The summer movie season has wound to a close and we can feel the autumn season just around the corner. That means football, leaves changing, and back to school. It also means the 2016 fall movie season is about to begin and that means – early Oscar speculation!!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it may seem a bit too early for that, but it isn’t. The film festival season will be starting before we know it with Venice, Toronto, Telluride and New York on deck. A host of Oscar hopefuls will receive their first screenings and generate their first buzz. So this week – as I have in years past – I roll out my first round of Oscar predictions. This will be done in six installments beginning with Supporting Actress today and continuing daily with Supporting Actor, Actress, Actor, Director, and the big dog – Picture. Each post will predict the five nominees (or in the case of Picture – five to ten). As the week wear on, I’ll be increasing my predictions to a weekly feature on the blog.
For Supporting Actress, let’s take a little trip down memory lane with my predictions in 2014 and 2015. Two years back, my earliest predictions yielded two out of the eventual five nominated performers (including winner Patricia Arquette for Boyhood). Last year, these initial predictions gave us three of the five and, in a way, four. At the time, there was uncertainty as to whether Alicia Vikander would be campaigned for in lead or supporting for The Danish Girl and I predicted her at the time for Actress. The campaign went with supporting and she was the winner. Let’s get to it!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
At this juncture, I’d say there’s no shoo-in nominees but Michelle Williams in this fall’s Manchester by the Sea is about as close as it gets. The pic has already screened at festivals to raves with many critics singling out her work.
Ang Lee’s November war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk looks to be a player in many categories and that could certainly trickle down to Kristen Stewart. The trailer for Moonlight seems to indicate a very meaty and Oscar-baity type role for Naomie Harris. There are questions surrounding how many nominations the acclaimed slavery pic The Birth of a Nation will receive (more on that in future posts), but Aja Naomi King has gotten acclaim for her role already.
As for a fifth, I’m just going to go with a total and complete wild card: Bryce Dallas Howard in December’s Gold, which not much is known about at the moment (no trailer even). Why? Well, this category is quite unformed at the moment, so why not? If it pans out, I’ll look really smart!
There’s a slew of others as possibilities, including multiple possibilities for 20th Century Women, American Pastoral and The Girl on the Train (with both Fanning sisters no less) and we shall see how it plays out in the coming weeks and months. For now…
TODD’S FIRST PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold
Aja Naomi King, The Birth of a Nation
Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Haley Bennett, The Girl on the Train
Jennifer Connelly, American Pastoral
Laura Dern, The Founder
Rosemarie DeWitt, La La Land
Dakota Fanning, American Pastoral
Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women
Rebecca Ferguson, The Girl on the Train
Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Jennifer Jason Leigh, LBJ
Julianne Moore, Maggie’s Plan
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane
Zoe Saldana, Live by Night
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Rachel Weisz, The Light Between Oceans
Kate Winslet, Collateral Beauty
We’ll get to Supporting Actor tomorrow!