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Oscar History

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Entries in Supporting Actress (268)


Top Ten: Loving those "20th Century Women"

by Nathaniel R

Mike Mill's terrific new film 20th Century Women, inspired by his own mother with Annette Bening further fictionalizing her, doesn't open until Christmas (disappointing as RIGHT NOW or August might've been the perfect time for it). But since it played the NYFF and we said so little, it's time to attempt to share the joy it offers. In lieu of a standard review...

Ten Amazing Things About 20th Century Women
first impressions of a film that will surely make our 2016 top ten list

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Michelle Williams' Oscar Moment might be in Manchester

by Murtada

Williams this week at NYFF

There was a time - say early 2012 - when Michelle Williams could do no wrong with Oscar. Basking in her third overall nomination for My Week with Marilyn (2011), the second in as many years as she was nominated the year before for Blue Valentine (2010), she had the heat, she had the momentum. She also had the critical and cinephile love with acclaimed performances behind her in Take this Waltz (2011), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and Wendy and Lucy (2008).

The win was definitely coming and soon. How times change.

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Beautiful Teasing: "Fences" and "20th Century Women"

The latest potentially rich films to tease are two of our most anticipated 2016 features. They aren't coming out until the last week of December. We worry for 20th Century Women that it will be lost in the shuffle (why oh why this release date?) but Fences at least will win attention due to the combined starpower at its center and the event prestige of the August Wilson award-winner making it to the big screen. The terrific teaser trailers are after the jump with a few notes on each.

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Supporting Actress: Nicole Kidman's Fourth Nomination? 

Here's to the thought of Nicole Kidman back in an Oscar lineup - CHEERS!

Lion and Queen of Katwe were runner ups to La La Land for Toronto's People Choice prize and people were loving on Nicole Kidman and Lupita Nyong'o as warm mothers in those films. With a strange absence of contenders to this point (especially given the comparatively abundant Leading Actress wars) they both move way up the chart. Also shifting on the chart: Felicity Jones, Nina Arianda, Greta Gerwig x 2, Live by Night ladies, and a few drop-offs now that the films have been seen.

In category-fraud-loving Hollywood we have to assume that one of the leading ladies (Best Actress chart is not yet updated) will demote herself to secure a nomination in a weaker field. Viola Davis is a possibility in Fences  -- in the first Broadway run her Fences character was considered "featured" (Tony Award code for "supporting) and in the revival (the one Viola nabbed the Tony for) the same character in the exact same play was considered "lead". But we'll leave her in Best Actress for now because the plethora of her supporting roles aside, we all know Viola Davis is a Leading Lady down to the marrow and it shows in her supersized talent.

See the updated chart. Thoughts? 


Best Acting. New Oscar Predictions

Having just taken a trip back to 1984 for the Smackdown and memory sufficiently jogged about how dense the acting branch can sometimes be (the discernment skills vary so much annually it can feel like invasion of the AMPAS body snatchers in some calender years) I'm finding myself in the odd position of defending my more extreme hunches from my more cynical side.

Huppert is amazing... and (more importantly) Huppert-esque in ELLEBEST ACTRESS
Whenever you make a call here suggesting that so & so in some non-Oscary film actually has a shot at an acting nomination, people are prone to scoff. But each year's Oscar races have so many intangibles in the acting categories that it's best to keep an open mind. The four acting categories are arguably the categories that are least beholden to the actual movies since a famous actor doesn't need a strong picture to generate buzz nor do they (in some cases) even need for people to actually like their movie they're in or, in fact, see it. And then you have the vaguely opposite case where a particular movie, whether or not people actually warm to it as a whole, can remind the world how fabulous a particular actor or actress always has been...

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Smackdown '84: Glenn Close, Dame Peggy, Lahti, Crouse, and Page

Presenting the Supporting Actress Class of '84. The Academy looked way back in time for this vintage collecting characters from the 1920s through the 1940s: a British senior on an excursion to see "the real" India, a Depression era beautician, the ex-girl of a ballplayer, and a former singer working in a factory during World War II. The sole contemporary character was a chain-smoking furious mother from Greenwich Village...

Glenn Close and Geraldine Page were the regulars... about to lose again!


THE NOMINEES: The 1984 Supporting Actress list skewed more mature than usual. Lindsay Crouse, surely buoyed by the love for Best Picture player Places in the Heart, and the promising new star Christine Lahti who was the least familiar face to moviegoers at the time, were the youngest, both in their mid 30s. Glenn Close, on her third consecutive nomination in the category, and Geraldine Page with a surprise seventh nomination from a long and revered acting career, were the "names" of the category... and they were both about to lose again - this time to the stage actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft who had only rarely made films. 

Shut-Outs: There was very little consensus about supporting actresses beyond Ashcroft & Lahti who fought it out for the critics awards...

BAFTA & Globe nominees that failed to make the Oscar cut were many: Melanie Griffith (Body Double), Drew Barrymore (Irreconciliable Differences), Kim Basinger (The Natural), Lesley Ann Warren (The Songwriter), Tuesday Weld (Once Upon a Time in America) and Jaqueline Bissett (Under the Volcano); Other key women that voters could have chosen that year: Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters), Elizabeth Berridge (Amadeus), Polly Holliday (Gremlins), Sabine Azéma (who won the NBR for A Sunday in the Country), Holland Taylor (Romancing the Stone), Sharon Stone (Irreconciliable Differences), Dianne Wiest (Falling in Love), Amy Madigan (Places in the Heart) and Lonette McKee (The Cotton Club


Here to talk about the nominees are our panelists: Sheila O'Malley (The Sheila Variations), Noah Tsika (Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY and author of "Nollywood Stars"), Joe Reid (, Nick Davis (Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern and author of "The Desiring Image") and your host Nathaniel R (The Film Experience).

And now it's time for the main event... 


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Request: Oscar Nominated Performances of the Aughts, Ranked

by Nathaniel R

This list was requested by Carlos recently in the comments. Perhaps in light of the Oscar Nominated Performances ranked of the past six years... so why not. It's a perfect weekend activity and will help you get in the mood for the possibly turbulent Oscar season ahead. So let's do this crazy...


First a terrible confession for one such as I: Two Oscar nominated performances in the Aughts slipped right past my movie devouring eyeballs (the shame. the shame.) I never got around to Tommy Lee Jones In the Valley of Elah or Cooler Alec Baldwin. I accept your judgment and will choose my favorite of whatever punishments are recommended.

So let's rank the whole other 198 lot of 'em, with the caveats that this is silly (apples & oranges) and had you asked me on a different day the order might have been different though the general truth of the groupings below would stay the same. 


  1. Mo'Nique, Precious (2009) *
  2. Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  3. Johnny Depp, The Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
  4. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  5. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (2007) *
  6. Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal (2006)

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