2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Supporting Actress

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

(UPDATED: MARCH 11, 2015)

The 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.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Jennifer Jason Leigh

The Hateful Eight
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COMMENTARY:
Everyone sat and waited patiently to see if "Margot at the Wedding" was going to provide an opportunity to recognize this talented actress after missing out for "Georgia" (and many others). A role in Quentin Tarantino's film could be good enough for her to make a play.
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2. Parker Posey

Irrational Man
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COMMENTARY:
Parker Posey is a very diverse actress who's able to transform herself into many different roles. Woody Allen may have the magic touch with her for the Academy.
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3. Jessica Chastain

The Martian
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COMMENTARY:
Ridley Scott has been off lately but Chastain is NEVER off. She could be a standout.
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4. Rachel McAdams

Southpaw
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Rachel McAdams was once one of those actresses we KNEW would win an Oscar someday. Her work in independent cinema suggests we may have been right. Hopefully this Antoine Fuqua boxing film gives her a shot.
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5. Kristen Stewart

Clouds of Sils Maria
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Winning the Cesar was a huge thing to overcome. The "Twilight" days seem firmly behind her and this would be a smart recognition tool for the Academy to use for ratings (not that the voters think about that). This could carry her all year though.

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THE NEXT FIVE

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6. Sarah Paulson

Carol
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Paulson is an astounding actress. "12 Years a Slave" was just as about her performance than anyone else's. A role in Todd Haynes' film sounds like something that could surprise.
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7. Laura Linney

Genius
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COMMENTARY:
Cause she's Laura Linney and she can edge out Angelina Jolie and Jessica Chastain at any ceremony where she's in contention.
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8. Naomi Watts

The Sea of Trees
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COMMENTARY:
Big year planned for her. Something should stick.
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9. Amy Ryan

Bridge of Spies
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Former Oscar nominee who was just in a Best Picture winner. Spielberg may be just what she needs.
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10. Brie Larson

Room
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COMMENTARY:
This could go LEAD but a Supporting campaign with the breakout she's had over the past two years could get her firmly in the race.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Julianne Moore

Freeheld
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She just won. Role sounds like a tear-jerker. After glow nominations occur often.
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12. Melanie Laurent

By the Sea
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"Inglourious Basterds" was a good start. She needs a finishing nomination.
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13. Adele Exarchopoulos

The Last Face
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Sean Penn directing. Still has fans from "Blue is the Warmest Color"
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14. Julia Roberts

Money Monster
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Oscar royalty.
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15. Cate Blanchett

Truth
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Oscar royalty Part 2.
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16. Melissa Leo

Snowden
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Cause her "CONSIDER" campaign will be everywhere no matter what the reviews.
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17. Shailene Woodley

Snowden
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Playing Snowden's girlfriend. A role that can be sympathetic.
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18. Vanessa Bayer

Trainwreck
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We can only pray.
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19. Helena Bonham Carter

Suffragette
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Lots of internal competition but someone can standout.
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20. Joan Allen

Room
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Cause she's the new Oscar-less goddess that they must reward.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Renee Zellweger – The Whole Truth

22 Julia Roberts – The Secret in Their Eyes

23 Berenice Bejo – The Childhood of a Leader

24 Meryl Streep – Suffragette

25 Kirsten Dunst – Midnight Special

26 Julianne Moore – Map to the Stars

27 Rachel McAdams – Aloha

28 Dakota Johnson – A Bigger Splash

29 Keira Knightley – Everest

30 Toni Collette – Miss You Already

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 Winona Ryder – Experimenter

32 Ayelet Zurer – Last Days in the Desert

33 Lola Kirke – Mistress America

34 Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Concussion

35 Taryn Manning – Experimenter

36 Romola Garai – Suffragette

37 Christina Ricci – Mothers Day

38 Cate Blanchett – Cinderella

39 Lupita Nyong’o – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

40 Glenn Close – The Great Gilly Hopkins

*=could go LEAD
**=could be pushed to 2015

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