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Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Supporting Actor & Actress Nominees

by Oliver Lyttelton
February 28, 2013 3:42 PM
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Vanessa Redgrave - "Foxcatcher"
Two years back, Vanessa Redgrave was tipped as a potential nominee for "Coriolanus," but it failed to happen. Last year, we thought she could get one for "Song For Marion," but while the Weinsteins picked it up, they decided not to release it in 2012, and we'd be very surprised if they campaigned for it, given its soft reception on the festival circuit. But Redgrave does have another shot this time around, for her part in Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher." If the script that we have, from 2008, is anything to go by, the role of the wheelchair-bound mother of John Du Pont (Steve Carell) is a two-scene wonder (it might well have been expanded, though), but there's a lot to work with there, and as Judi Dench has proven in the past, honoring a veteran actress doesn't necessarily require a ton of screen time. There's also a chance for the underrated Sienna Miller, who plays Nancy, the wife of wrestler Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo).

Naomie Harris - "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"
If there was ever any hope that Jennifer Hudson might win a second Oscar for playing Winnie Mandela, the controversial wife of Nelson Mandela, in "Winnie," it's long since gone. The film is allegedly dreadful, and is yet to be released. But the part could yet prove to be a winner for Naomie Harris who plays her opposite Idris Elba's Nelson, in Justin Chadwick's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom." The actress has raised her profile recently thanks to her part in "Skyfall," and is more than talented enough to be worthy of nominating. The big question is how major the part is; if the film focuses heavily on Mandela's time on Robben Island, it may be small-ish. Still, certainly one to keep an eye on. 

Kristin Scott-Thomas - "Only God Forgives"
To the dissent of some fans, we've excluded Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" from these prediction pieces; "Drive" failed to make much of an impression with the Academy, and the script for "Only God Forgives" makes that film look like a Disney cartoon, as far as the violence goes. But we do wonder about the potential for Kristin Scott-Thomas. The British actress (nominated for "The English Patient" in 1997) has worked in French cinema more often than not in recent years, but she's got a killer part here as Ryan Gosling's character's ruthless crime boss mother Jenna, one very different from any she's played before. Deep down, we suspect that, as with Albert Brooks and "Drive," the film will be too grisly for Academy tastes. But with Harvey Weinstein releasing the film, anything's possible.

Elizabeth Olsen - "Oldboy"
As we said yesterday, Elizabeth Olsen could have a potential Best Actress entry with "Therese Raquin," but we wonder if her chances might not be better in the supporting category, when she appears in Spike Lee's "Oldboy." Olsen plays Marie, the equivalent to Mi-do (played by Kang Hye-jung), who in the original was a young chef who befriends and helps main character Dae-su, only for them to fall for each other. As fans of the original will know, there's a twist in store, and unless the remake has watered the plot down (and the filmmakers are keen to suggest that they haven't), there's some pretty strong material for Olsen to get her teeth into. The film may not be to the Academy's tastes in the end, but Olsen just might be. 

Maria Bello, Viola Davis or Melissa Leo - "Prisoners"
We're not quite sure what to make of "Prisoners" and its awards prospects: the film has an acclaimed script, a prestigious cast and an Oscar-nominated director in the shape of "Incendies" helmer Denis Villeneuve. But the story -- revolving around the aftermath of a child abduction -- goes to some eyebrow-raising and dark places, closer to "Saw" than "Mystic River," which may make it principally commercial fare. Its best chances are probably in the supporting acterss category, given that it has awards favorites Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Melissa Leo in the cast. It's tough to say too much about the parts -- Bello and Davis play the mothers of two kidnapped girls, and wives to Hugh Jackman and Terence Howard's characters, while Leo plays the aunt of Paul Dano's suspected killer -- without giving the game away, but any of them have the potential to make it in, if Villeneuve pulls the tricky material off.

Also In Contention: Zoe Saldana in "Out Of The Furnace," Jennifer Garner in "Dallas Buyers Club," Laura Linney, Alicia Vikander and Carice Van Houten in "The Fifth Estate," Julianne Moore in "Carrie" and Hailee Steinfeld in "Can A Song Save Your Life?"

And our exact predictions, for the record:

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin - "Labor Day"
Colin Farrell - "Saving Mr. Banks"
Jeremy Renner - "Untitled David O Russell
Sam Rockwell - "The Way Way Back"
Mark Ruffalo - "Foxcatcher"

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams - "Untitled David O Russell Abscam Project"
Cameron Diaz - "The Counselor"
Isla Fisher - "The Great Gatsby"
Carey Mulligan - "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Julia Roberts or Margo Martindale - "August: Osage County"

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  • Edmond | August 4, 2013 3:30 AMReply

    Just saw "The Way, Way Back" today, and I was walking out saying Rockwell should earn a supporting nod for this. He reminded me of Renée Zellweger in "Cold Mountain", I remember saying the same thing about her goofy part in that. I also think Liam James deserves a best actor nomination for his work. This was a brilliant film. Love loved!

  • christopher loup | June 28, 2013 6:23 AMReply

    I think that Kristin Scott thomas has strong potential of being a contender in the best supp actress category. She plays a role out of her usual ones and with great success. I really hope she gets a nod.

  • GERARD KENNELLY | March 11, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    here are my very early predictions


    lindsay burdge A TEACHER
    shailene woodley THE SPECTACULAR NOW
    zoe saldana BLOOD TIES
    Trieste Kelly Dunn LOVES HER GUN
    kate winslet LABOR DAY
    ... rooney mara SIDE EFFECTS
    carey mulligan THE GREAT GATSBY
    noomi rapace DEAD MAN DOWN
    nicole kidman GRACE OF MONACO
    cate blanchett BLUE JASMINE
    carey mulligan INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
    jennifer lawrence SERENA
    naomi watts DIANA
    meryl streep AUGUSY OSAGE COUNTY
    michelle monaghan GUS
    michelle pfeiffer MALAVITA
    brie larson SHORT TERM 12
    julianne moore WHAT MAISIE KNEW


    robert deniro MALAVITA
    bruce dern NEBRASKA
    michael fassbender THE COUNSELOR
    casey affkleck AINT THEM BODIES SAINTS
    billy crudup BLOOD TIES
    benedict cumberbatch THE FIFTH ESTATE
    forest whitaker THE BUTLER
    tom hanks CAPTAIN PHILIPS
    leonardo dicaprio WOLF WALL STREET
    joseph gordon levitt DON JON
    robert redford ALL IS LOST
    ashton kutcher JOBS
    leonardo dicaprio THE GREAT GATSBY
    matthew mcconaughey MUD
    ryan gosling ONLY GOD FORGIVES
    paul walker HOURS
    edward james olmos GO FOR SISTERS
    robert redford THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
    josh brolin OLDBOY


    kristin scott thomas ONLY GOD FORGIVES
    sally hawkins BLUE JASMINE
    cameron diaz THE COUNSELOR
    radha mitchell GUS
    julie christie THE COMPAY YOU KEEP
    scarlett johansen DON JON
    hailee steinfeld CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE
    olga kurylenko TO THE WONDER
    julia roberts AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY
    elizabeth olsen OLDBOY


    tom hanks SAVING MR BANKS
    russell crowe RUSH
    james caan BLOOD TIES
    sam rockwell THE WAY WAY BACK
    brad pitt THE COUNSELOR
    will forte NEBRASKA
    tommy lee jones MALAVITA
    shia labeouf THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
    javier bardem TO THE WONDER
    chris cooper AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY
    tobey maguire THE GREAT GATSBY
    matthew mcconaughey DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
    terence howard DEAD MAN DOWN
    bradley cooper THE PLACE BEYON THE PINES
    sharlto copley OLDBOY
    matthew mcconaughey WOLF WALL STREET
    alan rickman THE BUTLER
    javier bardem THE COUNSELOR
    tony danza DON JON

  • Zena | March 4, 2013 6:34 PMReply

    I'm shocked that they're all white. That's so unlike the Academy Awards and Hollywood.

  • Josh | March 2, 2013 8:31 PMReply

    Nicole Kidman in The Railway Man

  • 23553 | March 2, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    I would love to see Will Forte get a nod, I really like him.

  • Josh | March 1, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    Barbara in 'August: Osage County' is definitely a lead role. Some would say it's even bigger than Violet (Streep). Amy Morton was in lead at the Tony Awards and it would be an incredible stretch to say that there are not two co-leads in the piece.

  • Tom | March 1, 2013 8:02 AMReply

    LOL! Cumberbatch is "Little Charles"?! This is gonna be awesome. From a genius dettective, a terrifying villain in Star Trek, Smaug the Dragon and "US enemy 1" in The Fifth Estate to a dumb, unemployed, man-child?! I am so looking forward to this!

  • droopy | February 28, 2013 7:26 PMReply

    im amazed at hoe much faith you guys seem to have in the great gatsby. seeing as luhrman is lady gaga-ing it up big time its obviously gonna be utter shit

  • Duddi | February 28, 2013 7:21 PMReply

    What about Pitt in "The Counselor" ... he's great in supporting roles (12 Monkeys; Burn After Reading,Babel and The Tree of Life come to mind)... and also Paul Giamatti in "Saving Mr. Banks" and maybe any member of "Last Vegas" can have a big time party in that movie (De Niro, Douglas, Freeman and Kline)... also worth mentioning "Mickey Rourke" in Sin City or

  • Ohh | February 28, 2013 6:00 PMReply

    Good god the what Bardem looks like in the counselor? Haha!

  • j bone | February 28, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    ruffalo,rockwell,renner,fassbender and bardem that's my list book it right now

  • IO | February 28, 2013 4:27 PMReply

    I suspect you have underrated Michael Fassbender. First feedback about his performance in "12 years slave" is very impressive.

  • wes | February 28, 2013 4:25 PMReply

    I usually hate when comments say "this post is dumb," "jeez, guys. don't you have anything better to write about?" or some other trollish comment. But these premature predictions are kind of ridiculous. Props if y'all are spot on though. :)

  • Lili | February 28, 2013 4:23 PMReply

    Why is there nobody from the cast of Blood Ties? Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, James Caan, Marion Cotillard? At least one of them will be worth mentioning.

  • GERARD KENNELLY | March 11, 2013 11:13 AM

    i think billy crudup is a fearless actor
    ever since i saw him in ALMOST FAMOUS
    he was the best part of Public Enemies

    i love the french thriller RIVALS (which blood ties is a remake of )

    when you watch the french one
    you will see why they cast James Caan as the father
    he will be 100% perfect for that part

  • oogle monster | February 28, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    What about Cate Blanchett in Monuments Men?

  • paul | June 30, 2013 3:52 PM

    well said!!!

  • Shanon | February 28, 2013 7:49 PM

    Of course she should be considered, alongside Oprah for The Butler (Oprah !), Nicole Kidman for The Railway man (long-suffering wife) and even maybe Reese Witherspoon for The Devil's Knot (long-suffering mother). Oh, and we have learnt that Jackie Weaver is now always one to keep an eye on (she's in Parkland, Stoker and Labor Day).

  • Lou | February 28, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Keep an eye out for Vithaya Pansringarm in "Only God Forgives."

  • GERARD KENNELLY | March 11, 2013 11:14 AM

    http://www.facebook. dot com/pages/Vithaya-Pansringarm-Best-Supporting-Actor-2014/350810541691865?fref=ts

  • Pluert | February 28, 2013 3:59 PMReply

    No actor/actress is getting a nomination for The Great Gatsby. Let it go, it's not an awards contender other than the technical categories.

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