The 2021 Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”), Olivia Colman (“The Father”), Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”), and Yuh-jung Youn (“Minari”). Our odds currently indicate that Youn (16/5) will emerge victorious, followed in order by Bakalova (4/1), Close (4/1), Colman (9/2), and Seyfried (9/2).
All of this year’s nominees are new to the category except Close, who previously garnered three consecutive bids for “The World According to Garp” (1983), “The Big Chill” (1984), and “The Natural” (1985). She also earned recognition for her lead roles in “Fatal Attraction” (1988), “Dangerous Liaisons” (1989), “Albert Nobbs” (2012), and “The Wife” (2019). Since she lost the Best Actress race two years ago, Close has stood alone as the woman with the most acting nominations and no wins.
Close was bested in 2019 by Colman, whose victory for “The Favourite” makes her the only past winner in this group. They are now the 15th pair of actresses to face each other at the Oscars more than once and the sixth to engage in a supporting battle after a lead one. Close also follows Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, and Michelle Williams as the fourth woman to have been involved in this situation with more than one other actress, having previously contended against Cher in both 1984 and 1988.
Bakalova, Seyfried, and Youn are all first-time Oscar nominees, making this the fifth supporting female lineup in 10 years to include more newcomers than veterans. Bakalova and Youn have also respectively made history as the first Bulgarian and Korean acting nominees. Youn is one of a handful of East Asian actresses ever recognized by the academy and could be the second one to win after Miyoshi Umeki (“Sayonara,” 1958).
The current contenders have an average age of 50, which is the seventh highest in the category’s history. The record is held by the women of 1965, whose ages ranged from 42 to 77 and averaged out to 61. Either Close (74) or Youn (73) could become the third oldest supporting female champion of all time, after 77-year-old Peggy Ashcroft (“A Passage to India,” 1985) and 74-year-old Josephine Hull (“Harvey,” 1951). After 1964 and 1965, this is the third year in which two septuagenarian women have competed against each other for this award.
The most recent victors in this category are Laura Dern (“Marriage Story,” 2020), Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk,” 2019), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya,” 2018), and Viola Davis (“Fences,” 2017). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, airing April 25 on ABC.
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