A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Supporting Actress

Wrapping up my look back at the 110 Oscar nominees and 20 winners that have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man in 2008 and continuing through its next two releases (Black Widow and The Eternals), we arrive at Best Supporting Actress. If you missed my posts for the lead races and Supporting Actor, you can find them here:




Supporting Actress has the least number of nominees (19), but equals the most victories with six (tying Best Actor). We start with those six gold recipients:

Tilda Swinton, who appeared in Doctor Strange, won in 2007 for Michael Clayton

Marisa Tomei, Aunt May in the Spider-Man pics, was a surprise victor in 1992 for My Cousin Vinny

Cate Blanchett, the villainess in Thor: Ragnarok, in 2004 for The Aviator

Lupita Nyong’o, of Black Panther, for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave

Rachel Weisz, who’s in the forthcoming Black Widow, for 2005’s The Constant Gardner

Angelina Jolie, who will appear in The Eternals, in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted

As for the 13 other nominees:

Scarlett Johansson, aka Black Widow, for last year’s Jojo Rabbit

Natalie Portman, Thor’s flame, for 2004’s Closer

Glenn Close, who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, is a three-time nominee in this category for 1982’s The World According to Garp, 1983’s The Big Chill, and 1984’s The Natural

Rachel McAdams, also of Doctor Strange, for 2015’s Spotlight

Marisa Tomei was nominated twice more after her Vinny win for 2001’s In the Bedroom and 2008’s The Wrestler

Cate Blanchett received two additional nods for 2006’s Notes on a Scandal and 2007’s I’m Not There

Annette Bening, from Captain Marvel, for 1990’s The Grifters

Florence Pugh, costar of the upcoming Black Widow, for last year’s Little Women

Rachel Weisz received another nod for 2018’s The Favourite 

And that concludes my look back on the MCU and its Oscar pedigree. Hope you enjoyed!

A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing with my series showcasing the voluminous amount of Oscar nominees and winners that have appeared in the 25 Marvel Cinematic Universe pictures (including the upcoming Black Widow and The Eternals), we arrive at Best Supporting Actor.

If you missed my previous posts covering the lead performers in Actor and Actress, you can find them here:



Supporting Actor, of the four acting categories, contains the most nominees at 36. However, there are only 4 wins represented. As a reminder, the MCU has given us 110 total nominees and 20 golden recipients.

Let’s start with the four gentlemen who made a trip to the podium:

Sam Rockwell, who costarred in Iron Man 2, took gold in 2017 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri 

Tommy Lee Jones, who appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, emerged victorious in 1993 for The Fugitive

Benicio del Toro, who memorably appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, won in 2000 for Traffic

J.K. Simmons, who popped up in Spider-Man: Far From Home reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson from the original Spidey trilogy, won in 2014 for Whiplash

And now the 29 additional performers who received nods:

Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., received a nomination in 2008 for Tropic Thunder

Jeff Bridges, the Iron Man villain, is a four-time nominee for 1971’s The Last Picture Show, 1974’s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 2000’s The Contender, and Hell or High Water in 2016

Samuel L. Jackson, who has played Nick Fury in numerous MCU entries, got a nod in 1994 for Pulp Fiction

Edward Norton, who was the Hulk before Mark Ruffalo, is a two-time nominee for 1996’s Primal Fear and 2014’s Birdman

Tim Roth, bad guy in Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, for 1995’s Rob Roy

William Hurt, whose MCU appearances also began in The Incredible Hulk, for 2005’s A History of Violence

Sam Rockwell was nominated a year after his Billboards win in 2018 for Vice

Anthony Hopkins, Thor’s dad, for 1997’s Amistad and last year’s The Two Popes

Stanley Tucci, also of Captain America: First Avenger, in 2010 for The Lovely Bones

Mark Ruffalo is a three-time nominee: 2010’s The Kids Are All Right, 2014’s Foxcatcher, and in 2015 for Spotlight

Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, in 2010’s The Town

Ben Kingsley, from Iron Man 3, is a two-time mention for 1991’s Bugsy and 2001’s Sexy Beast

Benicio del Toro also received a nomination for 2003’s 21 Grams

Bradley Cooper, Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, for 2013’s American Hustle

Djimon Hounsou, who first appeared in Guardians, for both 2003’s In America and 2006’s Blood Diamond

John C. Reilly, another Guardians performer, for 2002’s Chicago

Josh Brolin, aka Thanos, for 2008’s Milk

Sylvester Stallone, who appeared in the Guardians sequel, for 2015’s Creed

Matt Damon, who had a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, for Invictus in 2009

Jude Law, from Captain Marvel, received a nomination 20 years earlier for The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jake Gyllenhaal, villain for Spider-Man: Far From Home, for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain

And that does it for now, folks! I’ll have Supporting Actress up in short order…



Oscar Watch: Cats

Yes, readers, the words Oscar and Cats are in the same post title, so get on board! Truthfully, this shouldn’t be surprising at all. The adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical comes from director Tom Hooper. His last three films (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl) garnered a total of 24 nominations and 8 wins, including Speech nabbing Best Picture. Each one of them gave us one acting winner – Colin Firth in Speech, Anne Hathaway in Miserables, and Alicia Vikander for Danish. 

So to say Cats had potential awards pedigree is not an understatement. Had being the objective term. One day before its release, the review embargo is up. Note to everyone: Oscar contenders don’t lapse their embargo 24 hours before release.

This has proven accurate as the Rotten Tomatoes score for Cats is currently… 19%. Some reviews are of a mixed nature while others are deeming it an unmitigated disaster. Weeks ago, the prospect of a Jennifer Hudson nod in Supporting Actress seemed at least feasible. There will be no second nomination for the Dreamgirls winner.

That said, Cats is definitely contending in one race. Earlier this week, the Academy released their shortlist for Visual Effects nominees. Ten pictures were named and this is one of them. This seems potentially amusing as a number of reviews say the visual look is ugly and garish. I don’t expect this to make the final five and I foresee chatter as to how this got on the shortlist over material like Ad Astra and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Could this show up in other races like Production Design or Makeup and Hairstyling? That seems like a reach.

The one category where Cats did seem like a genuine player was Best Original Song via “Beautiful Ghosts”. That track is sung by costar Taylor Swift and it seemed like a good excuse for the Academy to get her on the stage. Surprisingly, “Ghosts” was excluded from the 15 finalists that were also named this week.

I’ve ended dozens and dozens of these Oscar Watch posts with “My Oscar Watch posts will continue…”. Indeed they will. However, this appears to be the final one of 2019. Have no fear as the Sundance Film Festival is around the corner in January and there’s always Oscar bait at that event. Therefore, my Oscar Watch posts will continue… in 2020. And in the meantime, my predictions for this year’s Academy nominees will continue as well.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Movie Review

For the MCU superhero who spends the most time flying through the air, the two stand-alone Spider-Man pics often feel the most grounded. Looking back on my review of predecessor Homecoming, I used that same word and stated that it worked best in its scenes with Peter Parker out of the suit. It helps that Tom Holland is the most suited for the role over Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Nearly anything would appear more down to earth after the gargantuan epics that were the last two Avengers movies (in which Spidey appeared along with the full and massive roster of heroes). In Far From Home, the scales seem significantly smaller for a while. When Endgame culminated (and stop reading if you haven’t seen it), Peter’s mentor Tony Stark/Iron Man had once again saved the world but lost his life doing it. This is the first MCU title since and the planet is still mourning the Avengers head honcho. It’s more personal for Peter and he’s looking forward to a European class trip over the summer. He wants to hang up the Spidey gear and concentrate on capturing the affections of his crush MJ (Zendaya).

So when Peter trots off to Venice with MJ, his trusty best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and other classmates, he does so after ignoring persistent phone calls from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Yet Fury is a hard man to scorn and he tracks him down. It turns out Mr. Stark saw Peter as his ultimate successor (he’s gifted his glasses which serve other purposes besides looking cool). And there’s work to do as havoc wreaking creatures called the Elementals are endangering the populace. Enter a new character that goes by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). He’s from another dimension (multi-verse if you will) and steps into the shoes of new mentor for our vacationing web slinger.

Naturally (and the trailers didn’t really hide this), Mysterio is not totally as advertised and that sets up more duties for Spidey when he’s just wishing for MJ’s love and some R & R. For the first half of Home, it feels light and even more so considering the stakes of Infinity War and Endgame. That’s not unwelcome as the chemistry between Holland and Zendaya is charming and appropriately awkward. Speaking of romance, Tony’s right hand man Happy (Jon Favreau) is back with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) eyeing him as her potential full time man.

The world, however, isn’t going to save itself and the second half is filled with the Marvel CG action set pieces we expect. Of course, they’re expertly crafted but they can’t help but feel a little smaller after the Avengers extravaganzas. There is some Doctor Strange style sequences that seemed more appropriate in that MCU offering.

Far From Home eventually hints at larger universes that we already know exist. Spidey will enter back into them and he’s fighting large scale battles here in the end. Just like Homecoming, the quieter moments work better and that especially applies to ones with Peter and MJ. The MCU does continue a winning streak of more than passable villains and Gyllenhaal seems to be savoring his crack at it. The MCU also has a trend of some sequels topping their originals (think Thor and Captain America). I’d actually put this a slight notch below its direct predecessor and that’s still enough to make this a suitably passable entry.

*** (out of four)

August 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (08/07): My Scary Stories prediction has risen from $10.7 million to $14.3 million

After several weeks of one giant blockbuster hopeful debuting and having the weekend to itself, a quintet of mid tier titles open in this second weekend of August. We have the kid friendly Dora and the Lost City of Gold based on the Nickelodeon series, PG-13 horror flick Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Melissa McCarthy/Tiffany Haddish crime thriller The Kitchen, dog tale The Art of Racing in the Rain, and wrongful imprisonment drama Brian Banks all out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all of them here:






Some weekends, it’s fairly easy to project the order of the top five. This isn’t one of them. A couple of things seem highly likely. After a decent start that was still on the bottom end of expectations, Hobbs & Shaw should manage to repeat in first place. I will say a drop of over 50% is where I see it landing in the sophomore frame.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold seems poised to have to biggest premiere of the five newbies. However, my high teens projection puts it in third behind The Lion King.

I have Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Kitchen, and The Art of Racing in the Rain all in the high single digits to low double digits range and all behind the third weekend of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

As for Brian Banks, its lack of promotion and lowly 1500 theater count means my $2.3 million prediction means it shouldn’t even compete for the top five.

So on this weekend of multiple new releases, my top seven take:

1. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $27.5 million

2. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $20.2 million

3. Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Predicted Gross: $19.7 million

4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

6. The Kitchen

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million

Box Office Results (August 24)

Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw cruised over holdover competition as anticipated, but it couldn’t match the starting earnings of the last several traditional franchise entries. It took in $60 million, under my take of $72.6 million.

The Lion King was second after two weeks of dominance with $38.5 million, right on pace with my $38.7 million projection. The massive total stands at $431 million.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was third in weekend #2 with $20 million, in line with my $20.7 million prediction. The two week haul is $78 million.

SpiderMan: Far From Home took fourth with $7.9 million (I said $7.1 million) for $360 million overall.

Toy Story 4 rounded out the top five with $7.3 million (I was slightly lower with $6.6 million) for a take of $410 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

August 2-4 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (07/31): My Hobbs & Shaw estimate has dropped from $82.6 million to $72.6 million

It might be the last blockbuster of the summer 2019 season as Hobbs & Shaw debuts in the first frame of August. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham headline the first spin-off of the Fast and Furious franchise. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:


While I don’t have it quite reaching the heights of the last three traditional Fast features, my low 80s projection revs it up for an easy and solid #1 debut, knocking The Lion King from its two week perch atop the charts.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood should slip to third after a fine start (more on that below) with mega hit holdovers SpiderMan: Far From Home and Toy Story 4 filling out the top five.

There is a potential wild card this weekend with The Farewell. The Awkwafina led comedy has been a winner with critics and performed quite well in limited release. It’s slated for nationwide expansion on Friday. However, without a theater count, I’m not totally comfortable placing it in the top five. That could change and I’ll update my post if so.

Here’s how I have the weekend playing out:

1. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $72.6 million

2. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $38.7 million

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $20.7 million

4. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

5. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

Box Office Results (July 2628)

The Lion King, as anticipated, had no trouble staying put in first in weekend #2, though it did drop a bit further than many (including I) figured. The Disney smash grossed $76.6 million (down 60%) compared to my $86.5 million take. In ten days, King has brought in a ransom of $351 million.

Quentin Tarantino achieved the biggest traditional Friday to Sunday debut of his career with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. With $41 million (I was a touch lower at $38.7 million), the film capitalized on great reviews and the considerable star wattage of Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. It will be interesting to see how Hollywood legs out with a so-so B CinemaScore grade in future weekends.

SpiderMan: Far From Home was third with $12.4 million (I said $13 million) to bring its tally to $344 million.

Toy Story 4 had the four spot at $10.4 million, in line with my $10.8 million prediction. Total is $396 million.

I incorrectly had Crawl outside the high five, but it was fifth with $4 million to bring its three week earnings to $31 million.

Yesterday was sixth with $3 million (I went with $3.6 million) for an impressive $63 million overall.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

July 26-28 Box Office Predictions

Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is the sole fresh wide release this weekend. It looks to have a strong second place showing behind the sophomore frame of the record breaking The Lion King. You can find my detailed prediction post on it here:


I have Mr. Tarantino’s ninth feature just barely topping his previous traditional weekend opening earner from a decade ago, Inglourious Basterds. My original estimate put it in the mid 40s, but I’ve had a gut feeling over the weekend that it won’t quite hit $40 million.

As for the behemoth King, I see a dip in the mid 50s range that would put it in the mid 80s. That’s similar to the drop experienced by last summer’s Incredibles 2.

SpiderMan: Far From Home looks to be third with Toy Story 4 in fourth position. I look for Yesterday to vault over Crawl to remain in fifth place.

And with that, my take on the late July weekend ahead:

1. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $86.5 million

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $38.7 million

3. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

4. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

Box Office Results (July 1921)

Disney’s magical summer continued in two significant ways. The Lion King easily broke the all time July record with a roaring $191.7 million and that’s right in line with my $192.7 million projection. That captures the high mark previously set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by over $20 million.

Secondly, Avengers: Endgame took the #1 spot as the largest worldwide hit in history. At $2.7 billion, it has now edged out Avatar.

After two weeks on top, SpiderMan: Far From Home slipped to second with $21.2 million compared to my $22.4 million take. The three week tally is $319 million.

Toy Story 4 was third with $15.5 million as it elevated over my $13.2 million forecast. Total is $376 million with $400 million in its sights.

Crawl was fourth in weekend #2 with $6 million (I said $5.4 million) for $23 million in two weeks.

Yesterday rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it outside of that. The musical dramedy made $5 million for $57 million overall.

I had Aladdin holding stronger than it did at $5.5 million. It made $4 million for seventh place behind Stuber ($4.1 million). This Mouse Factory live action rendering is up to $340 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…