While the Best Supporting Actress Oscar is often awarded to an ingenue, it can also be a way to reward a more season performer who has been overlooked by the academy in the past. Indeed, that is just what happened at the 2020 Academy Awards when Laura Dern took home this Oscar for her scene-stealing performance in “Marriage Story.” (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2021 Oscars predictions for Best Supporting Actress.)
While Dern was clearly a featured player in her picture, two of her rival nominees, Florence Pugh and Margot Robbie, could easily have submitted themselves in lead for their roles in “Little Women” and “Bombshell” respectively. But the studios decided to campaign only their co-stars, Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron, in the top race and this proved to be a winning strategy as all four reaped bids.
In 2019, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz could have contended in lead for their roles in “The Favourite” but got out of the way of their co-star, Olivia Colman, who bagged the Best Actress Oscar. Stone and Weisz were both Oscar winners already with the former prevailing in lead for “La La Land” in 2017 and the latter taking home this award in 2006 for “The Constant Gardener.”
Weisz was the de facto leading lady in her winning film as were other such recent Best Supporting Actress champs as Viola Davis (“Fences,” 2017); Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl,” 2016) and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood,” 2015).
When Stone won Best Actress, she became the 32nd winner to be in her 20s when picking up this prize. By comparison, only 17 of the Supporting Actress winners have been under 30. Conversely, just two Best Actress victors have been in their 50s while it is eight for supporting, including Dern and Allison Janney (“I, Tonya,” 2018).
While 34 of the Best Actress winners were thirtysomething, this is true of just 26 of the supporting actress champs. However, only 15 of the Best Actress winners have been in their 40s compared to 24 of the supporting ones (both Colman and King number among these).
Six of the Best Actress winners were in their 60s (Katharine Hepburn won twice at that age) as were four in Supporting Actress. Hepburn is also the only Best Actress winner to be in her 70s while five women of this age have done so in supporting. Jessica Tandy was the lone champ in her 80s, having hit that milestone almost a year before she won Best Actress for “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990.
UPDATED: February 25, 2021
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios – October 23)
Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix – January 7, 2021)
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix – November 11)
Olivia Colman, “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics – December 18)
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank” (Netflix – December 4)
Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” (A24 – February 12, 2021)
Olivia Cooke, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon – November 20)
Dominique Fishback, “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros. – February 12, 2021)
Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian” (STX – February 19, 2021)
Saoirse Ronan, “Ammonite” (Neon – November 13)
Helena Zengel, “News Of The World” (Universal – December 25)
Candice Bergen, “Let Them All Talk” (HBO – December 10)
Priyanka Chopra, “The White Tiger” (Netflix- January 22, 2021)
Toni Collette, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix – September 4)
Tilda Swinton, “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (Searchlight Pictures – August 28)
Marisa Tomei, “The King of Staten Island” (Paramount – June 20)
Debra Winger, “Kajillionaire” (Focus Features – September 18)
We will be updating our Oscar predictions for each competitive category often in the days to come so be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back as the race heats up.
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture: Updated – February 22, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Director: Updated – February 23, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor: Updated – February 24, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress: Updated – February 24, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor: Updated – February 25, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress: Updated – February 25, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay: Updated – February 16, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay: Updated – February 16, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography: Updated – February 12, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Costume Design: Updated – February 12, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Film Editing: Updated – February 12, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Updated – February 22 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score: Updated – February 10, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song: Updated – February 10, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Production Design: Updated – February 12, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Sound: Updated – February 12, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects: Updated – February 10, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature: Updated – February 10, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Feature: Updated – February 9, 2021
2021 Oscar Predictions: Best International Feature: Updated – February 9, 2021
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