It’s likely to be a pretty boring evening for the main acting categories, but the 2016 Oscars Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominees have the real intrigue over the Academy’s potential winners.
After all, mutiny will let loose if the Academy doesn’t pick Leonardo DiCaprio for his admittedly powerful work in The Revenant. Weeks of #Justice4Leo and editorials recounting his many Best Actor Oscars snubs paint a grim picture for any of the other men who scored a nomination. Additionally, his biggest competition, Eddie Redmayne, already won the award last year. He also has a lead on the others in past nominations, totaling five if you include his nod for Best Supporting Actor in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. That’s compared to three for Matt Damon, two for Michael Fassbender, and just one for Bryan Cranston.
The Best Actress category is similarly more tied up than its supporting counterpart, though not quite as tightly as on the Best Actor side with Leo. As TheInquisitr argued in a breakdown of the female group of nominees last week, Brie Larson is coming in with a huge amount of momentum from her Golden Globe and BAFTA win. That will be almost impossible to beat, even for the much-deserving Charlotte Rampling who finally scored her first nomination for 45 Years after decades of being known as one of the world’s finest actresses. With recent wins, Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence have almost no chance at all; and while Saoirse Ronan could come in as a dark horse for Brooklyn, it would be unwise to bet on anything but Brie.
Which leaves viewers with a truly fascinating race for Best Supporting Actor and Actress at the 2016 Oscars. On the Best Supporting Actress side, you’ve got three of the five nominees who are up for their first Academy Award ever — Rachel McAdams for Spotlight, Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight, and Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl. All three of these actresses put out stunning work in each of the films they lent their talent to, though some may argue Alicia really should have been nominated for Ex-Machina.
For years, the kind of acting required by Quentin Tarantino’s movies may have been considered too campy to win an Oscar; but Christoph Waltz snagged the Best Supporting Actor for both Inglourious Basterds in 2010 and Django Unchained in 2013. That’s a good omen for Jennifer, who also has the advantage of a long, deserving career in Hollywood without a single nomination. Rachel, however, has a comparable asset on her hand — for once the actress is in a film that isn’t too genre-y or offbeat for the Academy to turn down their nose at her talent. Moreover, the fact that she’s in Spotlight, a film with a very good chance of winning Best Picture, could work in her favor.
That’s not to say that it’s between those three woman at all. Rooney Mara may have one nomination from 2012 for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but that far from makes her an Oscar favorite. It’s also hard to judge her momentum as she was up for Best Actress at the Golden Globes against her Carol co-star Cate Blanchett, not to mention winner Larson. Kate Winslet did, however, beat her in the BAFTAs and also trounced the other supporting nominees for the 2016 Golden Globe. Still, even though Kate has those victories on her side, she’s been nominated a total of seven times — with one win for The Reader. That could also easily be taken as proof that she’s an Academy favorite, though.
While not quite the bloodbath seen on the Best Supporting Actress side, the Oscars for Best Supporting Actor tell a similar story. Only Christian Bale has been a winner, and Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy are both on their first nomination. It seems, perhaps, most prudent to call the 2016 Academy Award for Mark Ruffalo, with his third nomination and, like co-star McAdams, in a movie with some real Best Picture potential. That is, unless, the winner ends up being Sylvester Stallone for reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed — especially considering his only other nomination was for the franchise’s original film in 1977, and the fact that he already took home the Golden Globe a month ago.
Which nominee do you think the Academy will award with the 2016 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress?
[Image Paul Drinkwater (NBC Universal), via Getty Images]