"Actressing on the edges" is one of our favorite things, as the Smackdowns should make clear. Since most TFE readers are similarly affected with this obsession love, we assume you'll have plenty to say on the topic of "Best Supporting Actress" even before you've seen the performances and movies in question here.
Oscar traction for the supporting categories of either gender is always hard to see in advance primarily because the size and substance of the roles in question aren't broadly telegraphed in advance the way lead characters tend to be. (It's not even always clear with adaptations of familiar material since role compositing happens and focus can shift characters from one version of a story to another.) What's more, supporting campaigns are often dependent on love for the lead actors and for the movie itself and the reverse is hardly ever true.
But speculation is fun!
01. INTO THE WOODS
Who will win MVP reviews? This is always a pertinent question for ensemble properties when it comes to awards traction. In the first Broadway production in the 80s The Witch and The Baker's Wife were where it was at. In the revival in the Aughts people seemed more obsessed with Cinderella and, arguably, Jack. Into the Woods is funny like that, shifting focus and soul with each production. Some people though the recent short revival in Central Park with an all star cast turned the show over to The Baker (Denis O'Hare at the time who is not in the movie). Despite shifting love from viewers, The Witch (Meryl Streep in the movie) is always considered the lead role but that's only because it's the "star" part, not because the role is larger than the others. (Technically speaking Jack is probably the biggest role). If Streep goes lead that'll leave Anna Kendrick's Cinderella and Emily Blunt's Baker's Wife as our possibilities. I'm currently predicting Oscar favor to lean in Blunt's direction. Maybe that's wishful thinking and the desire to see her strangely quiet career get noisier but there's no arguing that The Baker's Wife isn't a great part (Amy Adams played it in the park recently). This adaptation could go any which way from Oscar behemoth to total flop and any actor could well be the one that gets people excited. Yes, even Little Red Riding Hood (played by the recent "Annie" on Broadway, Lilla Crawford).
After the jump four more pertinent year-in-advance questions about this year's Best Supporting Actress race...