Oscar Campaigns and Categories Confirmed for Claire Foy, Melissa Leo, Cynthia Nixon, and Algee Smith

Over the weekend we learned of a few category confirmations for the upcoming awards season, many of which weren’t too surprising.

One of the first is that Algee Smith, who plays Larry Reed in Kathryn Bigelow’s critically acclaimed “Detroit,” will campaign in Lead Actor for the Oscars.  In a film that skews more of an ensemble, if there is someone to pluck from the film as a lead performer, it’s surely Smith.  The 22-year-old, who got his start on BET’s mini-series titled “The New Edition Story, garnered many notices for his heartwrenching and stunning portrayal of a man caught in the crosshairs of the Detroit Riots in 1967.  His co-stars Will Poulter and John Boyega will also make their Oscar bids in Supporting Actor.  Annapurna Pictures, the distribution production company headed by Oscar-nominee Megan Ellison, is very confident that “Detroit” will be remembered come awards time.

More news dropped during the weekend that Claire Foy, the recently Emmy-nominated actress from Netflix’s “The Crown,” will campaign in Supporting Actress for her work in Andy Serkis’ directorial debut “Breathe” from Bleecker Street.  Said to be a performance that can go either way in terms of category placement, her chances at Oscar attention have now increased as Supporting Actress is far less competitive this year than Lead Actress.  With co-star Andrew Garfield garnering his fair share of raves, especially following his first nomination last year for “Hacksaw Ridge,” they may become a packaged deal if they catch on during the precursor season.  Look back to nominees like Eddie Redmayne/Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and Benedict Cumberbatch/Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”), when one performer seems to outshine the other, one pulls another in.

For months it was rumored that Academy Award winner Melissa Leo was debating on a Lead Actress run for her role in Margaret Betts’ “Novitiate” from Sony Pictures Classics.  It has now been solidified that she will campaign in Supporting Actress to go up against other contenders that include Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“Darkest Hour”), and the aforementioned Claire Foy.  Leo won an Academy Award in 2010 for Best Supporting Actress in David O. Russell’s “The Fighter.”  She was also nominated in 2009 for Best Actress for her performance of a single-mother involved in border smuggling in Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River.”

Not necessarily category placement news but it has been learned that Cynthia Nixon‘s camp is mounting a campaign for her work as Emily Dickinson in “A Quiet Passion.” The Emmy-winning actress of “Sex and the City” has continued to show her range for years with well-received performances in “James White” and “Rampart.”  Already one of the best parts in the not-so-well-received “The Only Living Boy in New York,” there’s a shot she may be able to rally support with a precise campaign focusing on SAG and TV voters.

Nixon is only an Academy Award away from achieving “E.G.O.T.” status (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award).  The 51-year-old actress won two Primetime Emmy Awards (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Sex and the City” in 2004 and Guest Actress in a Drama Series for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2008), one Grammy (Best Spoken Word Album in 2009, which was shared with Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood), and two Tony Awards (Best Actress in a Play for “Rabbit Hole” in 2008 and Best Featured Actress in a Play for “The Little Foxes” earlier this year).

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MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE |