Oscars 2020: The Case of Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova’s breakthrough film debut in Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm is my first Case Of post in the seemingly wide open Supporting Actress race at the Oscars:

The Case for Maria Bakalova

The Bulgarian actress became a sensation in 2020 with her hilarious turn as Borat’s daughter in the highly publicized sequel. Her road to the Oscar nomination has been stacked with numerous regional critics prizes as well as the Critics Choice Award. It’s worth noting that the latter award has matched Oscar for the past 11 years. The Academy is known for rarely bestowing their gold on comedic performances, but it’s happened more in this race than others. Examples include Maria Tomei (My Cousin Vinny), Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway), and Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite).

The Case Against Maria Bakalova

Her studio decided to campaign for Bakalova in Best Actress (Musical/Comedy) at the Golden Globes and she was widely assumed to be the winner. She lost in an upset to Rosamund Pike for I Care a Lot. While I gave some examples of Supporting Actress winners on the funny side, we are talking a quarter century ago.

The Verdict

It cannot be overstated how unpredictable this year’s Supporting Actress competition is. The fact that Bakalova made the cut absolutely means she could be the victor. If the SAG Awards honors her this weekend, look for her to achieve frontrunner status. At the moment, that’s a big if…

My Case Of posts will continue with Bakalova’s movie dad Sacha Baron Cohen for The Trial of the Chicago 7…

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