Scarlett Johansson shed her “never Oscar-nominated” tag in tremendous fashion, becoming the 12th actor to garner double bids after landing in Best Actress for “Marriage Story” and Best Supporting Actress in “Jojo Rabbit.” And if you had your druthers, which performance would you award her for?
OK, let’s get this out of the way first: No, she is not favored to win either category. Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) and Johansson’s “Marriage Story” lawyer Laura Dern have been steamrolling through the season in the lead and supporting races, respectively, and it doesn’t feel like there will be an upset in the offing in such a short season. Johansson is currently in second place in our odds in both categories.
But ScarJo stans can still dream. None of the previous 11 double nominees have won both categories, so that’s the least likely scenario. Seven of them took home one, the most recent being Jamie Foxx in lead for 2004’s “Ray” (he lost in supporting for “Collateral”). Four people have gone 0-2: Sigourney Weaver was the first, getting skunked for 1988’s “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Working Girl”; Emma Thompson, the then-reigning Best Actress champ, lost for 1993’s “The Remains of the Day” (to another double nominee that year, “The Piano’s” Holly Hunter) and “In the Name of the Father”; Julianne Moore came up short for 2002’s “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours”; and Cate Blanchett went home empty-handed for 2007’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “I’m Not There.”
Johansson had long been expected to earn a Best Actress bid for “Marriage Story,” in which she plays an actress, Nicole Barber, trying to find herself again in the throes of a divorce from her theater director husband Charlie (Adam Driver). Noah Baumbach gives Johansson lots of meaty material to work with, including an extended monologue in Nora’s (Dern) office in which Nicole recounts her and Charlie’s relationship and how subliminating herself to support his career made her feel small — something many women could no doubt relate to. And then, of course, there’s the eternally meme-able fight scene between the two towards the end of the film.
The actress’ supporting nomination for “Jojo Rabbit” solidified after she netted Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA bids, and the film continued to hit major precursors, including a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Taikia Waititi. Johansson has arguably the most sympathetic role in the Nazi satire as Rosie, Jojo’s (Roman Griffin Davis) loving, warm mother who secretly hides a Jewish girl, Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), in their house, much to her naive son’s initial dismay. Her juiciest scene is the dinner table argument with Jojo that allows Johansson to show off the depths of her versatility.
Both films received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Johansson is one of two Best Actress contenders in a Best Picture nominee and one of three in supporting.
In third place in our lead actress odds is Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”), followed by Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”) and Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”). In supporting, Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”), Florence Pugh (“Little Women”) and Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”) round out the quintet.
Be sure to make your Oscar winner predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the ceremony on February 9. And join in the thrilling debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.