Oscar Circuit: The Return of the Suffering Wife – Supporting Actress Predictions

CareyMulligan GreatGatsby1It begins.  2011 film year is behind us and we saw Octavia Spencer crowned Best Supporting Actress for her work in “The Help.”  As we embark on the 2012 film year together, I will be breaking down each category individually throughout the month of March.  I will also unveil the Awards Circuit Staff Predictions one at a time for all of you to enjoy.  Trust me, we all have different takes on what the 2012 season will bring.

We break down the Supporting Actress category first.  Any supporting category is difficult to analyze because you never know who will hit it out of the park with a mere eight minute screen time or what borderline Lead performance will be pushed in another category.  The rankings of the Supporting Actress are ordered #1 through #25 as you see them on the predictions page but there are outside contenders that could just as easily make the lineup given a strong showing with critics and audiences.

Looking into a crystal ball, Amy Adams will be starring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” and with three prior nominations (“Junebug,” “Doubt,” and “The Fighter”), Adams could finally score an Oscar.  She also has a role in the long-awaited “On the Road” directed by Walter Salles which could catch on.  Co-star Kristen Stewart can return to what we loved about her in “Into the Wild.”  The question seems to be, is Oscar aching to reward Adams or does she need to be accepted as a leading lady?  Have the “Twilight” franchise ruined Stewart forever?  Perhaps.

JessicaChastain WettestCounty1“It-girl” from 2011 Jessica Chastain is back and with a vengeance in Terrence Malick’s currently untitled film, formerly called “The Burial,” but word has it, she’s only in one scene. But what would Jessica Chastain be without appearing in a few other films in the same year.  Chastain also has a buzzed about performance in “Wettest County” starring Tom Hardy and directed by John Hillcoat (“The Road”).  She will also appear in “Tar,” the story of author C.K. Williams starring James Franco and Mila Kunis.  She will also star in the horror film, “Mama” and was tapped for voice work in the animated “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”  She also has a role in the anticipated “Zero-Thirty” directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow about the Navy-seal team that killed Osama Bin Laden.  What a year ahead.

Two-time Oscar winner Sally Field returns to awards attention in Steven Spielberg’s epic “Lincoln” starring Daniel Day-Lewis.  As the wife of the sixteenth President of the United States, Field should have no trouble garnering votes based on the nature of the role alone.  The last time Field was in serious contention for Oscar was for 1994’s “Forrest Gump” which failed to grant her recognition.  Can return to the Kodak?  Oh, wait, not the Kodak.  Whatever.  It’s still the Kodak to me.

Anne Hathaway managed to almost take the Oscar for Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” and has shown herself to be a force to reckoned with some of her roles since then.  She elevated the poor directions of “Love and Other Drugs” and “Alice in Wonderland.”  She also received decent reviews last year for Lone Scherfig’s “One Day” which never came to fruition.  This year, Hathaway will play Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and her big chances seem to lie as the beautiful Fantine in Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” with Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe.  Hathaway can sing and will deliver one of the musical’s most emotionally charged scenes.

OliviaWilliams HydeParkonHudson1As ‘Broomhilda,’ Kerry Washington may be able to garner some attention in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” Tarantino is always a great on focusing and centering his actors.  Think Uma Thurman.    The word is out yet on Carey Mulligan as the beautiful ‘Daisy’ in Baz Luhrmann’s remake of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.  Co-star Isla Fisher also could be noticed as the doomed ‘Myrtle.’  Mulligan also has a role in Joel & Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewlyn Davis” which could be pushed back to 2013.  Mulligan isn’t the only starring the great adaptations and remakes.  Helena Bonham Carter will appear in “Great Expectations” directed by Mike Newell.

Olivia Williams will be playing Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President FDR in Roger Michell’s “Hyde Park on Hudson” starring Bill Murray.  Co-star Laura Linney could also be pushed in Supporting if her role isn’t large enough.   Emma Stone will have the sure-to-be blockbuster role as Gwen Stacy in “The Amazing Spider-Man” and a brief role in “Movie 43,” a feature film with short comedic segments.  Her greatest chances seem to be as Grace Faraday in Ruben Fleischer’s “The Gangster Squad” with Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling.

Expect a campaign to start for the late Whitney Houston in the summer film, “Sparkle” with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.  Houston won’t be the only Grammy award winning singer trying to make a play.  Mary J. Blige has a large enough role in “Rock of Ages” that could land her in contention for Oscar alongside co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Elizabeth Olsen may be able to capitalize on what didn’t happen for in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” in her new film “Liberal Arts” with Zac Efron.  “Cloud Atlas” starring Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, and Jim Sturgess could do some good things for its ladies.  Halle Berry has been trying to catch back on since her Oscar win for “Monster’s Ball.”  Susan Sarandon has been on the cusp since “Dead Man Walking” of making a short list.  Remember “Igby Goes Down?”  Maybe she’ll make a comeback along with Sally Field from “Lincoln.”  There is also veteran actress and singer Bette Midler that will star along with Billy Crystal in “Parental Guidance” and Gena Rowlands making a play in Nick Cassavetes’ “Yellow.”

JackiWeaver SilverLiningsPlaybook1Wes Anderson is back with his long-awaited “Moonrise Kingdom” and with Oscar favorite Frances McDormand starring, she could come back on Oscar’s radar.  Tilda Swinton also c0-stars and after her snub this year for “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” she could get a maekup nomination.  After Jacki Weaver knocked it out of the park for her nominated turn in “Animal Kingdom,” we’ve been waiting to see if she can do it again.  In David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook,” Weaver seems to have landed another “motherly” role of a mentally ill ex-teacher that could cause some sparks.  Same goes for c0-stars Jennifer Lawrence, who’s role in “The Hunger Games” could help, and Julia Stiles, who never manages to get any traction.

Vanessa Redgrave never had a chance after the dismal reviews poured in for Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus.”  Perhaps a role in Paul Andrew Williams’ “Song for Marion” can get her a seventh nomination.  Kelly MacDonald, who was criminally ignored for her portrayal in The Coen Brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” will have another crack at attention in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina” starring Keira Knightley.  Kristin Scott Thomas will be attempting a villainous role in Nicolas Winding Refn’s next feature, “Only God Forgives” which The Weinstein Company just purchased.  Expect a full-on campaign or Thomas this year.

A few more ladies worth mentioning would be: Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Kirsten Dunst (Red Light Winter), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy), Penelope Cruz and Ellen Page (Nero Fiddled), Charlotte Rampling (The Eye of the Storm), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows).

I’m sure you all will have some that weren’t mentioned but that’s what the comment section is for.  Check out the Official Supporting Actress predictions either HERE or the sidebar and gear up for another great Oscar year with the Awards Circuit!

Comment and discuss!

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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Nice mention of Scott Thomas; but with the name Refn attached to her work I’d say it’ll be ignored by the Academy. They don’t seem to be overly fond of her work either (Brooks) as she’s only had a sole nomination before and never seriously considered for anything else (although she’s been quite good in some). I agree with MacDonald being “criminally” ignored for No Country. She was my NUMBER ONE pick that year. I am hoping Boardwalk opens more people’s eyes to her as a dependable, stellar supporting actress. And lastly — I think Gatsby can go several different… Read more »


Interesting read. The obvious reply is, it’s too soon lol, but it’s good to keep an eye open for this sort of things. Mulligan, Adams, and Hathaway are all current Academy darlings. You just know that they are waiting to reward those actresses with nominations. I love when older award winners get back in contention for something. Sarandon , Field, Cruz, and Kidman are a delight to see working and hopefully delivering great stuff. As for the “Moonrise” gals, I wouldn’t really hold my breath for it. The Academy has repeatedly snub Anderson’s cast and crew for years. But anyways… Read more »

Joey Magidson

Right now I’m predicting the following:

Amy Adams- The Master
Rose Byrne- The Place Beyond the Pines
Sally Field- Lincoln
Carey Mulligan- The Great Gatsby*
Kristin Scott Thomas- Only God Forgives

Super early though, of course…

John C.

I guess we have to wait and see the size of the role, but if it’s “meaty” enough, I can see a Sally Field comeback. I have a feeling it will be a strong supporting role. What about Amy Adams role in Trouble With The Curve with Clint Eastwood.?(His last acting role????) There could be some attention there. A September 28 date release I believe.

John C.

Alex L

I read the script for Django Unchained, and Broomhilda doesn’t really have that big of an onscreen presence. She’s mostly a thought. She has a few flashback scenes, and a boat load of sex scenes.

Nathan James Mitchell

Definitely watch out for Samantha Barks.


Kristin Scott Thomas has shown how great a range she has as a leading actress in the last few years, mostly in foreign films. This lady is way over due and she just needs the right role to clinch it. I saw her last in Nowhere Boy and she was the best thing in the film.
Love to see Amy Adams at the ball again.

Jim Wilson

Ok I’ll go with:

Amy Adams – The Master (seems like the best bet of the “obvious” choices)
Carey Mulligan – The Great Gatsby (followed by this)
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables (very iffy on this one)
Olivia Williams – Hyde Park on Hudson (would like to see her get some reward)
Kelly MacDonald – Anna Karenina (as above)

Wouldn’t be surprised if none of these happened.


1. You never know with Carter (or the Academy either) I could see her getting a dual-nomination with Geoffrey Rush if they are funny/creepy enough in Les Miserables

2. I cannot understand why you keep saying Coriolanus got bad reviews….. It currently holds a “certified fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% after over 100 reviews were counted.


Whitney Houston!
She’s one of the greatest lady of world entertainment of all time! Outstanding talent!



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