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Monday, January 8, 2018

AWARDS SEASON 2018: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
It All Comes Down To Mothers Of Onscreen Daughters



Octavia Spencer as an employee in Guillermo Del Toro's drama "The Shape Of Water". 
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by
Omar P.L. Moore/PopcornReel.com        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW                                           
Monday, January 8, 2018

Best Supporting Actress provides good, competitive acting options for Academy voters to choose from.  The main choices will be: Mary J. Blige, Allison Janney, Lesley Manville, Laurie Metcalf, Sarah Paulson, Octavia Spencer, Kristin Scott Thomas and Bria Vinaite.

The Academy will likely narrow the group of eight down to the following five finalists: Ms. Blige ("Mudbound"), Ms. Janney ("I, Tonya"), Ms. Metcalf ("Lady Bird"), Ms. Spencer ("The Shape Of Water") and Kristin Scott Thomas ("Darkest Hour").  Of each of these expected nominees Ms. Blige's work is the most accessible due to its presence on Netflix.  Yet this may hurt Ms. Blige's chances.  "Mudbound" is being screened theatrically for voters a total of eight more times beginning tonight through January 18.

"Mudbound" needs more exposure and its stigmatized largely confined Netflix status despite being in select theaters, is a potential obstacle.  Some purist Academy voters may feel that Dee Rees' fine film should exist solely in theaters.  Ms. Blige was so arresting and flawless in "Mudbound" it appeared she had been acting in big screen dramas for decades. 

Yet I don't think Ms. Blige has the backing of the Academy at large.  Ms. Thomas's chances are more remote in a small role in "Darkest Hour" as the spouse opposite Winston Churchill.  Similarly Ms. Spencer, an Oscar winner ("The Help") and nominee last year for "Hidden Figures", is a long shot.  Though Ms. Spencer is respected in the Academy her performance in "The Shape Of Water" isn't of Oscar-caliber.  If "The Shape Of Water" wins anything performance-wise it will be from lead actor Sally Hawkins.

That leaves Ms. Janney and Ms. Metcalf.  Both actors have been on the Broadway stage in the last 12 months or so, and Ms. Metcalf won a Tony Award last year.  Though Ms. Janney won the Golden Globe last night in the supporting category expect a reversal on Oscar night.  Both actors will be nominated, and the Academy will appreciate the richness and warmth of Ms. Metcalf's role in "Lady Bird".  It's a performance that offers more dimension and arc than Ms. Janney's onscreen character, a flattened figure.

The Academy will make sure Oscar goes home with Laurie Metcalf on March 4.


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