“Allison Janney is looking really good right now. ‘I, Tonya‘ is also coming on strong, and I think she’s going to take the SAG Award,” boldly forecasts Joyce Eng, Gold Derby senior editor. She joined fellow editors Tom O’Neil, Chris Beachum, Paul Sheehan, Marcus James Dixon, and Daniel Montgomery for their first slugfest following a week of major awards developments including the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and nominations announcements from the BAFTAs and Directors Guild. Watch the slugfest above, or listen to the podcast version at the bottom of this post.
After getting overwhelming support from critics, Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird“) seemed like the Oscar frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress, and perhaps she still is, but Janney’s recent upset wins at the Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards called that race into question. However, those two events are decided by journalist organizations that have no connection to the motion picture academy that decides the Oscars. O’Neil thinks Janney’s personable awards campaigning has helped her with those smaller groups: “She’s everywhere, and she lights up with a big smile. She’s everybody’s best friend … so she’s this awards magnet.” But the Globes are decided by around 90 voters and Critics’ Choice is voted on by only a few hundred, while there are more than 100,000 SAG Awards. Campaigning might not have as big an impact there.
Eng argues that Janney’s track record might supersede any campaigning concerns. “She has a bunch [of SAG Awards] for ‘The West Wing’ … and ‘American Beauty’ [with the ensemble], a Best Picture winning film. She has won for ‘The Help’ as well [with the ensemble], a Best Picture nominee. She was in ‘Juno,’ a Best Picture nominee. She has a lot of friends in the business … It’s also the flashier performance, and we know SAG loves the loud stuff.”
But size often matters on the awards scene, and Metcalf has a bigger role in “Lady Bird” than Janney has in “I, Tonya.” Sheehan notes, “Isn’t Laurie Metcalf almost like a co-lead performance? It’s almost as much her story as it is Saoirse Ronan‘s.” And there’s also a big empathy gap between the roles the two actresses play. Metcalf plays a loving but stubborn mother who struggles to connect with her teen daughter, while Janney plays a cruel abuser. O’Neil explains, “[Metcalf is] sympathetic in a way that of course Allison Janney isn’t.”
See Tom O’Neil’s Oscar predictions right here, Paul Sheehan’s right here, Chris Beachum’s right here, Daniel Montgomery’s right here, Marcus James Dixon’s right here and Joyce Eng’s right here. When all of Gold Derby editors’ predictions are combined, these racetrack odds are created.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.