Almost every Expert journalist who has updated their Oscar predictions in the last two weeks is betting on Yuh-Jung Youn to win Best Supporting Actress for “Minari,” and for good reason given the results of the most recent industry awards. So does that mean Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) is out of it? Not necessarily.
All season the Best Supporting Actress race has been veering in different directions. Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”) won the Golden Globe, but then she wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar. Then Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) won the Critics Choice Award, but that broad comedic performance still seemed like a very uncharacteristic Oscar winner.
Momentum started to coalesce around Youn starting at the SAG Awards, the first major prize of the season decided by industry peers just like the Oscars are. Soon thereafter she won the next industry award, the BAFTA. Both times, her enthusiasm and gratitude warmed the hearts of the media and even her fellow nominees. Heading into Oscar voting, which starts April 15, it feels as though the passionate support for “Minari” as a whole has gathered around Youn’s performance.
However, Close is on her eighth Oscar nomination without a win, so she’s overdue in a way she hasn’t been at other recent awards events. She had already won three Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, and a Critics Choice Award, so there was no urgency to honor her again at those kudos. That’s not the case at the Oscars, where it’s well known that Close hasn’t won yet and where the memory of her surprise loss for “The Wife” two years ago is still so fresh.
It may still be an uphill battle, especially since Youn has the advantage of starring in a Best Picture nominee, but we can’t rule out the possibility that enough voters won’t want to wait any longer to give Close her due after all these years.
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