Anita is one step closer to becoming a two-time Oscar-winning role. “West Side Story’s” Ariana DeBose has edged past Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”) for the No. 1 in our Best Supporting Actress Oscar odds.
With 19/5 odds, DeBose has 16 Experts and 10 editors predicting her to take home the gold, while Dunst, at 39/10 odds, has six Experts and two editors backing her. Caitriona Balfe (“Belfast”) is in third, followed by Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”), who slipped one spot to fourth after her surprising Screen Actors Guild Award snub last week, and Ruth Negga (“Passing”).
The climb to the spot has been a long time coming for DeBose since she started her rise after “West Side Story” started screening in late November to stellar reviews. Anita is already a proven Oscar-winning role for her co-star Rita Moreno in the 1961 version of the Broadway musical, and if DeBose wins, Anita will become just the third character to win Oscars for two different performers. The first was Vito Corleone, for which Marlon Brando won Best Actor for “The Godfather” (1972) and Robert De Niro nabbed Best Supporting Actor for “The Godfather Part II” (1974). The Joker joined the club two years ago when Joaquin Phoenix earned Best Actor honors for 2019’s “Joker,” 11 years after Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for playing the iconic villain in “The Dark Knight” (2008).
DeBose’s situation is also unique in that she could be nominated and win against the OG winner — Moreno is currently in eighth place for her turn as Valentina, the widow of Doc, in the Steven Spielberg adaptation.
This is just the second time this season that the top spot has exchanged hands in this category. Ann Dowd (“Mass”) led the pack in the summer and early fall before Dunst took over in October with the Best Picture frontrunner. At the moment, Dowd is in sixth place, with one Expert predicting her to triumph. Ellis and Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), who’s in seventh place, are the only other two contenders with Expert picks to win, at three and one, respectively. SAG Award nominee Cate Blanchett (“Nightmare Alley”) is in ninth.
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