‘Women Talking’: Dueling Best Supporting Actress nominees for 10th time this century?

Michelle Williamsdefection from the Best Supporting Actress Oscar race to lead for “The Fabelmans” not only makes it anyone’s game now, but it provides more opportunity for a film to score multiple nominations in the category that is friendliest to multiple nominations. A stunning 35 movies have earned more than one bid in Best Supporting Actress and one film is projected to make it 36 this season.

Women Talking” stars Jessie Buckley and Claire Foy are currently 1-2 in the Williams-less supporting actress odds, ahead of Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Vanessa Kirby (“The Son”). Hsu and Kirby also have co-stars in contention in Jamie Lee Curtis (11th place) and former winner Laura Dern (12th), respectively.

If Buckley and Foy make the final five, it’ll be the 10th time this century and the first time in four years a film produced co-star nominees. Here are the intra-film face-offs since 2000 with the winner in parentheses:

1. “Almost Famous” (2000): Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand (Marcia Gay Harden for “Pollock”)

2. “Gosford Park” (2001): Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith (Jennifer Connelly for “A Beautiful Mind”)

3. “Chicago” (2002): Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Zeta-Jones)

4. “Babel” (2006): Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi (Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls”)

5. “Doubt” (2008): Amy Adams and Viola Davis (Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”)

6. “Up in the Air” (2009): Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick (Mo’Nique for “Precious”)

7. “The Fighter” (2010): Amy Adams and Melissa Leo (Leo)

8. “The Help” (2011): Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer (Spencer)

9. “The Favourite” (2018): Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz (Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk”)

SEE Oscar Experts Typing: Who’s the Best Supporting Actress favorite now with Michelle Williams out?

A third of these saw someone defeat their co-star, which is on par with the category overall. Out of 35 instances, 12 people have beaten their co-stars, or 34.28 percent. That’s the highest success rate of all the acting categories as Best Actor is 4/12 for 33.3 percent; Best Actress is 1/5 for 20 percent, and Best Supporting Actor is 7/21 for 33.3 percent. Best Supporting Actor has featured co-star nominees in four of the last five years after going 26 years without one.

Usually in co-star battles, a victor emerges when support consolidates around one contender from the beginning. While Buckley has the edge right now at 9/2 odds to 6/1, it’s hardly a gulf of difference between her and Foy. What’s more, they’re not the only contenders for “Women Talking,” Sarah Polley’s adaptation of the Miriam Toews novel of the same name, which follows a group of isolated, abused women in a religious colony discussing their future. Save for Rooney Mara, everyone is running in supporting, including scene-stealers Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy. Producer and four-time Oscar champ Frances McDormand is also eligible but is a long shot as her appearance amounts to a cameo.

If Buckley gets in, it’ll be her second consecutive nomination in the category after her inaugural bid last season for “The Lost Daughter,” in which she played the younger version of Olivia Colman‘s character, something Foy is familiar with as she  passed the Queen Elizabeth II baton to Colman on “The Crown” for the third and fourth seasons. The two-time Emmy winner is seeking her first Oscar bid after coming up short for “First Man” (2018).

PREDICT the 2023 Oscar nominees by Jan. 24

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