Friday, February 23, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The competition: Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), and Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

Previous winners: Viola Davis, Alicia Vikander, Patricia Arquette, Lupita N’yongo, Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Spencer, who won in 2011 for “The Help” and was nominated again last year for “Hidden Figures,” is the only returning nominee. Blige is also recognized for writing the nominated song from her film. Manville, Metcalf, and Spencer have their films nominated for Best Picture, though that’s hardly relevant to the outcome of this race. Janney has taken the Golden Globe, the SAG, the BAFTA, and the Critics’ Choice Award.

Who should win: I think there were other much more deserving performances in Blige’s film than hers, and so her inclusion here and throughout awards season is a mystery to me. Manville was a terrific part of her film, though I would have rather seen her nominated back in 2010 for her film-stealing performance in “Another Year.” Janney was extremely funny, and so was Metcalf, so I’d be fine with either of them as well as Spencer, who manages to play a similar role in so many movies yet make every character stand apart in a great way.

Who will win: While Metcalf might have more nominations for her film, Janney has been charging through awards season on the merits of her performance alone, so I can’t imagine what would stop her now.

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