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Entries in Supporting Actress (301)

Friday
Jan202017

Actress in a Supporting Role, Personal Ballot

Oscar predictions are already up for Best Supporting Actress.

Will Greta Gerwig read good news or bad next week?

It's looking like the most settled of the acting categories with Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, and Octavia Spencer all widely expected to place.

If there's a sudden shift look for either Greta Gerwig or Janelle Monae to spoil... or enliven the party, depending on your preferences. "Spoiler" is such a weird word in this context, no? Regardless, it will be a good year for the Academy in Supporting Actress with all seven of those performances that ranging from quite good to phenomenal; we'll take it!

But it's not my personal ballot and that's not only because I consider Viola Davis a lead in Fences (I realize others feel differently). Three of those names above, however, do make my personal list. The two I'd like to add to the mix are Riley Keough, so mesmerizingly trashy/real as a entrepeneur (of sorts) toying with her underlings in American Honey and Elle Fanning doing the best work of her already lauded teenage career (thus far) in 20th Century Women. Read the writeups here at the Film Bitch Awards.

Wednesday
Jan182017

The Smackdown Returns: Which Years Should We Cover?

Last year's Supporting Actress Smackdown season was way too short with only two episodes so we're starting much earlier this year and aiming for at least 5 or 6 from spring to summer.

Stitch & Bitch with Supporting Actress Shortlists February through August!

Friday February 17th - Best Supporting Actress 2016
Nominees TBA. Since the smackdown is normally a retrospective we will probably approach this 'in-the-moment' event differently but we're still brainstorming.

Friday March 31st Best Supporting Actress 1963  
We've been promising this year forever so we are going to force ourselves through it which should be easier than its been since its only three films! The nominees: Margaret Rutherford in The VIPs, Lilia Skalia in Lilies of the Field and three of Albert Finney's co-stars in Tom Jones: Diane Cilento, Joyce Redman, and '60s Oscar fixture Dame Edith Evans

But what shall we do for April through August (finale)? You get four choices come after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan172017

Is Viola in "Fences" a lead? Or is her "Rose" a supporting player by choice? 

Scarlett & Viola won the supporting & lead actress Tonys in 2010. Now Viola is headed for a supporting trophy (for the same role) by Lynn Lee

If it’s Oscar season, there must be category fraud lurking somewhere.  This year most of the debate has centered around Viola Davis, whose barn-burner of a performance opposite Denzel Washington in Fences is a virtual lock ...for supporting actress gold.  There’s little doubt the decision to go supporting was driven by the perception that lead actress would be a much tougher road in an especially competitive year.  Still, it’s such a powerhouse turn that many Viola fans are justifiably frustrated by what looks like a cynical lack of faith in both her and the Academy.

And yet, having previously read the play and seen it performed on stage – though not the production that starred Viola and Denzel – I can’t help wondering if this is as open-and-shut a case of category fraud as it appears.  In terms of the weight and magnetism of Viola’s performance, it feels like a lead role.  But the way the role is written, as August Wilson conceived it, I think is a closer call...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan132017

Lunchtime Poll: Viola & Meryl BFFs

Let's make the lunchtime poll a regular tradition! I'll ask you and sometimes Team Experience, too, a question that's currently hogging too much of my brain. You answer and we'll all feel less utterly alone in this vast cruel universe. Ready?

Today two questions about La Streep, just because. Here we go...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan092017

A Cocktail with Nicole, Always Our Leading Lady.

UNICEF held a screening of Lion this past week in Manhattan with stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar (who share the protagonist role of Saroo). I finally had the pleasure of getting some face time with Nicole at the party afterwards. The Monkey Bar's main room has restaurant tables and chairs circling the a big slightly lower open area where the stars enter and are then typically bombarded by press, photographers, and industry wellwishers.

The crowd gave adorable little Sunny plenty of space, looking so tiny and a bit overwhelmed while taking press photos, before he headed to a private table. Dev Patel worked the room shaking hands at tables. Nicole, at least from my vantage point, stayed in the center; you came to her. As it should be.

The statuesque star towered over me (she's only 1" taller, but, add heels)...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan052017

FYC: Lily Gladstone, Supporting Actress

by John Guerin

I could not have predicted that in a movie starring Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams, a performance by relative newcomer Lily Gladstone would leave me the most affected. The best short film of 2016 is the third act of Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, in which Jamie (Gladstone), a solitary Montana rancher, falls for Beth, an out-of-town lawyer (Stewart), who is stuck teaching an educational law night class four-hours away from her home in Livingston. Stewart, unsurprisingly, adds another formidable performance to her collection of direct yet remote modern women, but the revelation here is Gladstone, who contributes a sensational breakthrough performance that deserves The Academy’s attention...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan042017

Throwback FYC: Carrie Fisher, 1977

While the Star Wars franchise didn't become or stay a global phenomenon on the strength of its acting, it did received one Oscar nomination in that arena: Sir Alec Guiness as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977). Later Sir Ian McKellen would pull off a similar trick for the Lord of the Rings franchise proving that it really helps to be a knighted acclaimed male thespian to get respect for genre films.

But Star Wars's Oscar campaign in 1977 (which resulted in 10 nominations, 6 wins, and a special non-competitive Oscar) did include the then 21 year-old Carrie Fisher. 

It's insane that our beloved Carrie Fisher was never Oscar nominated but that insanity stems not from Star Wars, however iconic Leia is and will continue to be, but from her infinitely quotable and self-deprecatingly delicious screenplay to Postcards from the Edge  (1990). Her significantly reworked adaptation of her own novel put nearly all of the actually Oscar-nominated screenplays that year to shame.

Joan Blondell in Opening Night (1977)We've already revisited the Supporting Actress race of 1977 in our "Smackdown" series* but there wasn't room for the braided bunned Princess that year even if you attempt to rejigger the category. For if you toss out a member of that uneven batch you've got to make room first and foremost for Joan Blondell's win-worthy work as an exasperated writer dealing with a addict of a leading lady in Opening Night. Come to think of it, and now I totally can't stop thinking about it, Carrie herself would surely have related like crazy to both sides of that volatile battle of artistic and destructive wills in the John Cassavettes film.

* yes, the series will return soon.