POLL: Who gets the fifth supporting actress slot?

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 18th, 2011

One of the interesting things about this morning’s BAFTA announcement is that it scattered the already fluid Best Supporting Actress category to the winds.  Nominations for Barbara Hershey, Miranda Richardson and Lesley Manville put them in the hunt with contenders like Mila Kunis and Jacki Weaver for what appears to be an up-for-grabs fifth slot.

Anne and I will probably address this at length in Friday’s final pre-nods Oscar Talk, but it seemed a good bet for a poll update as well.  Surprises happen.  And you risk being crazy to think outside-the-box (as in, last year, when everyone thought I was out to lunch for thinking Maggie Gyllenhaal had a chance).

In the left sidebar, I’ve listed the five competitors that seem most likely to battle it out for a chance to join Melissa Leo, Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter and Hailee Steinfeld (who herself could suddenly fall lead) in the Best Supporting Actress category this year, as well as the NSFC-winning Olivia Williams and an obligatory “other” option thrown in.  Chalk up your vote there and head on back here for your reasoning and hopefully we’ll get some good discussion out of all of this.

[Photo: Sony Pictures Classics]

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66 responses so far

  • 1 1-18-2011 at 6:06 pm

    McAllister said...

    Kris – I should’ve worded it differently… of course all of what I said was conjecture. But after blogging and shouting Jacki Weaver’s name from the rooftops since the summer, I’m finally starting to feel confident about her campaign. The screeners got in early, she’s been working the circuit, the DVD just came out today so I expect more exposure in this last week.

    The only thing I worry about is IF enough people watched the screener. If they did, she’s nominated, no problem. She makes an impact. I just showed the film to two people tonight and they’ve heard me hype it up for months. They were instant fans.

  • 2 1-18-2011 at 6:33 pm

    Meli said...

    Should be Weaver. Will be Kunis.

  • 3 1-18-2011 at 6:40 pm

    McAllister said...

    I like Mila Kunis (yes… I… doooo) and she does fine work in Black Swan, but I hope she is in the same boat as Diane Kruger was last year with the SAG nomination but no Oscar nod to follow it up with.

  • 4 1-18-2011 at 6:43 pm

    Sean said...

    vote:Manville or Weaver for 4th /5th spots

    Bonham Carter(even though she phoned in the performance)

  • 5 1-18-2011 at 7:00 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I really do not think HBC phoned in the performance. It’s a great performance in a small, thinly written role. I thought she did wonders with the little given her. There was no phoning in; in my opinion, of course.

  • 6 1-18-2011 at 7:27 pm

    DylanS said...

    Am I the only one who thinks Bonham-Carter has more to worry about than Kunis. People have been much harsher on her peformance’s consistent appearance this awards season.

  • 7 1-18-2011 at 9:08 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Actually, I don’t think HBC is worrying; she’s rather self-deprecating, haha. And you, yourself, just said consistent appearance; meaning, she’s well-liked for a slot. No?

  • 8 1-18-2011 at 11:03 pm

    Alex in Movieland said...

    I got the idea, Kris. even the 1st time.

    what I was saying is what’s the percentage of Bafta voters that matches the percentage of Ampas voters?!

    Alan Alda was a good example, yes. But I don’t think Winslet. Everybody was talking about how f’ed up it was for her to go supporting for The Reader even before the Bafta nom for Leading…

  • 9 1-19-2011 at 2:20 am

    Alberto said...

    Lesley Manville gave the best performance of 2010, so I’d love to see her nominated somewhere, but it looks bad right now.
    For the fifth spot in the supporting category, I’d like Rooney Mara or Blake Lively sneak in from nowhere.
    Here’s an article comparing their Oscar chances with Beatrice Straight’s Oscar-winning performance, the shortest in Oscar history.

  • 10 1-19-2011 at 5:09 am

    Edwin Drood said...

    Adams, Bonham-Carter and Leo seem certain. I think Kunis is safe with the “horny straight guy” vote. Steinfeld for the “fifth slot.” I expect the five to be:

    Amy Adams
    Helena Bonham-Carter
    Mila Kunis
    Melissa Leo
    Hailee Steinfeld

  • 11 1-19-2011 at 8:02 am

    Ben M. said...

    I’m predicting Leo, Adams, Bonham Carter, Kunis, and Steinfeld, with Weaver the most likely alternate if Kunis or Steinfeld miss. I also think it is possible Steinfeld gets nominated in lead where I currently have Manville in a very open final slot.

  • 12 1-19-2011 at 12:22 pm

    Kyle t. said...





    Does anyone else think that there’s a chance that Lawrence may be snubbed? Maybe Moore and Manville can sneak in?

  • 13 1-22-2011 at 6:21 am

    Brooke M said...


    I don’t trust the jusgement of anyone who doesn’t consider Portman a lock for a nomination at this point. Hell, she’s almost a lock for the win at this point. I’d bet my entire life savings (admittedly not a lot) that she’s nominated. No offence but come one. Moore has had almost no traction, but I guess its possible. There’s too many people vying for that spot though.

    Also I think Lawrence gave a much better performance than Sidibe, and I think Steinfeld did too. Sidibe was good and all, but her performance didn’t exactly have a lot of depth, and was pretty ameturish (though I guess Steinfeld was too). Lawrence is a lock, and Kidman is close to. The people vying for that 5th spot IMO are 1. Steinfeld 2 . Williams 3. Rapace. 4. Moore. 5. Manville 6. Hilary Swank 7. Hathaway 8. Stone 9. Berry 10. Hawkins No one else has a chance, and even most of these wouod need a freakin’ miracle.

    Oops just forgot, this is a supporting actress convo.





    Steinfeld (if not in lead will prob be here)


    I think Weaver is far from a lock. She may have a GG, and CC, but missing on the SAG will hurt a lot. SAG usually get most ‘right’, and their mistake quota is already heavy with Swank. Sometimes there are a few differences, but their S.Actor list will probably be different. However is Steinfeld goes lead, she has a real high chance. I think Manville’s catgory switch came way too late to impact, since there is no general concensus that she should be Supporting, unlike Steinfeld, who is so clearly lead its baffling why she’s getting votes in Supp. But its certainly possible given the BAFTAs. Hershey has had no traction whatsoever beofr the BAFTA nod, and I think all she may do is accidentally knock Kunis out of the list. However, I’m rooting for them both. Carter is pretty much a lock, but i think she will lack #1 votes, would could hurt a lot.

    My Preferences in order:

    Amy Adams
    Melissa Leo
    Mila Kunis
    Barbara Hershey
    Marion Cotillard
    Dianne Weist
    Jackie Weaver
    Helena Bonham Carter

    No1 else really worth mentioning cos thyre not in the running at all, and I have Manville and Steinfeld in Lead consideration.

    Sorry about the length,

  • 14 1-22-2011 at 7:28 am

    JJ1 said...

    My feelings for now are:

    Adams, HBC, Leo locked in.

    The other 2: Manville and Hershey.

    I just have a hunch about Kunis (no BAFTA, there may be undercurrent support for Hershey).

    I also think that Weaver may be the critical darling and press darling that Kris mentions; no SAG or BAFTA (though, I believe she wasn’t eligible).

    And Steinfeld, I feel like there are a lot of votes going Lead for her. If not she’s IN over Hershey.

  • 15 1-22-2011 at 11:51 am

    Zach said...

    There are so many factors here at play and precedents for basically every scenario. Thank you, Hailee Steinfeld and Lesley Manville, truly effing up this year with your category confusion. And thank you, Mila Kunis, for being all over the place despite the fact that I can’t see what is nomination-worthy about your character.

    It’s interesting that someone mentioned Cameron Diaz for Being John Malkovich. She had all the major precursors except BFCA, IIRC – but she definitely had nods from the Globes, the SAG, and even BAFTA. But her more critically acclaimed, “actor’s actor” costar Catherine Keener was the only one to be nominated – the first of at least two career nominations. And it didn’t matter that Diaz was the beautiful and popular star coming off the success of There’s Something about Mary and doing a physical transformation in BJM. Voters preferred the more nuanced performance and found room for the immensely deserving Toni Collette from The Sixth Sense, not a typical Oscar movie by any means, but an actual Best Picture nominee (unlike BJM).

    Flashforward to 2007. Everyone thought that Angelina Jolie was going to get nominated for her moving and physically transformative performance in the little-seen, early release A Mighty Heart. Jolie is certainly a controversial figure; anyone with that much media attention would be. But despite the film’s low box office (it was, after all, a morbid indie), she seemed to have everything on her side – critical praise, great politics, beauty, star quality, popularity, and nominations from all the key precursors (except BAFTA!). But the Academy said no and went for a more nuanced performance by another Academy favorite, previous nominee Laura Linney, unjustly ignored all season for her characteristically great work in The Savages, which was ALREADY getting recognition in the screenplay category. Note that in addition to Jolie, the newly popular Amy Adams was also overlooked for her great work in Enchanted. It’s the kind of performance that wouldn’t have been nominated anyway unless the movie had gotten the reception of, say, a Mary Poppins. But that left Linney competing with locks Marion Cotillard, Julie Christie, and Ellen Page, as well as Cate Blanchett, who was basically a lock after receiving nominations from every guild for one of her lesser performances in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Don’t mess with the Blanchett.

    There’s no telling whether Mila Kunis will suffer the same fate as Jolie or Diaz or whether she’ll get that ingenue vote. Performance-wise, apart from some naturalistic dancing, I just don’t understand the nomination; I don’t think many of us do. But popularity-wise, she is everywhere, being anointed the new Angelina Jolie. She’s beautiful and charming and in a surefire Best Picture nominee. Does she get dumped for Lesley Manville, rightfully in supporting after BAFTA, and in a Mike Leigh movie that voters are likely to see, but unknown in the states? After Sally Hawkins’s snub, I think Mike Leigh movies are stronger scripts and ensemble pieces than they are vehicles for any one performance. Much more likely than either of these two from a sheer performance standpoint is Jacki Weaver. Many people would put her #1 based on her accessible performance as a creepy bad mother. But we already have that in Melissa Leo. It shouldn’t hurt Weaver that she is Australian per se, but what does hurt is that nobody is watching her movie (even less than Another Year, probably). Then again, with the BFCA and GG recognition, she’s been up for enough precursors to be firmly in the race. And the Barbara Hershey nomination for a performance that is more memorable than Kunis’s suggests that the Black Swan girls could cancel out. What’s interesting is that they haven’t canceled out yet; it’s either been Kunis or Hershey, but always someone from the movie.

    Dianne Wiest I would not be surprised to see if she had just a little more critical support and were actually playing against type. But I don’t see it happening.

    For lead, I think Lawrence and Kidman are still in. After BAFTA you would think that Steinfeld has enough votes to put her in lead, and maybe even take Lawrence’s young vote. But I think Steinfeld has enough votes to make it in either category, as the young ingenue in a really popular movie, so I don’t see her getting snubbed as some are predicting. For the longest time Michelle Williams just made sense to me; she’s ripe for a Lead nomination and the performance looks raw and moving. She’s been all over the news promoting it, and there’s still that immense Heath Ledger sympathy. But now I’m starting to wonder if the film is simply too esoteric, or too simplistic, for voters. We’ve seen Swank get in over her with SAG and Steinfeld, who was originally trailing her on the longlist, pass her with the BAFTA. I know Swank has only received a SAG nomination for a film that came out a couple of months ago. I know that the SAG often likes to appreciate big-name veterans in what is not their best work. But her performance is chipper, and she’s playing a likable underdog, a real-life character with an important story. Even if it’s generic, there’s simply more there than what Michelle Williams or Julianne Moore had to work with. If Meryl Streep could be nominated for Music of the Heart, if Will Smith could be nominated for The Pursuit of Happyness, then I see no reason why a big star like Swank can’t return to the party after a SAG nod. If nobody’s seeing her movie, well, they’re not seeing Blue Valentine either.

    So after all this ranting and raving, I think we have a lot of mobility in the races. Steinfeld has probably enough votes to get that 5th slot in Lead, but she may have even more votes in Supporting where she has been campaigned all along. (I was originally thinking Winslet and Keisha Castle-Hughes too, but then remember Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Connelly. Winslet and especially Castle-Hughes HAD to be lead; they weren’t exactly part of ensembles.)

    So if supporting still includes Adams, Bonham Carter, Leo, and Steinfeld, then I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that Kunis and Hershey cancel out, while a meaty performance and the press circuit push Weaver in over Manville (who is bound to lose the British voteto HBC anyway). I know, too many old ladies, and Black Swan is being seen by more people than Animal Kingdom, so I’m probably wrong.

    In Lead, if Steinfeld stays supporting, then I’m leaning toward Swank at the moment, but I would not be surprised to see Michelle Williams based on the rawness of her performance and her backstory. The bottom line is that there are a lot of people clamoring for that fifth spot, which makes it easier for someone with Steinfeld’s buzz to come in and swoop it up, but I’m still not convinced that everyone is putting her lead. But she will get in either way. If as a lead, then Weaver and Kunis most likely both get in, with Manville as the spoiler for either of those two.

  • 16 1-22-2011 at 8:32 pm

    Sebastien Bertrand said...

    I say it’s going to be:

    1. Melissa Leo-The Fighter
    2. Amy Adams-The Fighter
    3. Helena Bonham Carter-The King’s Speech
    4. Mila Kunis-Black Swan
    5. Jacki Weaver-Animal Kingdom

    Hailee Steinfeld will pop up in the Best Actress category.