Four or five days ago Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone posted a Best Supporting Actress spitball piece. She settled on ten performances that are probably on the proverbial list at this stage, she feels. Here are those ten plus an extra name or two coupled with my reactions. By my sights there are four near-locks and one compelling maybe. (Open to debate, of course.) The rest feel dubious for this and that reason.
Near locks: 1. Rooney Mara in Carol — emphatically yes. Except Mara will have to figure some way around that impassive ice-maiden thing she kinda gives off, which won’t serve her well in the long run, red-carpet-wise. 2. Jane Fonda in Youth — definitely. A hot-skillet performance given by a respected, consummate pro who knows exactly how to play the game — probably the front-runner as we speak. 3. Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl — yes, okay, but mainly because her performance is being talked up as better than Eddie Redmayne‘s. 4. Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy — yes, definitely. 5. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight — quite possible (this is the “compelling maybe” I spoke of) as she gives a deft, assured performance in a universally admired film.
The others: 1. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs — an obviously strong character, interesting performance, but played (like the film itself) at the same testy, strident pitch. 2. Joan Allen in Room — FORGET IT! 3. Jessica Chastain in The Martian — for a Best Supporting Actress nomination? ARE YOU JOKING? 4. Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight — I haven’t seen the film but I know how it reads and I’m telling you there’s no way she gets nominated…not a chance. 5. Helena Bonham Carter in Suffragette – maybe but role isn’t quite vivid or punchy enough. 6. Helen Mirren as Hedda Hopper in Trumbo — standard villain role, not enough dimension.