The performance of Lakeith Stanfield in Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah is last up in my Case Of posts for Supporting Actor hopefuls. For the previous four write-ups, you can find them here:
The Case for Lakeith Stanfield:
The past couple of years has brought Stanfield exposure in acclaimed projects ranging from Sorry to Bother You to Knives Out and Uncut Gems. His work here brought career best reviews in his burgeoning career.
The Case Against Lakeith Stanfield:
His nomination came as a total surprise. For starters, Warner Bros campaigned for him in lead actor, but Academy voters went ahead and ignored that. Then there’s the matter of his costar Daniel Kaluuya (they were also in Get Out together). Kaluuya’s win seems assured next weekend as he’s had a clean sweep at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, SAG Awards, and BAFTA.
According to his own Twitter feed, Stanfield even seemed blindsided by his nod. Judas will probably only get one Oscar and it will be in this race. That will be for Stanfield’s costar.
My Case Of posts have concluded! Thanks to all who have perused all 33 of them. The next matter of business… final Oscar predictions and they’re coming your way very shortly!
The Case Of posts for Supporting Actress hopefuls reaches its end with Yuh-jung Youn for Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari. If you missed the previous four posts, they’re available here:
The Case for Yuh-jung Youn:
Momentum. Already a legendary actress in South Korea, the 73-year-old has found American success with her role in Minari, which picked up a sturdy 6 nods on nomination morning. Youn has won the latest precursors to pick up steam with the SAG Awards and BAFTA.
The Case Against Yuh-jung Youn:
She has not fared as well with other precursors. Youn wasn’t nominated at the Golden Globes and lost the Critics Choice prize to Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), who could be her stiffest competition. There’s also still the chance that the Academy will finally give Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) her overdue trophy.
There was certainly a time where this acting race seemed like the biggest tossup. That has certainly been replaced by Best Actress. While I believe this category could go three different ways, Youn has emerged as the most likely candidate.
My Case Of posts will conclude with Lakeith Stanfield in Judas and the Black Messiah…
My Case Of posts in the Best Actor field at the Oscars reaches its end with Steven Yeun in Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari. If you didn’t catch the first four posts, you can find them here:
The Case for Steven Yeun
The first Asian-American thespian to receive a Best Actor nomination, Yeun’s career has been on a hot streak lately and that includes a critically heralded supporting performance in 2018’s Burning. That work prompted some Oscar chatter that never came to fruition. Minari performed as well as expected (maybe even a bit better) with 6 nods including Yeun and his costar Yuh-jung Youn in Supporting Actress. He was also given nominations at the Critics Choice Awards and SAG Awards.
The Case Against Steven Yeun
Yeun was ignored at the Golden Globes. Best Actor appears to be a two-person competition between Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Anthony Hopkins (The Father) and Yeun has yet to log a significant victory in the precursors.
Minari‘s best chance at a win in the major categories lies with Youn and not Yeun.
My Case Of posts will continue with Yeun’s costar Yuh-jung Youn…
Carey Mulligan’s performance in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman wraps up my Case Of posts for the five Best Actress contenders. If you missed the first four, they can be read here:
The Case for Carey Mulligan
Earning her second nomination following 2009’s An Education, Mulligan’s work here was part of Promising‘s five nominations. She’s managed nods in all the major precursors (with the surprising exception of BAFTA) and won the Critics Choice Award.
The Case Against Carey Mulligan
I predicted Mulligan to take the Golden Globe and she lost to Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday). I predicted her for the SAG Award and Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) took the prize. The wide open Best Actress race is hard to pin down.
Mulligan absolutely could win next week, but so could do Davis, Day, or McDormand. I’ll be going back and forth on this one until I make my final predictions on Wednesday.
My Case Of posts will continue with Steven Yeun in Minari…
My Case Of posts in the Best Director category reaches its fifth and final hopeful with Chloe Zhao for Nomadland. If you missed the previous four, you can find them here:
The Case for Chloe Zhao
Nomadland is absolutely the frontrunner to win Best Picture and oftentimes it matches with director (though not quite as much in recent years). Even if something upsets Nomadland in the big race, Zhao has made it a clean sweep at the precursors and that includes BAFTA, DGA, Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and many other regional critics group awards. Zhao (who will next take on the MCU’s Eternals) will also make some history by becoming the second female to take the gold after Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) in 2009.
The Case Against Chloe Zhao
To be blunt – there really isn’t one. I suppose only if the Academy doesn’t embrace Nomadland like other awards bodies have and that appears unlikely.
Some of the major categories have some suspense around them. This one doesn’t. Zhao appears primed for victory.
My Case Of posts will continue with Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman…
My Case Of posts in the Supporting Actor category has reached Paul Raci in Sound of Metal. If you missed the ones focused on Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), and Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami), you can find them here:
The Case for Paul Raci
It’s a great narrative. The 73-year-old character actor has gone from unknown to critical darling as Riz Ahmed’s mentor in Metal. Critics groups have honored him with several wins and he received a nomination at the Critics Choice Awards.
The Case Against Paul Raci
Raci did not, however, manage to nab a SAG or a Golden Globe nod. And you don’t really get the Oscar without either one of those. Furthermore, it’s been a clean sweep at the major precursors for Daniel Kaluuya and he remains the heavy favorite.
Raci’s journey to the Oscars from relative obscurity is quite a story, but the sound of his name won’t be called on Oscar evening.
My Case Of posts will continue with Chloe Zhao’s direction of Nomadland…
Amanda Seyfried’s work as screen star Marion Davies in David Fincher’s Mank is next up for my Case Of posts in the Supporting Actress competition. If you missed the ones focused on Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), and Olivia Colman (The Father), click below:
The Case for Amanda Seyfried
The former Mean Girl drew career best notices for the Netflix pic and earned her first nomination. Seyfried also picked up nods at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.
The Case Against Amanda Seyfried
She did not, however, get a SAG Award mention and that was a surprise. There’s been just two Oscar recipients (Marcia Gay Harden for Pollock and Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk) in Supporting Actress who didn’t at least get a SAG nomination. Furthermore, Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) has emerged as the frontrunner.
Upsets have happened in this category, but Seyfried’s chances are slim.
My Case Of posts will continue with Paul Raci in Sound of Metal…
Gary Oldman (Mank) is the fourth thespian in my Case Of posts for the Best Actor Oscar contenders. If you missed the ones covering Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), and Anthony Hopkins (The Father), they’re here:
The Case for Gary Oldman
He’s considered one of the finest actors working today and he found a plum role as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s Netflix pic. Oldman has found success in all the significant precursors garnering nods for this third Academy mention. His first came in 2011 for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and he won the gold three years ago for Darkest Hour.
The Case Against Gary Oldman
In 2017, Oldman was a strong favorite for months and it paid off in victory. This is not the case for 2020. While Mank received the most nominations, it missed in key races like Original Screenplay and Editing. None of the precursors nods have resulted in wins.
Oldman is firmly behind Boseman, Hopkins, and Ahmed as far as chances for winning and might even be fifth when you take Steven Yeun (Minari) into account.
My Case Of posts will continue with Oldman’s Mank costar Amanda Seyfried…
The fourth contender is up in what has become the most fascinating competition at the Oscars (Best Actress) with Frances McDormand in Nomadland. If you missed coverage on the first three (Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman), they’re here:
The Case for Frances McDormand
She’s starring in the Oscar favorite for Best Picture and Director with one of her most acclaimed roles. That’s saying a lot. Nomadland marks McDormand’s sixth nomination overall. She’s been nominated thrice in supporting for Mississippi Burning, Almost Famous, and North Country where’s she 0 for 3. However, in her previous Best Actress plays, she’s 2 for 2 with Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Just this weekend McDormand took the award at BAFTA and there is a 9/10 Oscar match from 2010-2019. Added to that is the history she would make. By taking three Best Actress honors, she would become only the second woman ever to do so (Katherine Hepburn received 4).
The Case Against Frances McDormand
This is as unpredictable a race as it gets. While McDormand’s BAFTA is a sure sign that’s she in this, other precursors have not followed suit. Viola Davis is the SAG recipient. Andra Day took the Golden Globes and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) is the Critics Choice honoree. All stand reasonable chances and there could be a feeling that McDormand has been there and done that (twice). In an interesting stat, only one Best Actress winner in the 21st century has seen her film take the big prize (Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby).
The BAFTA vaults McDormand into even more serious consideration to take Oscar #3 in a race that seems to be coming down to the wire.
My Case Of posts will continue with Gary Oldman in Mank…
Thomas Vinterberg’s direction of the Danish dramedy Another Round is my next Case Of post in that race. If you missed the previous ones covering Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), and David Fincher (Mank), they’re right here:
The Case for Thomas Vinterberg:
Another Round has emerged as the favorite to win Best International Feature Film at the April 25th ceremony and, just today, took the BAFTA for its version of that category. His nomination came as a pretty massive surprise so there’s clearly some voters with him on their minds…
The Case Against Thomas Vinterberg:
OK, now let’s real. The fact that his nod practically came out of nowhere means his winning changes are next to none. Most notably, Round was not nominated in Best Picture. In order for its director to take the gold, their movie kinda has to get a mention. Had it landed in the big race (or even star Mads Mikkelsen getting into Best Actor), this might be a more serious conversation.
Vinterberg making the final five cut is the victory. The other four filmmakers not named Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) are all far behind her. Vinterberg is the furthest.
My Case Of posts will continue with Frances McDormand in Nomadland…