I think is the frontrunner) and Scarlett, I think the whole best actress category is in flux.

The reviews for Harriet were middling at best, and if Theron and/or Ronan come on strong at the end of the year, Erivo may be toast. Honestly, I think both of them have a great shot based on the trailers for Bombshell and Little Women.

I would LOVE a Lupita nomination and hope Universal gets behind this campaign! She's one of my favorite performances this year. I think the fact that US wasn't such a cultural phenomenon and talking point as much as Get Out will be difficult to gain awards traction, though.

The Farewell will come roaring back - I think Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen are in a strong position for nominations.

After the trailer for Clemency, if Neon can put in a strong campaign for Woodard I think she can get it. It'll be vital for her to receive a SAG nomination though.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

everyone - fixed the ages. obviously i have copy/paste problems when i shift people around.

Ken -- i would argue that Clemency's release is not even remotely "well-timed" News Years Eve weekend is often where Oscar hopefuls go to die. It's way way too late to build buzz unless you're a major movie star. and even then. The rest of the field will have been firmly entrenched by then. I'm not sure why they would do that to Woodard. I might be wrong but seems like a major miscalculation to me. People should be discussing her now along with Zellwegger and Johansson. If you're aiming to break up the field at the tail end you generally have o have a flashy film or a huge star neither of which apply here.

Peter A -- hmmm. are you reading a different site than The Film Experience? I was a Glenn devotee last year. I love Olivia Colman in general but we were rooting for a Glenn Close win. Glenn Close won the silver here at TFE with Toni Collette taking the gold for Hereditary.

September 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

So Scarlett and Renee are as close to locks as we’ve got right? Akwafina feels like she’s number 3? Can’t discount Ronan, So id say she’s 4th. Which leaves Erivo, Woodard, Nyong’o and Theron fighting for 5th spot?

A line up that included both Akwafina and Nyong’o would be exciting indeed!

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJWB

Meryl is 70 years old now ;)

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Thanks for updating the charts, Nat. It must be a nightmare parsing through all the post festival chatter and your own experience in the room, especially in categories like acting where everyone seems to have an opinion without seeing the film!

Given the actress/supporting categories seem less exciting this year if could the early precursers, even Indie Spirits and Gothams, end up radically impacting the race this year?

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

It's inconceivable to me that Zelweger doesn't at least get nominated. Everyone I've talked to who's seen it LOVES her in it--the film itself, not so much. And it's the kind of role Oscar eats up. Way too early to talk about who's gonna win. Nyong'o seems to me to have a real shot. People I know are still talking about US.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDaniella Isaacs

Still surprised in a weak year if they can’t make Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters happen in Wild Rose. Fairly expectant that they’ll find room for them at BAFTA which should at least put them in the conversation.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobUK

Nathaniel, the film I was referring to as having a well-timed holiday season release was "Lilttle Women", which I think will be Christmas catnip for family audiences. And renewed memories of Saioirse Ronan's likeability will stand her in good stead just as Oscar voters are making their choices. You might be right about the folly of scheduling "Clemency" so late in the season. My thought was that - by that time - Alfre Woodard may have already scored heavily in critics' polls, helping build a potential audience. And the personal rave reviews that may accompany the film's actual opening in theaters could influence voters just when they're at their most Oscar conscious. Certainly I hope that turns out to be the case. I suspect we're probably in agreement that Alfre Woodard's a treasure. And further Academy acknowledgment of that would always be welcome. .

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I don't see how Clemency makes a mark in a shortened season. Also I hope you go into the season being objective about Renee, but I won't hold my breath.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I've a strange feeling the Renee will be Judy's sole nom ala Glenn/The Wife, & tt might hurt her chances as more voters wld have seen Marriage Story, assuming it getting into all the major cat.

Any updates on whether Judy and Marriage Story are competing in Drama or Comedy/Musical?? Cos I can totally see Renee/ ScarJo picks up either categories...

Oscars 2020 has moved v v early to 9 Feb 2020!! Way too little time, metink, for Little Women, Clemency, & Bombshell to build momentum for their actresses!!

The only lock in actress race now is Renee & Scarjo

Meryl is most likely going supp but The Laudromat review are v middling, Metink she might sit this one out...

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Aldous Hodge popped in the trailer for Clemency,Woodard would need early critics notices to stay in the conversation till December.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

The actress categories may be a less competitive in terms of contenders for nominations but there are some strong actresses who would seem to be deserving of a win (without having seen all the films) vying plausibly for the top five. We might’ve been spoiled the past few years but I still remember the 90s when some years we could only have dreamed of roles as diverse and rich to pick between... (maybe I’m just old!).

Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic but I feel like once we get down to the final five I’ll be able to get behind this race - Johansson, Theron, Zellweger, Ronan in plum roles would be a quality selection?

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSally W

Thank you for doing these updates, Nathaniel! They're so fun to read.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

It is really sad a year when all the four acting categories don't have that real great work as nominees. I think the last time I felt the same as for this year was 2011 (if wasn't for Gary and Glenn's nomination, I wouldn't watch the ceremony).

I would love to see an ScarJo / McKellen - Banderas / Dafoe / ??? win this year, but they will probably go with the safe stuff Renee / Joaquin / Alda - Lithgow / Dern

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJay

I can’t read the abbreviation ‘JLaw’ without thinking of Jude Law, and not Jennifer Lawrence. Am I out of touch with everyone, or just with Nathaniel?

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBloop

I didn't even know the trailer for Clemency had been released. Wow, Alfre Woodard looks brilliant. The late release date makes me angry. She could actually be in it to win if Neon had a better strategy.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Typos in Smith and Kidman’s descriptions

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermafer

Nathaniel- did you see The Laundromat in Toronto?

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Peggy Sue speaks much wisdom re: both Place and Woodard. Place is fantastic in Diane and I'm looking forward to Woodard getting a showcase, even if it is badly released. Are people here streaming Diane? It would be a shame to miss it and not have this performance be a part of the conversation.

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterzig

Bloop - I keep thinking about Jude too. Unfortunately he only made 1 movie by the time he was 25 (has anyone seen Paul W. S. Anderson's Shopping?) which doesn't seem at all oscary…

September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBJT



September 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

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