Oscars 2016: Wave of 90’s and 00’s Supporting Actresses in Play?


freeheldThe supporting ladies have been a great place to re-discover great talent as we saw this past year with Patricia Arquette winning for “Boyhood.”  This year, there are a great crop of unrecognized talent that are aching for long, overdue recognition from the Academy.  This year, I’m looking to the glorious star that is Jennifer Jason Leigh who will have the main female role in Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.”  After critics vocalized their disdain for the treatment of Kerry Washington’s character in “Django Unchained” a few years back (I thought she was fantastic in a very underwritten role), here’s hoping that QT gives JJL something substantial to chew on.  

Next on the docket is Parker Posey in Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man.”  Posey’s career has been highlighted with performances in “The House of Yes,” “Broken English,” and on TV’s “Louie.”  Woody, who is notorious for shining the light on his Supporting Actresses, is a good bet for a career nomination and maybe even a win.

After Jessica Chastain was passed over for “Interstellar” and “A Most Violent Year” this year, her upcoming role in Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” is said to have some heft to it.  As expected with Chastain, she has a bit of releases scheduled for this year including “Crimson Peak” which could factor in.  They may feel inclined to wait for her upcoming role as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde” in 2016 (or make a last minute shift into the Oscar race this year?).  

Kristen Stewart became the first American woman (second American overall) to win a Cesar for her role in “Clouds of Sils Maria.”   As expected, that carried into some great publicity for her.  Despite an early release date in April (remember that “Budapest Hotel” opened in February), Stewart can ride some wave of critical love into a nomination, especially with other roles in “Anesthesia” and “Equals” scheduled for later this year. 

Rachel McAdams hasn’t had her moment in the limelight yet.  Her closest run was for “The Notebook” over a decade ago.  These days, she’s making a great living in independent cinema like last year’s “A Most Wanted Man.”  Opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in “Southpaw” could provide her an opportunity to be the Amy Adams of the year.  

Todd Haynes’ “Carol” has a plethora of female roles to choose from and chances are Sarah Paulson and Rooney Mara could be the standouts for a supporting nomination.  Though Mara could be campaigned in Lead alongside Cate Blanchett if and when it comes into discussion.  Laura Linney (or as we lovingly dub her the “awards thief” around these parts) will have a role in “Genius” which could build some momentum.  Naomi Watts has been in and out of the conversation for the past few years and in “The Sea of Trees,” there’s no telling how big her role will be.  Van Sant does great things for his actors.  

Amy Ryan has “Bridge of Spies” while Julia Roberts has a double dose of “The Secret in their Eyes” and “Money Monster.”  Film fans have been standing on the rooftops for us to pay attention to Brie Larson‘s role in “Room” which could go to either category at the moment.  After “Short Term 12” failed to gain traction, I’m excited for her to have another Oscar vehicle.  My new Julianne Moore in life is Joan Allen, who also has a role in the film as well.  

Speaking of Julianne Moore, she’s back in the hunt as well with “Freeheld” opposite Ellen Page and her work in “Map to the Stars” is still a highlight of the year.   Supporting Actress is notorious for double dipping so look to Shailene Woodley and Melissa Leo in “Snowden” or Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep in “Suffragette” or Winona Ryder and Taryn Manning in “Experimenter.”  

Once an Oscar goddess, Renee Zellweger is back with more than a new look in “The Whole Truth” which could start a narrative for a comeback.  And then there’s SNL standout Vanessa Bayer in Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” who can only be awesome as she is in the show.  The trailer was quite impressive and Bayer looks just as vital as co-star Amy Schumer.  Sound off on the rest of the contenders.  There’s more to come.




    #KristenStewart love

  • Nick

    I’m honestly expecting that this could be Meryl Streep’s fourth Oscar. She’s gotten two Golden Globes and an Oscar for the last two biopics she’s done and she’s playing one of the most powerful and well-known suffragettes in history and Emmeline Pankhurst wasn’t a feminist who kicked down black people to help her cause which makes her so much better. I’d be surprised if Leigh or Stewart or Paulson (maybe) didn’t get nominated but looking at it this is Streep’s. Even is Suffragette tanks that won’t stop her (Iron Lady proved that) from showing up and I’ll bet now that she’s taking it.

    • Nikos Jordan

      This might be true, but I’ve heard that her role in the film is more of a cameo. The real supporting actress contender in that film will likely be Helena Bonham Carter.

      • Nick

        I hope not. I thought she had top billing after Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan? Good luck to all three of them but isn’t Streep supposed to have a substantial role in the film?

      • Taylor Cuch

        I’ve read the same. Meryl might have a better shot at campaigning for the lead in Ricki and The Flash, she looks kick ass in it.

    • Taylor Cuch

      Hey Nick I just read that James White got picked up by The Film Arcade and is set for a Fall Release. They’re also promising an aggressive awards campaign for Cynthia Nixon and Christopher Abbott. I read this and got excited as shit and remembered we were talking supporting and lead contenders. If she actually gets this one she’ll have her EGOT right?

      • Nick T

        I guess! I can’t find anything about this movie but if it’s good and high profile she could definitely show up and hell yeah she could win. Granted there’s still a lot of time left and most movies that could really compete in this category aren’t really out yet and honestly there are already narratives in play that could upstage the idea of a Cynthia Nixon nomination/win but still if it’s a killer performance she could totally make it in if it’s done right.

  • fdh

    Jennifer Aniston for She’s Funny That Way directed by Peter Bogdanovich … ? All the critics praised her.

  • Lisy Stewart9

    My one prediction:
    1.- Kristen Stewart for Sils Maria

  • luke reeds

    I really hope rachel mcadams gets nominated,she is one of the most underrated actresses out there. suprised she hasnt been nominated for a substantial award yet

  • Taylor Cuch

    Here is my early prediction
    Best Supporting Actress
    – Rooney Mara, Carol
    – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful 8
    – Cynthia Nixon, Stockholm, Pennsylvania/James White
    – Kristen Wiig, The Martian/Nasty Baby
    – Julia Roberts, The Secret in Their Eyes
    – Emily Blunt, Sicario
    – Naomie Harris, Southpaw
    – Melissa Leo, Snowden

    • Nick T

      I think Blunt’s supposed to be lead in her film. Other than that your line up looks pretty cool! It’d be fun if Wiig was there next year.

      • Taylor Cuch

        Ahhhh okay, good to know man. Yea I’m really excited about Cynthia Nixon and Kristen Wiig. Nixon has proved herself in theater, it’d be awesome to see her shatter the sex and the city role that’s basically synonymous with her name. Wiig was awesome in Skeleton Twins but I think she can dig deeper, hopefully she proves me right this year. What are you predicting for Best Actress Nick?

        • Nick T

          Ohh if Nixon does well that’d be amazing. Maybe she could finally complete that EGOT. That’d be amazing. I’m predicting Cate Blanchett for sure being there, after her it’ll probably be Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Lily Tomlin, and Angelina Jolie. Emily Blunt, Emma Stone and Gugu Mbatha-Raw would be reaaallly cool but I’m not totally expecting it. What about you?

          • Nick T

            Wait did you mean Supporting Actress instead?

            • Taylor Cuch

              No, I meant Lead lol. I’m predicting Saoirse Ronan, she got awesome reviews for her performance in Brooklyn at Sundance along with Lily Tomlin for Grandma (which I’m sure you’re well aware lol). Cate Blanchett for Carol as well. Marion Cotillard for Macbeth and Meryl Streep for Ricki and The Flash. I would LOVE to see Gugu Mbatha-Raw nominated, especially because her performance in Beyond The Lights went un-awarded last season (travesty). I’m a huge Jolie fan so seeing her nominated for By The Sea would be a moment for me. I really wanted to see Nicole Kidman nominated again this year for Queen of the Desert but word is the movie is bad with an average performance, bummer. I’m also really excited to see Sarah Silverman in I Smile Back and would be a really exciting wild card for the season.

              • Nick T

                Shit I forgot about Sarah Silverman. I hope she does well that’d be great. So who are your top five for lead and supporting actress?

                • Taylor Cuch

                  Updated Top Five for Supporting

                  – Julia Roberts, The Secret In Their Eyes
                  – Marion Cotillard, Macbeth
                  – Cynthia Nixon, James White
                  – Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Concussion
                  – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

            • Taylor Cuch

              What is your prediction for Supporting anyway??? Interested to hear…

              • Nick T

                Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sarah Paulson, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart and Meryl Streep. If Marion Cotillard and Carmen Ejogo are going supporting I could see them being major players too, same goes for Rooney Mara. Maybe not Oscars but for preliminaries? Wiig and Nixon would be cool too but I’m not expecting them to really have a huge impact unless they’re really good and recognized. Joan Allen applies there too.