It was a tough decision. Arquette has so much screen time and such strong emotional impact upon viewers that the film could have been called “Motherhood,” but it’s really the core story of a boy growing up in a fractured family over 12 years. Over the past month, Gold Derby has featured Arquette as a prediction option in both races, resulting in a clear preference by our Experts, Editors and Users. In the lead race, she’s currently ranked eighth, but in supporting, she’s way out front to win with the backing of 12 our 16 Experts. See our official racetrack odds.
Of course, Oscar voters have the option of ignoring the IFC Films campaign in supporting and nominating Arquette in any category they choose. Just a few years ago they famously promoted Kate Winslet to lead, resulting in her win for “The Reader,” after she campaigned, and won, in the supporting slot at the Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. However, academy voters usually endorse a contenders’ choice once a firm decision has been made.
Arquette’s placement in supporting is a wise decision for many reasons:
First: Stars with lead roles often win in supporting: Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”), Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”), Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”) are just a few examples.
Second: Best Picture wins an acting award – and usually in supporting. “Boyhood” has had a strong lead in our Best Picture race since Gold Derby opened our Prediction Center on Aug. 20. If it ends up prevailing on Oscar night, the academy will probably want to give it an acting award as Lupita Nyong’o discovered last year when “12 Years a Slave” triumphed.
Third: Arquette is a beloved Hollywood veteran overdue for academy recognition. Her impressive film career spans “Ed Wood,” “True Romance,” “Flirting with Disaster,” “Bringing Out the Dead,” “Lost Highway,” “Human Nature,” “The Hi-Lo Country while working with esteemed directors like David O Russell, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Stephen Frears, Tim Burton, Tony Scott. She’s never received an Oscar bid, but she’s been nominated three times at the Golden Globes and four times by SAG Awards (most recently as part of the cast of “Boardwalk Empire”). Oh, yeah, and she won an Emmy …
Fourth: Her Emmy victory in 2005 for “Medium” reminds award prognosticators how we should not underestimate Arquette when she competes for industry peer-group awards. We made that mistake when she was up for Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama Series and all Emmy pundits on the planet ignored her in favor of Jennifer Garner (“Alias”), Glenn Close (“The Shield”) or Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”). Arquette’s ultimate victory now reigns as one of the biggest upsets in Emmy history.
How she won that Emmy: Arquette has a special allure to her peers in the film and TV industries who know her well and have worked with her shoulder to shoulder for decades. We can see it on screen in her performances – there’s a rawness, an honest ache in her eyes and voice that touch us deeply. She is Everywoman and we can’t help but empathize with her character’s emotional quest – and we can’t resist rooting for her.
Remember: The Rooting Factor is how you win an Oscar.