2019 Oscars: Supporting Actress

Previously, in Jack’s 2019 Oscar coverage…

January 28 – Best Picture
January 31 – Editing

Upcoming…

February 7 – Leading Actor
February 11 – Supporting Actor
February 14 – Leading Actress
February 18 – Director
February 19 – Original Screenplay
February 20 – Adapted Screenplay
February 21 – Cinematography
February 24 – Final Predictions on Oscar Night

Today…Best Supporting Actress

SUPPORTING ACTRESS – NOMINEES
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Who will win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Who could win: Amy Adams, Vice
Who should win: Amy Adams, Vice
Who should be here: Linda Cardellini, Green Book

Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: All five of these performances are exceptional, and in a weaker year, any of them could take home the top prize.

I am not a huge fan of The Favourite as a film, but the three women leads were all fantastic. I kind of wonder what made the producers/agents/managers/publicists/etc decide that Olivia Colman was the lead actress and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone were supporting. In truth, I think it’s the other way around. The Queen – Colman’s role – was a constant throughout the film, but certainly not the protagonist. The film belonged to Weisz and Stone, and their battle to become/stay the titular “Favourite”. As it stands, I don’t think any of the three win a statue, but if Colman were here, she’d almost for sure take home the gold.

Marina de Tavira was a bit of a surprise nomination; she wasn’t really on my radar at all, with only a couple of critics predicting her to make the short list. I had thought that the Academy might go for a showier/more commercially viable name like Michelle Yeoh to throw some love to Crazy Rich Asians, or maybe Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place, since neither made the cut for Best Picture. But the Academy does like a surprise, left-field newcommer, and de Tavira’s performance was certainly worthy.

That all said, this category comes down to two industry veterans – Regina King and Amy Adams, in very different roles. I’m giving the edge to King for now, since If Beale Street Could Talk was unfortunately snubbed for Best Picture. She played the ultimate strong mother: holding everything together for her family. It’s the kind of quiet role that’s hard to pull off, much less be recognized for, but King hit it pitch perfect, and this nomination, her first, is long overdue.

However, if I were handing out statues, it’d go to Amy Adams. Like King, Adams plays a character who has to hold it together for everyone around her, but in this case, it’s a real life public figure, and her performance probably caused a lot of people to go back and reevaluate who really holds the power in the Cheney family. In addition, shining opposite Christian Bale’s enormously transformative performance would be difficult for the best of actresses, but Adams held her own and then some. Given that this is Adams’ sixth nomination, it’d be hard to say no to her this time around, and I could well change my mind come Oscar night.