Predicting Oscar winners for the next year, and that too this early on, right as we bid farewell to the last season that turned to be an overall disappointing affair for me, might seem like a bit of indulgent, futile practice. However, this year’s results, as unexpected as they were with ‘Roma’ having to contend only with Best Foreign Film, and ‘Green Book’ picking up the golden statuette is testament enough to the fact that even the most calculated predictions and intelligible guesses can prove to take a U-turn when it comes to the final wins at Oscars and its jury. I am guessing that is what makes the entire process endearing, and therefore makes credible sense starting this early on.
In any case, this list is predictive by its innate nature. This is in no way even an exhaustive list of nominees for the Best Supporting Actress Category, the title going home to the very well deserved Regina King for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ this year, since we are in no way soothsayers. What this might be construed as, however, is a certain list of incredible performances to look out for in the coming year, and given their past films, the hype and subject matter with respect to the current film they star in, and the remainder of the cast assembled, these are but intelligible assumptions. If you are a cinephile and have enjoyed the performances of any of the actors below, you surely have reason to rejoice for their slate of upcoming films looks truly incredible. Read on.. here’s the list of best supporting actress contenders for Oscars 2020.
8. Melissa Rauch, ‘The Laundromat’
One of the most anticipated films of the year for me at least, ‘The Laundromat’ sheds light on the controversial Panama papers and the links uncovered to money laundering and tax evasion in the wake of their leak, including powerful personalities, the likes of ministers and Hollywood superstars. On the surface, the journalistic and investigative nature of the film is giving me a lot of ‘Spotlight’ vibes, and if that is any indication, ‘The Laundromat’ may be headed for a lot of awards next season, along with its explosive star cast including Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep. Among these two giants and a predicted hoard of other nominations strictly on the basis of its subject matter and star cast, Rauch may as well be headed for a nomination, cementing her transition from television to the big screen.
7. Nicole Kidman, ‘The Goldfinch’
The second Nicole Kidman movie in the list, and a second potential nomination for her as best supporting actress, following a major snub last year for her amazing performance in the revenge drama ‘The Destroyer’. Not much is known about the extent of her role as the wealthy socialite Mrs. Barbour, also the stepmother of Theo, the protagonist of the film portrayed by Ansel Elgort who loses his mother in a terrorist bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, Lupita Nyong’o took home an Oscar for a rather chillingly effective turn worth eighteen minutes of screentime in ’12 Years A Slave’. Just saying.
6. Emma Watson/ Eliza Scanlen, ‘Little Women’
The eighth adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel about four sisters coming of age in the backdrop of the American Civil war, directed by Greta Gerwig, stars Emma Watson and Eliza Scanlen as Meg and Beth March respectively. While top billing stays reserved for Saoirse Ronan, I fully expect these two actresses to impress everyone in well written roles. I have the utmost appreciation for Emma Watson as an actor who is continuously attempting to get better at her craft, and seven years on is the best export from the Harry Potter phenomenon. Eliza Scanlen on the other hand, though quite young, gave one hell of a bone chilling performance in last year’s psychological thriller murder mystery show ‘Sharp Objects’, having me in awe of her talent, and is perfectly able of taking the statuette home even if she can repeat a hint of that performance. Watch the show to know what I mean.
5. Janelle Monáe, ‘Harriet’
From the looks of it, ‘Harriet’ seems all set to repeat the success of ’12 Years a Slave’, being centred on the heroic life of black freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, responsible for freeing dozens of slaves through the underground railroad network, after escaping from captive slavery herself. It’s a hair rousingly inspiring tale, and from looking at the cast, it can be said that they have got the right actors to portray the tribulations of a difficult and trying time with sensitivity, including Janelle Monáe, who has previously delivered credible performances in similarly themed films ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Moonlight’. Primarily a musician, songwriter and singer, Monáe has also proved her credible acting skills and established her mantle as a bankable star in many sizeable Hollywood productions, both for the big screen and for television.
4. Julianne Moore, ‘The Woman in the Window’
This Joe Wright directorial psychological thriller has a stellar performing cast, with each member laid out in their respective category in our predictions. While Amy Adams is surely up for Best Actress if things go North as expected, and Gary Oldman, another stalwart may be up for Best Supporting Actor, Julianne Moore will surely not be far behind for her nod as best supporting actress. The plot of the film involves Adams as an alcoholic recluse habitual of spying on her neighbours, until one day she sees something that she shouldn’t at the Russels’ place, with Alistair (Oldman) and Jane Russel (Moore) being part of a diabolical crime.
3. Charlize Theron/ Nicole Kidman, ‘Fair and Balanced’
The feminist movie of the year, right here ladies and gentlemen, and in all good senses. A film like ‘Fair and Balanced’ has been long coming ever since Hollywood experienced a major upheaval following the #metoo movement. However, the film focusses solely on the sexual misconduct allegations against Fox news network founder Roger Ailes by several of the anchors from the channel. What is bound to be one of the film’s strongest suites is its stellar female cast full of A-rate performers, including Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney among the top billed ones, along with a host of others. I am assuming Robbie to take on the central role here, strictly in order of cast listing according to IMDb, with Theron and Kidman both proving equally fiery contenders for strong supporting actresses.
2. Annette Bening, ‘The Report’
The period post 9/11 proved to be testing not only for America but for the world as well, and a film based on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program during that period in a desperate bid to find answers, and more so the brutality and inhumane nature of it, is bound to get a lot of people talking. The increasingly positive whispers at Sundance will work big time in the favour of the film and Amazon that is bankrolling the project. Apart from secure bids on the filmmaking departments, ‘The Report’ might as well spell a Best Supporting Actress nod for Annette Bening starring as US Senator Dianne Feinstein, who strongly condemned the actions of both the government and the CIA, calling their actions a “stain on our values and on our history”. A performer of Bening’s calibre and repertoire, with three leading and one supporting actress Academy nods should do full justice to the steely figure Dianne Feinstein is.
1. Margot Robbie, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’
All my bets on this one. Margot Robbie is one actress for whom I have endless admiration, be it her endearing beauty, her choice of roles, and the depth in her portrayals of well-chosen roles, and that too, so early on in her career. One can only commend Scorsese for having such a keen eye for talent, launching her in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ back in 2013. Since then, Robbie’s growth as an actress has been a steep upward curve, and she already has a coveted few nominations to her name for roles in ‘I, Tonya’ especially, and the recently released ‘Mary Queen of Scots’. Coupled with Tarantino, one can always expect her chances for another shot at the coveted statuette to be bumped up, given the meaty roles and lengthy dialogue he writes for his actors. She will be portraying actress Sharon Tate in the film that is based on the Manson Family Murders, and while such a tragic incident requires the utmost care and sensitive handling, I believe Robbie can pull it off in a memorable performance.
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