Circuit Q&A: Potential Surprise Acting Nominees at the Oscars?

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Each year, there’s typically a performance that surprises on Oscar Nomination morning. One that doesn’t appear on places like the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, but still earns an Oscar bid. Precursors do often indicate who will be nominated. However, there are portrayals that defy those and bulldoze their way in. For this Circuit Q&A, we’re taking a look at  performances that could pull off a shocker this year.

The actors from the “Parasite” cast are the most likely. Particularly, Song Kang-ho in Best Supporting Actor and Cho Yeo-jeong in Best Supporting Actress. “Parasite” landed a Best Cast nomination at the SAG Awards despite the ensemble being full of unknowns. It’s an indication that the film has clear love within the industry. Since actors are behind it, either Song or Cho should achieve an Oscar bid.

Then there’s Alfre Woodard in Best Actress. Although “Clemency” suffered from a late release, Woodard is still a respected veteran. She’s a previous Oscar nominee for “Cross Creek” and has multiple Emmys on her mantle. Besides its release, the movie being a tough sell could hinder her chances. But as previously mentioned, Woodard’s stature could be enough for her to overcome both factors.

Meanwhile, “Marriage Story” seems to be a strong acting play. Yet, Alan Alda is being left out in the cold. That being said, Alda is not only a previous Oscar nominee for “The Aviator” but he snuck his way in for that film. Other than a lone BAFTA nomination, Alda had no precursor support, yet he still made the cut. Could similar lightning strike twice?

Speaking of supporting actors in Best Picture contenders, Oscar winner Anna Paquin could potentially sneak in for “The Irishman.” A good chunk of the discourse surrounding the picture has been about Paquin’s near lack of dialogue. Maybe, voters will feel inclined to nominate her to fend off those complaints while acknowledging her understated work.

Who do you think could surprise on Oscar Nomination Day? Please share your thoughts!