2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Supporting Actress
Today is Best Supporting Actress, a category that began as something you really weren’t sure about to now probably one of the safer categories of the night. Which is why I always tell people not to make any decisions about things until all the information is in. Too often do people overreact to one piece of the puzzle without looking at the entire thing.
A month ago, you’d have had absolutely no idea who was gonna win this category. Two weeks ago, you’d have went, “Wait, is she really gonna win this?” And now, you go, “Oh, yeah, she’s gonna win. That makes total sense. It feels a bit like the escape in Cast Away. Where all he had to do was get over those initial rough waters and as long as he could weather that it was all smooth ocean from there on out.
Anyway, here’s Best Supporting Actress:
Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
This was a pretty easy category to guess throughout the process. Bakalova, Close, Colman and Youn had all the precursors you’d want to see and felt like really safe choices. Then… there was that fifth spot. And boy, were the choices varied. Helena Zengel was nominated for SAG and the Globes, but she’s a child in a movie that wasn’t doing that well and didn’t seem like a sure thing. And then there was Seyfried, who had the Globes nomination and a BFCA nomination, but was otherwise one of those nominees that we’ve seen not get nominated time and time again. Literally, it’s felt like every single year I have to talk myself and everyone else out of guessing someone like her because they never make the final list. And then there was Jodie Foster, who only got nominated at the Globes but won it. In the end, Seyfried did make the most sense, but I had to see them nominate her with my own eyes before I could believe it, just because of how many people walked that exact path and didn’t make it on. So yeah, that’s how we got this category.
5. Amanda Seyfried, Mank — Last one on, first one off. The nomination is the reward here. She’s too new, hasn’t really had a career they’re gonna look to nominate, the film’s got no momentum behind it… hard to imagine this coming through at all.
4. Olivia Colman, The Father — Respected actress, in a film that’s done really well, nominations-wise. However… she just won. And without any precursor wins it’s hard for me to imagine most people decide to vote for her. She feels like a fourth choice all around.
3. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy — Now I know the film is considered terrible, however… it’s Glenn Close. She’s got eight nominations and no wins. SOME people will simply want to get her a statue and won’t like anything else enough to vote elsewhere. Also, and just hear me out on this — wouldn’t you feel better if you had her third instead of fifth if she ended up winning? We’re all gonna feel the same way about it (‘oh my god… but also good for her’), and since there’s absolutely no evidence to support anyone other than the top two choices, I think you gotta have her here just in case they try to pull some shit and sneak her a win.
2. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm — She’s won two precursors. Unfortunately they’re not the right two precursors to consider her the favorite. She was nominated for the Globes Best Actress in a Comedy, which is about the same as Supporting Actress, all things considered, and she won BFCA. Which, sure. Neither of those voting bodies have actual Academy members in them, so you can’t really consider them scripture as to what’s going to happen. Plus… it’s a Borat movie. I know people loved the performance, but there’s an extra gear that kicks in when people actually sit down to vote for these things where they start to get all high and mighty about the quality of the films they’re voting for. I had a hard time actually thinking she was gonna win until she lost SAG for that reason. Honestly part of me still thinks Glenn Close might be the secret #2 choice here, but I’ll refrain from trying to make that argument since it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Either way, currently the precursors say she’s second choice.
1. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari — She’s got a SAG win and she’s got a BAFTA win. And with the Globes going off the board with this category, most years she would be considered a straight lock. So I don’t know why anything would change now. Given this category, she seems like an easy winner. But even before that, the two precursors she’s won make her the decided favorite going into the ceremony.
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