Friday, February 26, 2016

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

The competition: Jennifer Jason Leigh’s captured convict (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara’s impressionable salesgirl (Carol), Rachel McAdams’ determined reporter (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander’s supportive wife (The Danish Girl), and Kate Winslet’s loyal collaborator (Steve Jobs).

Previous winners: Patricia Arquette, Lupita N’yongo, Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo, Mo’Nique, Penelope Cruz, Tilda Swinton
My winner: Olivia Cooke
The facts: This is the seventh nomination for Winslet, who won in 2008 for "The Reader." Mara was nominated once before, in 2012 for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." This is the first nomination for Leigh, McAdams, and Vikander. Only McAdams' film is nominated for Best Picture, not that it matters too much in this category. Winslet won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, but in both those cases Vikander, who won the SAG Award and the Critics Choice Award, was nominated in the lead race.

Who should win: Leigh was entertaining in her film, but she wasn't the best of her talented cast (that honor goes to Walton Goggins). That's even truer for McAdams, who didn't add much to a lackluster role in a very strong film. Mara and Vikander are both questionable leads, but that doesn't hurt them, especially since they eclipse their Oscar-winning costars. I thought Vikander was terrific and I would love to see her win, but I also remember just how superb Winslet was in her underrated film. It would be a far more deserving victory than the film she actually won the Oscar for back in 2008.
Who will win: I'm not secure at all in the fact that Vikander will triumph, but it seems likely since she's won a handful of awards and really does stand out in her film. Leigh and McAdams don't have enough buzz to win, and Mara's film didn't receive a warm enough welcome for her to prevail. Winslet is the only one who might win, but I don't think voters loved the film enough to reward her with a second Oscar so soon.

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