PART 6: THE FEMALE ACTING AWARDS
This hostless and apparently commercial-hampered and time-constrained 91st Academy Awards arrive on Sunday, February 25th. It’s time to breakdown each category and put some stone cold predictions into digital ink. Throughout the busy awards season, this website’s 2019 Awards Tracker has been my workspace to tally all the early award winners. That prognostication data is cited in these predictions. This column examines the races for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. As I say every year, stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The nominees: Amy Adams for Vice, Marina de Tavira for Roma, Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone for The Favourite, Rachel Weisz for The Favourite
AWARDS TRACKER DATA: 33- King, 6- Weisz, 4- Stone, 2- Sakura Ando for Shoplifters, 2- Olivia Colman for The Favourite, and three others with one win
Who was snubbed: This isn’t so much a snub as it is a reclassification. In my opinion and by my invisible stopwatch, Emma Stone is the lead in The Favourite. I would swap Colman in the lead actress race for Stone in this one and change the whole dynamic of both awards. I think Colman has a better shot winning here than where she is up in lead. More on that in a bit.
Happy to be there: This is going to be said twice on this column, but the unassuming and zero-letter-list stars of Roma are honored to be here among Hollywood’s finest. Marina de Tavira’s inclusion is a victory for her and the film. She deserves this place, even as a long shot.
Who should win: Shuffling the three ladies of The Favourite, there’s not a doubt in my mind that Rachel Weisz was the best of the three top women of that movie. She has the most delicious lines and most devious part in a movie of double-looks and double-crosses. She nailed it all in true Yorgos Lanthimos dryness. Rachel was absolutely perfect.
Who will win: Though I love the film to pieces as my best film of 2018, I don’t think Regina King was the best thing about If Beale Street Could Talk. I think that was KiKi Layne (see below). That said, this feels like shades of 2018 with Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf. You have a long-time character actress who’s always good in everything she does across film and TV that is finally being recognized for a standout piece of work. Regina King may never make it on this stage or roll call again, but she will always have this beautiful gift of a part from Barry Jenkins. Enjoy this moment, Ms. King! You earned it.
The nominees: Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, Glenn Close for The Wife, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, Lady Gaga for A Star is Born, Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me?
AWARDS TRACKER DATA: 20- Colman, 12- Toni Collette for Hereditary, 6- Close. 6- McCarthy, 4- Gaga, 3- Regina Hall for Support the Girls, 2- Elsie Fisher for Eighth Grade, 2- Viola Davis for Widows, 2- Aparicio, and five more with one win.
Who was snubbed: Though it’s one of the oldest staple genres of film, horror simply doesn’t get respectable praise from the artistic film community. If it did, Toni Collette would be on this final list of nominees, if not even walking out the absolute winner. Horror is like comedy. Go try it and perform it convincingly yourself before you knock it. Speaking of comedy, Elsie Fisher was a deserving and incredible revelation for Eighth Grade. Child performers get even less respect than horror and comedy.
Happy to be there: The completely unknown Yalitza Aparicio of Roma became the embodiment of Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood memories. Her plainness was unremarkable but real. Her presence was slight, but her heart was tremendously endearing. She has to be living a dream right now to be on movie’s biggest night.
Who should win: Melissa McCarthy impressed me to no end in Can You Ever Forgive Me? She took all of her antennae strength for physical performance that she normally tunes to a Jim Carrey-like 12 and distilled it into a character who wasn’t comfortable in her own skin. Her sense of timing and emotive reaction were impeccable. I will gladly pay to see her put the shenanigans away 50% of the time and go the way of Robin Williams with his dramatic chops as she ages.
Who will win: Welcome to the resume-fulfilling lifetime achievement moment of the program. Throw out the tale-of-the-tape comparisons, the award seasons data, and any other trend or metric. Glenn Close is winning this award for The Wife as a sign of respect, faith, and promise from an industry that nearly forgot about her. Anyone beating her would be the second coming of Juliette Binoche sneaking ahead of Lauren Bacall.
NEXT AND FINALLY: The race for Best Picture!
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