It’s hard to believe but we are two thirds of the way through the calendar year and that means my first round of incredibly early Oscar predictions are making their way to the blog! Some caveats: it’s early. Real early. Truth be told, most of the main contenders in all the major categories will be rolling out in the fall. Many will be screening at the upcoming film fests like Toronto and New York, among others. As always, those festivals will help the picture become clearer over the next couple of months. Usually by Thanksgiving or early December, we’ve got a pretty good idea on how things are looking.
That said, I started my predictions for 2014 at the same time last year. In the Supporting Actress race, which I’m covering today, my impossibly early predictions yielded two of the five eventual nominees, Laura Dern for Wild and winner Patricia Arquette in Boyhood. It’s also worth noting that I predicted Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, who was nominated in the Lead Actress category. Let’s talk about how things look right now:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Already we seem to have one performer who appears to be a shoo in for a nod: Rooney Mara for Todd Haynes’s 1950s set lesbian romance Carol, which premiered to raves at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. It would be very shocking not to see Mara included, unless she’s campaigned for in the Actress race. That seems unlikely because the studio should be putting her costar Cate Blanchett in that race.
After that – much uncertainty. The Irish immigration drama Brooklyn hit the festival circuit to a rapturous response and that could bode well for Julie Walters. Director Quentin Tarantino knows how to get his actors nominated which could mean a nom for The Hateful Eight’s Jennifer Jason Leigh. Director David O. Russell is exceptional at seeing his performers gets nods and his December release Joy could see kudos for either Virginia Madsen or Diane Ladd (I’m leaving both off, for now).
Elizabeth Olsen has had some critically applauded roles and her performance as Hank Williams’ wife in the biopic I Saw the Light could garner attention. So could Kate Winslet in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic.
The rest of the large field is filled with familiar names and some not. Remember the name Emayatzy Corinealdi for her work in the Don Cheadle/Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. And we have previous winners like Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Rachel Weisz in the mix.
TODD’S FIRST PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Elizabeth Olsen, I Saw the Light
Julie Walters, Brooklyn
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy
Cate Blanchett, Truth
Helena Bonham Carter, Suffragette
Jessica Chastain, The Martian
Emayatzy Corinealdi, Miles Ahead
Marion Cotillard, Macbeth
Ann Dowd, Our Brand is Crisis
Jane Fonda, Youth
Nicole Kidman, Genius
Diane Ladd, Joy
Melanie Laurent, By the Sea
Laura Linney, Genius
Virginia Madsen, Joy
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Ellen Page, Freeheld
Julia Roberts, The Secret in their Eyes
Amy Ryan, Bridge of Spies
Meryl Streep, Suffragette
Rachel Weisz, Youth
And there’s part one of my early Oscar picks. Supporting Actor coming your way tomorrow…