Categories One-By-One: Supporting Actress

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Precious Doll
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Supporting Actress

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:58 am

Mister Tee wrote:But Lesley Manville is an interesting case – her nomination has perhaps done more to make this category fluid than anything since the TV awards got underway. She could definitely win at BAFTA, which has shown propensity for choosing British actors rather than Oscar favorites – Carey Mulligan in ’09, Rush & Bonham-Carter in ’10, Winslet in ’15 (Rylance as well, at a time when he WASN’T the Oscar front-runner), Patel last year. Manville has already won the London Film Critics’ prize, an honor that has sometimes foretold those BAFTA upsets.



Geoffrey Rush is Australian and was playing an Australian in The King's Speech. We may have the same head of state as the UK, Queen Elizabeth 2, have the British flag within our flag and speak the same language but we are seperate countries to the best of my knowledge. Though having said that the Brits are more than welcome to claim Rush as their own, though I doubt he'd be too impressed.

As for the best supporting actress race there would appear to be no doubt that Janney is going to win this which will be a bitter-sweet result for me. I adore Allison Janney and have enjoyed most of her performances over the year. She's always been something of a scene stealer (case in point - Primary Colours) but she is awful in I, Tonya which I suppose is appropriate given how appalling the film is on every level. She gave a performance that she film deserved.

Whilst I would personally vote for Octavia Spencer, even if she playing similar roles year in year out I felt she gave more to the role that most other actresses would.

Nice to see Laurie Metcalf back on the screen and in a lovely unstated real performance. Actually, she is the Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project for the supporting actress category. Not showy at all but very real that one never senses 'acting'. Have always thought that cinema has criminally underused her and a very good case could have been made for her a nomination for her excellent work in Internal Affairs over 25 years ago.

A surprise win for Metcalf or Lesley Manville, always stellar, particularly her work for Mike Leigh would be most welcome and deserved.

I'd never heard of Mary J. Bilge, just like I have never heard of Adele before she penned and performed the theme song for Skyfall. I basically have zero interest in contemporary music. I found Bilge's performance fine in Mudbound for what she had to do. Whilst she doesn't have any 'big' scenes it a quite, dignified performance that is pivotal to the film. Not award worthy by any means, but respectful enough.

Big shame Hong Chau didn't make the cut but the commercial and artistic failure of Downsizing probably meant Academy members didn't bother to watch the film or didn't make it past the first hour.

My own 'best supporting actress' of the year wasn't even on anyone's radar and is one of those really left field choices from a film that was barely released and was savaged by critics. You'll have to wait until I publish my choices for 2017 to find out who it is - hopefully in a fortnight, and then shake your heads in amazement of what I think will largely be considered poor judgment and taste by most. I have a couple of more films to see in the next or so that I hope will take some acting spots.

On a final note, I'll take a bow for being the only person to predict these five talented ladies nominations in this category.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Supporting Actress

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:47 pm

My initial thought was to wait till after BAFTA to post here, because BAFTA could pretty much nail the race shut. But I agree so fully with so much of what dws has written here that I’ve decided to weigh in now, while things still remain up in the air.

To begin: a quick salute to Hong Chau and Holly Hunter, who had the bad luck of giving nomination-worthy performances in a stacked-to-the-gills year.

I concur that neither Mary J. Blige nor Octavia Spencer has much shot at winning.

But Lesley Manville is an interesting case – her nomination has perhaps done more to make this category fluid than anything since the TV awards got underway. She could definitely win at BAFTA, which has shown propensity for choosing British actors rather than Oscar favorites – Carey Mulligan in ’09, Rush & Bonham-Carter in ’10, Winslet in ’15 (Rylance as well, at a time when he WASN’T the Oscar front-runner), Patel last year. Manville has already won the London Film Critics’ prize, an honor that has sometimes foretold those BAFTA upsets.

The question is, what would it mean if she did win there? I think you can break it down several ways, and we’d probably, in short order, find all these theories plastered on the Internet: 1) dws’ initial take: Phantom Thread is stronger than imagined – and even stronger at AMPAS – which gives Manville a chance at winning outright; 2) It indicates at least part of the electorate has not decided to fall in line with the dictated consensus, which means any of Metcalf, Janney or Manville could win; 3) It’s strictly a Brit thing, and the failure of the only serious opposition (Metcalf) to win here simply reinforces Allison Janney as prohibitive leader.

The latter has echoes of “these other people winning only helps Stallone” in 2015, and I don’t find it the most persuasive. The other two scenarios both seem plausible.

Because it’s really hard for me to see this category as so utterly cut-and-dried. If we recall, way back in early January, I was delighted when Janney won the Globe, because it aborted what I thought would be a dull-as-dishwater run for Metcalf. I just assumed, that night, that the Broadcasters would go with the critical/Internet consensus for Metcalf, and this would keep the race alive until March 4th. Of course, as we know, several nights later the Broadcasters said “Internet consensus? What Internet consensus?” to both Metcalf and Dafoe, and dittoed the Globe choices of Janney and Rockwell. Call me cynical, but I believe if the Broadcasters had gone first – or voted without knowledge of the Globe outcomes – they’d have come up with, minimally, Metcalf, and probably both her and Dafoe. Which would mean the Broadcasters are even worse/more insidious than I’d previously thought: they wouldn’t just reflect dull consensus; they’d be actively trying to manufacture it.

Of course, SAG also fell in line with these selections (all four, in fact), but I can easily see SAG voters going for Janney/Rockwell for reasons that might not have been automatically ratified at AMPAS (Janney for her long-standing TV fame, Rockwell because his opponent Dafoe was significantly under-seen). It was the Broadcasters’ move that seemed to fatally deflate the suspense from the season.

Because I agree again with dws: for this year, of all recent years – a year where, even now, three or four films remain possible best picture winners -- to have all four acting winners become slam dunks seems incredibly unlikely. Yes: Gary Oldman was always apt to turn into a strong favorite. But all three other slots offered strong competition, and it feels like an insult to the achievements on-hand for everything to have become pre-ordained, simply because of how a limited number of people from few groups made choices.

Why might Metcalf win the Oscar, in spite of this galloping consensus? Two reasons:

1) Lady Bird did WAY better overall than I, Tonya. The two films were pretty evenly matched in nominations at the Globes and Broadcasters, and I, Tonya actually did a bit better at BAFTA. But at AMPAS, it was no-contest: Lady Bird got all glamour categories (film, director, screenplay), with director indicating it was top five, while I, Tonya, though it did pick up an editing nod, missed all three of those, despite Guild mentions for both film (PGA) and screenplay. If a film’s popularity has any sway-power (and, in the expanded best picture era, it appears it has), Lady Bird could boost Metcalf ahead.

2) If there’s a #metoo-infuenced female tilt to this year’s awards, Lady Bird’s heroic lead character would seem to suit the moment more than I, Tonya’s. Of course, any such tilt hasn’t been apparent in the precursor run, but, as I’ve noted before, none of those groups (Globes, Guilds, etc.) have made the diversity push that AMPAS has over the past two years. If there’s any point to the Cheryl Boone Isaacs initiative, it ought to be that her group, which has made changes, starts to show different results from what’s been put forth by those other groups that haven’t.

Stipulate that, if Janney wins BAFTA, it’s going to be hard to argue against her as sure winner (though not impossible, for the reasons listed just above). But if she doesn’t, I’d view this as the category most likely to upset the “we know all the winners” bandwagon the Globes set in motion.

I’ll be back to field brickbats after BAFTA announces Sunday.

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Categories One-By-One: Supporting Actress

Postby dws1982 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:36 pm

The nominees:
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Leslie Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Finished the female categories before the male categories this year--maybe a first for me, probably because the female nominees are all connected to multiply-nominated films, unlike the males. Still two holdouts in the male categories--Denzel Washington (didn't get around to it in time because I assumed his chances were dead) and Willem Dafoe (never came around here)--but I'll get them knocked out next week.

Knowing that someone is an Oscar nominee can cause you to watch their performance a little more closely. As such, I have to come out in agreement with those who were underwhelmed by Blige in Mudbound. I think the movie had several good performances (the SAG ensemble nomination was not undeserved), but Blige really is the last one I would've thought to nominate. I can't imagine she has any shot at winning here--I'm not necessarily predicting it, but I'd give her a much better shot at Best Song.

Spencer's performance is the type that frequently gets carried along to a nomination by a popular Best Picture contender. These performances don't often win without some type of external factor (i.e., weak category and overdue nominee) attached to it. If I were ranking The Shape of Water's 13 nominations in order of likelihood to win, I'd probably put Spencer around tenth place. I like that Spencer has managed to navigate herself into a really solid career, but these types of along-for-the-ride nominations probably won't get her a second win. I could be underrating her chances because I didn't care for the performance--I just didn't see much to Zelda beyond what was in the screenplay--but I would be absolutely stunned to see her win.

Leslie Manville is the surprise nominee of the group, but she's attached to a Best Picture nominee, and one that showed surprising strength in the nominations. I'm not saying she's going to win, but call me crazy--I could imagine a scenario where she manages to sneak in between Janney and Metcalf, especially for voters who want to vote for Phantom Thread in one of the major categories. Granted, she hasn't shown up at many of the precursors, but she is nominated for the BAFTA, and I think she could very well win that.

Which brings us to our two heavyweights, Janney and Metcalf. I was so happy--Metcalf, an actress who I've admired for years, was racking up critic award after critic award. Surely, I thought, even if the Globes toss Janney a bone, the Broadcasters will fall in the line with the other critics? But the race turned as soon as Janney won the Golden Globe. Suddenly it became hers to lose. And it may still be. It's possible. I didn't care for the performance at all, but I can definitely see what others are responding to--it's loud and attention-getting in all of the ways that Metcalf's performance isn't. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I'm not at all ready to cede this to Janney.

We've got BAFTA and the Independent Spirits Left where Janney and Metcalf are both nominated. The Spirit Awards are the night before the Oscars, and I could easily see the Spirit Award and Oscar splitting one way or another between Janney and Metcalf (or I could see one winning both of these awards). BAFTA is more interesting, because as I said, Manville is nominated there. Will the BAFTAs try to be Oscar predictors, or will they go with their bias towards anything British (or made by anyone who can locate England on a map)? And if Manville wins, will it be dismissed as BAFTA-bias, or seen as a loss for Janney? I'm not sure.

But here's what I do know: The Globes anointed Oldman/McDormand/Rockwell/Janney, which the Broadcasters and SAG awards quickly rubber-stamped. I don't know that there's ever been a year where the same four won Globes, Broadcast, SAG, BAFTA, and then Oscar. Everything is unprecedented until it ultimately happens, and maybe this is the year where the same frontrunners come home at every awards show, but this sure seems like an odd year for that to happen. It gives an odd, skewed vision of the year. If Janney wins at BAFTA, I may end up landing with her as my prediction. But until then, I'm cautious.


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