Six Spot #10: Best Supporting Actress 2008

Contenders for the Six Spot con’t

Taraji P. Henson

Spoiler Alert: Neither Cruz nor Davis were the Six Spot, clearly. In each case, the actress had the proper precursors to merit “lock” status coming into Oscar morning. Surely Winslet nabbed more votes their either, but nevertheless fewer votes than she nabbed in Lead. Therefore, I’m declaring that only the three remaining nominees—all of which missed critical precursors—were the real contenders for the Six Spot. Now to see which one was barely a nominee.

Taraji P. Henson had the smallest pre-Oscar haul of any of these actresses. However, that does not automatically mean she was the Six Spot. Indeed, did we ever expect this relative unknown to manage a nomination from the celebrity-loving Hollywood Foreign Press? Or from the BAFTAs? In her favor, however, is the film she was in. David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a Sound Editing nomination away from being one of the most nominated films in Oscar history. Does this mean any actor in the film was a surefire nominee? Not exactly. The Academy didn’t spring for Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett just one year after she was a double nominee! Henson did score the ever-important SAG nomination, though.

Marisa Tomei won her Oscar for a classic, side-splitting performance in My Cousin Vinny. Since then, she’s done more dramatic roles. Indeed, her bare-all performance in The Wrestler is no exception. Despite nabbing critical Golden Globe, BAFTA, and BFCA nominations, the SAG voters declined to extend an invitation to Tomei. How important could SAG have been in the face of a wall of other precursors and a much-buzzed career revitalization?

Amy Adams scored just her second Oscar nomination for her subdued performance in Doubt. Many thought that Adams’ performance was not expressive enough to land her a nomination, but in the end she landed one. Surely, too, the Globe, BAFTA, and SAG nominations helped. This is a classic example of the televised award shows coming to the aide of a performance that was never going to capture the passion of critics.

Without further ado, I think the Six Spot for the 2008 Best Supporting Actress race was….