Best Supporting Actress noms

The Film Experience/Naked Gold Man blogger Nathan R. says there’s an apparent shortage of potential Best Supporting Actress candidates. I don’t see what he’s talking about — there are at least seven strong candidates right now.

Nathan is figuring Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone (likely), Jennifer Jason Leigh in Margot at the Wedding (doubtful), Jennifer Connelly in Reservation Road (forget it), Leslie Mann in Knocked Up (a reach), Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (definitely) Kelly Macdonald in No Country For Old Men (a good suggestion — McDonald has a small role but she wrings exceptional feleing and presence), Cate Blanchett‘s “Bob Dylan” perf in I’m Not There (without question), and Saorsie Ronan in Atonement (absolutely).

To these I would add Vanessa Redgrave in Atonement and In The Valley of Elah‘s Susan Sarandon.

Redgrave, Sarandon, Blanchett, Ronan, Tomei, McDonald and Ryan make seven. What other serious contenders should be added to the list?

  • Chicago48

    Give a sister a break! What about some colored girls Jeff? Tariji Henson in Talk to me was outstanding!

  • Maybe Leslie Mann won’t get a Supporting Actress nod, but she sure as hell deserves one.

    I also agree Tariji Henson was really good, but I don’t know if enough people saw the movie. Quality wise, I would add Olympia Dukakis in AWAY FROM HER, Catherine Keener in INTO THE WILD, and Tilda Swinton in MICHAEL CLAYTON (unless you think her performance qualifies in the Best Actress category, which is a good argument).

  • EDouglas

    “Redgrave, Sarandon, Blanchett, Ronan, Tomei, McDonald and Ryan”

    Once again, the easiest category to predict because the five will be in these seven for sure… maybe Sarandon and Tomei will be omitted because they’ve been nominated for better performances in the past. I do think Tilda Swinton could be the spoiler for one of the Atonement girls.

  • K. Bowen

    Sam Morton in Control?

  • Rod32303

    Blanchett, Tomei, Ryan, Sarandon and Redgrave for sure, though Mann would be a nice surprise…is Streep’s role in “Lambs” too big for supporting?

    My guilty pleasure of the year will always been Pfeffer’s bitch on wheels in “Hairspray”

  • Rod32303

    will always BE not been!

  • Aladdin Sane

    Amy Ryan was great in GBG. I really liked her work in The Wire…that’s where I first noticed her. Good actress. Her career should be a healthy one.

  • MiraJeffAICN

    Haven’t seen Atonement so I can’t speak for the women in that film, but here’s my take:

    Emily Mortimer- Lars and the Real Girl
    Susan Sarandon- In the Valley of Elah (my pick for best of the year)
    Samantha Morton- Control
    Amy Ryan- Gone Baby Gone
    Cate Blanchett- I’m Not There (who seems like the only real lock)

    If I had to make a 6th choice, it’d be Macdonald, who was excellent in her brief scenes. She reminds me of a young Kate Winslet. I really liked her. Tomei is also really good but her role is only so-so. Swinton is good, loved the sweaty pits and such, but there isn’t that much there for her to chew on. No go for me on Keener. She wasn’t one of the supporting standouts in that film, and was overshadowed by Brian Dierker’s fantastic work. Mann was hilarious but she’s a major stretch. Could be the hottest one on this list though… Streep’s role isn’t too big and she’s very good in Lions for Lambs (she’s also not bad in Rendition) but I just don’t see it. Not for her. She’s held to a higher standard. Then again, my own picks, particularly Morton and Mortimer, are obviously stretches, but they both do fine work. Don’t think Hairspray or Talk to Me are really in the mix, sorry Chicago48.

  • MichaelC

    Tilda Swinton, definitely. Her jangled nerves in her last scene completely sell the end of the movie. Very memorable work.

  • Arran

    “A young Kate Winslet”? MacDonald is all of 5 months younger than Winslet. Just sayin’.

  • BurmaShave

    Leslie Mann and Tilda Swinton would be locks.. If There Was a God… ahem ahem ahem

  • MiraJeffAICN

    Good point, Arran. I guess I just feel like Winslet’s been around forever because she’s been nominated so many times, but I forget how young she is. I also forget that Trainspotting was a decade ago… wow. Time flies.

  • morris___

    Michelle Pfeiffer for Hairspray and Salma Hayek for Lonely Hearts.

  • MichaelC

    A few thoughts:

    If Charlie Wilson’s War makes any kind of impact Julia Roberts is going to have a fair shot, no?

    If Atonement goes over huge could it grab three of these slots?

    I doubt Elah made enough of an impact for Susan Sarandon to make the list. When all is said and done I think Tommy Lee Jones is going to have a hard time hanging on.

    I hear Jennifer Garner’s name mentioned here and there. Could someone who’s seen Juno comment on this possibility?

    I know nothing about the size of the role but Helena Bonham Carter would have been wise to go supporting with Sweeny Todd.

    Leslie Mann might have a better chance then people think. There’s a lot of good will for the film and it’s not unheard of for a hit comedy to nab a supporting nod – think Joan Cusack in In & Out or Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. Plus, there’s the simple fact that so many more people have seen her performance than have seen the other contenders. Also, she was great. The doorman sequence alone puts her in contention.

  • cobhome

    have any of you seen I’m Not there?? Seems to me – that Blanchett is a lock for that performance – and – why is Keira being touted for best acttress not supporting – she has not that much time in Atonemetn and no truly dramatic scenes – she looks like a supporting actress to me – it is an ensemble cast – must put in a word for Smantha Morton too –

  • cobhome

    have any of you seen I’m Not there?? Seems to me – that Blanchett is a lock for that performance – and – why is Keira being touted for best acttress not supporting – she has not that much time in Atonementand no truly dramatic scenes – she looks like a supporting actress to me – it is an ensemble cast – must put in a word for Samantha Morton too –

  • Yes, Jennifer Garner is that good in Juno.

  • Aladdin Sane

    Atonement really is James McAvoy’s film, but it’d make sense to push Knightley as lead, only because you wouldn’t split the votes between 3 actresses in the one category.
    Samantha Morton definitely deserves a shot for Control. That was a great performance.

  • I would have said Rachel Weisz for My Blueberry Nights, but I think the release was pushed back until February, which would take her out of contention this year.

  • I guess I really missed something with Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, because not only did I think it was an awful film I don’t see how Tomei deserves a nomination? Even though I didn’t like it I will admit Hoffman and Hawke were good, but what did Tomei do that was so great? I finally watched Talk To Me last night on DVD and even though the film wasn’t everything I hoped it would be I must agree with Chicago48… I would add Taraji to that list way before Tomei… that is unless showing your tits a minimum of five separate times guarantees an Oscar. Because in that case Tomei is a lock.

  • ASD

    Garner has a *very* tricky role to pull off in Juno which seems to exploit all of the actress’s weaknesses, only for our perceptions to be subtly shifted. Not a hugely likable character so she earns points for degree of difficulty. But her character really builds as the film goes along and, ultimately, a lot of the film’s heart is run through her. If the film catches on big I could see her being brought along with the wave.

  • MiraJeffAICN

    Really, Joe? I admit, I have never liked Jennifer Garner as an actress, plus I think she looks a bit mannish. That said, I agree that Juno is her finest hour. It is a tricky role and she does a good job, better than I ever expected. But was she better than Sarandon in Elah? No way! If Garner does get a nom, it’s because people like the film, not because she hits it out of the park. Likewise, if Sarandon doesn’t, it’s becase the film turned them off. Her performance was exceptional in only a few minutes of screentime. I liked Juno way more than I thought I would but I still don’t see how its an Oscar contender. It was NOT as good as Little Miss Sunshine and I don’t understand why some fairly major bloggers have it penciled in as a BP nom. Knocked Up was better, and not just in terms of laughs. It had just as much heart, and said more about impending fatherhood than Juno does about teen pregnancy.

  • LYT

    Second the Leslie Mann notion. I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

    The great thing about her performance was the way she made it clear that her character was a controlling bitch in large part because no-one around her ever stepped up…then when someone did, she actually appreciated it rather than busting his balls. I know lots of people like this in real life, but have never seen one portrayed accurately onscreen before.

  • Drew

    I think you are insane regarding Sarandon, frankly, MiraJeff.


    She does nice work. It’s a very small role. She reacts to her dead child. It’s not the reinvention of the wheel for an actor. She gets to play a big emotional beat and leave the film. And she does what she’s hired to do.

    Oscar worthy? Really?

    And what sort of impact has ELAH really had, Jeff? It’s come and gone as far as the box-office goes. Come and gone. And no one noticed, man.

    And that’s not a comment on the quality of the film. I’m just saying… no one saw it. No one’s talking about it. It’s not a movie that is alive in the cultural landscape at the moment, and by January?

    Forget about it. Really. The ELAH ship sailed.

  • Drew

    On the other hand, both Garner and Mann are nominations that could happen. KNOCKED UP has built real goodwill during the year, and it’s already on video, so people can see it again. And JUNO’s a real possibility. I saw it and it just ruined me. Totally worked. And a big part of that was Garner, who I thought walked a tightrope. And people are going to talk about JUNO.

    I’d believe that before I’d believe it’ll happen for LARS & THE REAL GIRL.

  • ASD

    RE: Juno and unfortunate but unavoidable comparisons to Knocked Up.

    Juno’s in a completely different class. Knocked Up tells us that you can neglect the mother of your child for 9 months but if you build a crib in the third act, you really are a better person. Juno is more clear-eyed and less romanticized in the way it views an unplanned pregnancy and has the strength of its convictions to not cop out and go for the easy resolution because it would make the audience feel more comfortable. They’re both funny films, but Juno isn’t a Neo-Con fantasy about Seth Rogen learning to put down the bong and pick up a rattle.

    RE: Elah apathy

    Drew summed things up nicely. And, I’ll take Angelina’s uncomfortable to watch shrieks of grief in A Mighty Heart over Sarandon’s more practiced slide down the wall any day of the week.

  • BurmaShave

    “I admit, I have never liked Jennifer Garner as an actress, plus I think she looks a bit mannish.”

    You really are totally childish sleaze Jeff. Keep up the blog, great, but you have no business calling yourself a critic.

  • TCorey

    Julia Roberts will probably be there if Charlie Wilson’s War doesn’t bite the dust. It’ll be some big “welcome back to making movies” congratulatory nom.

  • BurmaShave

    How about Ruby Dee for AMERICAN GANGSTER? Too small?

  • BNick

    I second the calls for Emily Mortimer to be recognized for Lars and the Real Girl. I haven’t seen all of these films but her’s was by far the most effective and moving female supporting performance I’ve seen this year.

    If Gosling can break through, maybe she can too.

  • BurmaShave

    I’m not a huge fan of the movie, but I’d be delighted if she got some recognition, she’s one of the best. There may be plenty of women hotter or more beautiful, but is there anyone CUTER than Emily Mortimer?

  • Zimmergirl

    Tomei? That’s thinking with your dicks, fellas. Then again, so the Academy so perhaps you’re on to something.

  • BurmaShave

    Remember zimmer, 40 years into the sexual revolution it’s still ‘brave’ to get naked. Plus she really does a fine job with her character. It’s been 15 years since VINNY. She’s due for a total validation.

  • Jay T.

    I have to say, I think Leslie Mann in Knocked Up is a good call…

  • MichaelC

    I think Marisa Tomei put an end to all the Cousin Vinny jokes with In the Bedroom. She doesn’t have anything else to prove.

    I do think she’s going to miss out this year despite some fine work. Her character is just too peripheral.

  • RoyBatty

    The entire debate is a little beside the point, as the Best Supporting actress category is never lacking for contenders (which tells me Nathan R. is no one I want to take seriously if I actually gave two shits about the Awards anymore).

    Year in, year out the one that always feels like it’s scrapping the bottom of the barrel to come up with 5 is Best Actress. It’s pretty indicative that the industry has stopped making quality dramas because its the only genre that gives women the type of roles that get such nominations. Not that it was all standout performances in thought-provoking films 2 decades ago.

    For example, the year that Sissy Spacek won for COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER against Mary Tyler Moore for ORDINARY PEOPLE and Gena Rowlands for GLORIA, Goldie Hawn was up for PRIVATE BENJAMIN. It’s very rare to have male actors get nominated for popcorn and pulp pics (like Weaver for ALIENS and Roberts for PRETTY WOMAN).

    The year that Spacek won? Here’s the LOSERS for the men: Robert Duvall – THE GREAT SANTINI; John Hurt – THE ELEPHANT MAN; Jack Lemmon – TRIBUTE; Peter O’Toole – THE STUNT MAN.

    That was the year De Niro walked away with it for RAGING BULL.

  • Why is nobody talking up Imelda Staunton for her pitch-perfect personification of Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix”?! WB could have a strong contender on their hands if they gave Staunton (already a nominee for “Vera Drake) the shove-into-the-limelight she deserves. Hers is better than any of these other actresses’ performances (although I haven’t seen “I’m Not There”)…it’s time for her to get some love.

  • BurmaShave

    Was there anyone more one not this year than Imelda Staunton in HARRY POTTER? Better than all of them, really?

  • BurmaShave

    *one note, I mean