Welcome to Circuit Chat! Each Wednesday that Circuit Chat lands, we’ll be talking about a specific category either in depth or a particular film or narrative taking place through the season. Think of this as Clayton’s Oscar Circuit, but about one race rather than all of them! For example: the potentially historic strength of the Best Actress race. Fences‘ potential to win the Big Five. Or, as we discuss today, the potential for the first sibling v. sibling acting race since 1966.
Smart money in Supporting Actress is on either Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) or Naomie Harris (Moonlight). Williams and Harris top Clayton’s predictions, flanked by Kristen Stewart (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) and the Sisters Fanning, the latter being the topic of our post today.
The overall buzz for Ewan McGregor‘s American Pastoral, is still unclear (though it is playing TIFF). However, as Trumbo, The Danish Girl, Joy, 45 Years, Creed, Steve Jobs, and The Hateful Eight taught us, you don’t need to be beloved to land an acting nomination. Thus, American Pastoral could get lukewarm buzz and reception, but Dakota Fanning could still be standing at the end. Sometimes these situations are “representation of the film” type scenarios, other times it’s sheer strength of performance.
On the flip side, there’s Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women. It is already being bandied about as The Film That Will Get Annette Bening Her 5th Oscar Nomination [and 5th Loss]. While the studio will be focusing on Bening, I hear Elle Fanning is the star of the film. If the voters watch the movie and plan to give Bening a nod, it reasons that residual votes could make Fanning the “Tom Hardy” of 2016. Clayton was well on record during the season of the plurality of votes that Hardy would receive as a result of Best Actor winner Leonardo DiCaprio running the gauntlet in the category. Same instance could occur.