On this week’s For Your Consideration, Collider’s awards experts Scott Mantz, Perri Nemiroff and Jeff Sneider rehash the acting races now that the picture has become more clear following the Golden Globe and SAG nominations. Things are still a bit cloudy, as there is still no clear frontrunner in any of the four acting categories. But at least that means there will be some excitement, unlike last year, when the Oscar winners seemed a bit preordained.
Let’s start with the most interesting of the four races — Best Actress. Lady Gaga is looming large here, though some critics maintain that she was simply playing a version of herself in A Star Is Born. I don’t know many who weren’t impressed by Melissa McCarthy‘s dramatic turn in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and yet another Fox Searchlight actress — The Favourite star Olivia Colman — seems to have the edge heading into the Christmas break. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt is gaining awards traction as more people see Mary Poppins Returns, and Glenn Close is still lingering and can’t be dismissed, given the strength of her work in The Wife. That leaves Widows star Viola Davis on the outside looking in, forcing the FYC hosts to discuss her fading awards hopes. Jeff is still pulling for Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan, but neither is looking like a surefire Oscar nominee.
In terms of Best Actor, there are four clear-cut nominees, but that fifth slot still feels up for grabs, with critical darling Ethan Hawke battling the BlacKkKlansman himself, John David Washington, who beat out the First Reformed star for both a SAG and a Golden Globe nomination. As for the other four presumed nominees — Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen and Rami Malek — it remains anyone’s guess who will win. Cooper seems more interested in winning Best Director, though the Academy could give him this Oscar in the event that the other one goes to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma. Green Book‘s Mortensen is a respected veteran who has never won. Vice star Bale has won before and is excellent as Dick Cheney, but will Academy members actually vote for that performance? And could rising star Rami Malek surprise everyone and win for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody? I wouldn’t count any of these guys out at this point.
Over in Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant seems to be out in front at the moment, with Mahershala Ali and Timothée Chalamet close behind, if only because of their screen time. Sam Elliott still has a passionate base of supporters for playing Cooper’s put-upon brother in A Star Is Born, though it was Vice‘s Sam Rockwell who secured a Golden Globe nomination. And finally, Adam Driver is looking more and more likely to be nominated for BlacKkKlansman, though Jeff still thinks he could be the odd man out if both Sams find their way into the final field of five.
Jeff also thinks it’s a bit of a weak year for Best Supporting Actress, with every pundit predicting a pair of nominations for The Favourite stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. That duo and Vice‘s Amy Adams seem to be the three most likely nominees, although the FYC gang still perceives Regina King as the frontrunner at the moment, even though she missed out on a SAG nomination in favor of dark horse Margot Robbie, whose Mary Queen of Scots has generated mixed reviews from the few who have seen it. Emily Blunt was also a surprise SAG nominee in this category, as voters fell for her turn in A Quiet Place, thereby snubbing First Man‘s Claire Foy. Obviously, Scott felt that she was an egregious oversight, and even Jeff agrees that she was overlooked despite being cool on the film itself.