Friday, January 13, 2006

Supporting Actress Commonalities

Need a break from my own awards for a minute. So I thought I'd look at the supporting ladies. This category is narrowed down but still quite contentious for the 4th and 5th spots. So let's look at some meaningless (?) statistics from the past 5 years of Oscar (that's 25 nominees for the math-challenged) to see who most benefits. Be forewarned there are some spoilers in this post (skip if you haven't seen Match Point or The Family Stone).

Average age of nominees in this category:
42ish. The youngest recently was Kate Hudson (Almost Famous @ 21) and the oldest Maggie Smith (Gosford Park @ 67). Who is closest to the average age this year? Laura Linney (The Squid and the Whale) is 41. Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha) just turned 40. Maria Bello (A History of Violence) is a spring chicken 38.

Most common roles:
01. Suffering wives make up 32% of the category. Great news for Michelle Williams, the poor abandoned Alma Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. (But then, we knew she was a lock.) This could also benefit Amy Adams, the lonely pregnant young wife in Junebug whose chances, due to the tiny size of her film, are debatable.
02. The Love Interest/Object of Desire fills 20% of this category. Good but not lockish news for Scarlett Johansson (Match Point).
03. Mothers of Lead Character make up 12% of the category. This is tangentially good news for Shirley Maclaine's (In Her Shoes) longshot bid. She's a grandmother but still functions as the maternal character of the piece. Diane Keaton (The Family Stone) would also be placed here.
Final Interesting Note: The remaining 36% of the nominees are tougher to categorize. The only commonality I found in the leftovers? There's two writers in the batch. Good news for Catherine Keener (Capote)

Does it help to die or be fatally ill? [SPOILERS BELOW]
Who wants to know you ask?


Well Frances McDormand, Rachel Weisz, Scarlett Johansson, and Diane Keaton keep asking. But the truth is that in the past five years only a measly 8% of supporting actress storylines involved their deaths. In this category you're much better off being traumatized by someone else's fatal illness or death.

Commonalities of Snubs ?
To understand the Oscars you have to have context of the year and the other people Academy voters could have selected. So, who, in recent years seemed like the 6th slotter (list below indicates precursor support and media attention followed by Oscar snub)? And why did they miss out?

2000 Catherine Zeta-Jones, Traffic or Kate Winslet, Quills
2001 Cameron Diaz, Vanilla Sky
2002 Michelle Pfeiffer, White Oleander
2003 Maria Bello, The Cooler or Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation
2004 Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland

Aside from the fact that all but one of them are blondes (!) I'd love to hear your opinion on what connects this grouping and how it might relate to this year's possible snub/s.

Reminder: My Ballot (If I Had one)
Also: Best Actress Commonalities
because I can't stop. But you knew that already, didn't you?


Anonymous said...

Hmm. An interesting one. I'd throw Winslet (Quills) in as the most likely 6th placer in 2000 (she got the more precursor-impressive SAG nom rather than the star-flattering Globes' nom Zeta Jones).

Interesting that a lot of the snubees were in sexually confident and/or predatory roles, don't you think?


adam k. said...

I'm still not sold on McDormand, but there is no logical reason not to be.

I was gonna say it helps to be in a best picture nominee, but then half of the snubees were in best pic nominees. I do think it hurts to be in a film that's not even being considered in other categories (ask Diaz and Pfeiffer. particularly since all the nominees who WERE chosen in their years were in best pic nominees or films with multiple acting nominees).

I don't see much of a pattern, other than the aforementioned sexual and/or predatory blonde thing... but we've already established that AMPAS likes these types less than Nat does ; )

adam k. said...

Also, I should not have read past the spoiler warning. Damn!


Rob -the SAG is not more impressive than the Globes in correlation to Oscars' supporting actress race. GGs have better predictive power as far as I'm aware (at least in that particular category)

Adam --so the no other noms thing is a big problem for Amy Adams, don'cha think?

Anonymous said...

Nat - very true (the Globe predictive power). Though Winslet did get more citations for Quills that year (SAG, Vegas Critics Winner, Satellite) than Zeta did for Traffic (literally, just the Globe), and I remember her being the "buzzed" one that folks were predicting in place of Marcia Gay Harden. Bizarre, considering how THAT one turned out!

I think Bello and Adams are both in this line-up, by the way. Agreement with Adam K that McDormand just doesn't seem "right" somehow.


Erik said...

I think that the snubs can be due to a couple of different problems. With Catherine Zeta-Jones, it possibly did not help that she was coming from a large ensemble cast. The only one who got through from Traffic was Benicio Del Toro, and he had a lot of prior support. However, she was the only prominent woman in the cast, so maybe I'm wrong. With Cameron Diaz, not a lot of people liked Vanilla Sky. For both Maria Bello and Michelle Pfeiffer, their respective movies were too small - either production values or boxoffice support. Johansson's snub could be due to category confusion - lead or supporting? I'm thinking that she got a lot of votes in each, but not enough to get in that fifth slot. Finally, Kate Winslet was already getting a nod for ESOTSM, so was there also a need to honor her in supporting?


Anonymous said...

Nate - Have you seen Junebug?


i have seen junebug yes. If voters have seen it they will certainly vote for Amy Adams. But the question is two fold

how many of them have seen it?
how high will she be ranked on these ballots?

she has a distinct disadvantage in that her film is the least widely seen of those in contention and she is the only non-extreme longshot nomination for the film.

I'm beginning to think Bello is in the most precarious position being that she has the most sexually powerful role of the bunch and as Rob mentioned, that does seem to be a unifying thread (and that commonality would also included the non-listed Kate Winslet for Quills)

frozen_androgen said...

Im just not sold on that Frances McDormand nom, i mean it-s not like they owe her anything to nominate her for such a regular role, in such a regular movie.
And eventhough Amy Adams is AMAZING in Junebug, I think she just might end up like Peter Sarsgaard in Shattered Glass, amazing perf, winning almost every crtics awards, and missing the Oscar nom.
I would really love it if they nominated Keener, her performance is just so sober and interesting, but very non-suffering-womman-victimized-by-her-husband, and we know voters LOVE those suffering wives.
I know it's a loooooooooong shot, but i would also LOVE to see Ziyi Zhang for 2046, but that aint gonna happen, so might as well stick with the usual suspects. Oh and also Laura Linney, but she's more of a leading than a supporting right?

Anyways, bye sexy.

me said...

Thanks for spoiling Match Point.

adam k. said...

Yes, Amy is definitely the one with the "out-of-contention film" problem. I never thought she would make it until she got the SAG nom, the NSFC win and the BFCA win all in the space of a week (as ballots were being filled out). That kind of rallying is hard to ignore. No longer is she in the Sarsgaard situation. And a SAG nod is usually indicative of lots of people having seen the film (what with the large nominating committee). They usually err on the side of mainstream, so a small, critical favorite making it is a marker of real support.

Bello could be in trouble, but she at least has a bigger film and a past snub to help her along.

I think there's a VERY good chance it could actually be Adams/Bello/Keener/Weisz/Williams, which I'm sure would send Nat over the moon.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of us would be happy with that lineup, irrespective of our own views on what the perfect 5 would be.

BTW, does anyone definitively know where Linney is being campaigned? I haven't managed to see a trade ad mentioning her, so I'm wondering how she's being promoted - lead or support?


Kevyn Knox said...

Laura Linney is being pushed as Supporting -- has an FYC ad showing it - but I don't think she'll make it -- and it looks like another snub for Scarlett. Right now I wd say Williams/Weisz/Keener/Bello/Adams.

Logan said...

All the "For Your Consideration" ads for Squid & Whale I have seen in the past week have had 'twin' pictures and 'twin' nomination pleas for Jeff and Laura for Best Actor and Best Actress, not Supporting.

adam k. said...

I have seen both. Linney is clearly being campaigned both ways. She's doomed.

Anonymous said...

Well, as of right now I believe it will work out this way:

Adams/Keener/McDormand/Weisz/and Williams

Adams breakout role in Junebug seems to be one of the most talked about suppporting performances of the year. Her name seems to come up more than Bellos at this time, who might have her votes split between the lead and supporting categories. Also, the Academy seems to vote for those fresh faces in this category, remember: Agdashaloo, Okenedo, Sevigny, Harden, etc.

This is where McDormand steps in with the 5th slot. If Theron gets in, I think it will play to McDormands advantage, especially with the GG and SAG nod. Also, it seems recently when the Academy picks a lead actor/actress they also tend to go with its supporting actor/actress like Cheadle/Okenedo, Washington/Hawke, or the Harris/Harden duo from Pollock.

What do you think?


Flapp said...

TOP 5 (For me)






But, what about the GREAT Thandie Newton, brilliant in CRASH?

Kamikaze Camel said...

I am currently not predicting Bello. I don't really know my reasoning, but I don't think so.

Interesting to think. Would Kate Winslet have won for Finding Neverland is she was nommed for it? It would've been her fifth nomination and the one that belonged to a BP nominee. Plus, she died!

About the snubees from the past few years, interesting to note that all but one were actresses working opposite actors of coniderable worth. Bill Murray, Geoffrey Rush, William H Macy, the entire cast of Traffic. And the other one - Michelle - was a man-hater who probably threatened old AMPAS members. "Could that happen to me? Oh I don't wanna think about that."

Catherine Zeta-Jones bringing lemonade to the agents stalking her house was one of my fave moments on 2000 films.

Anonymous said...


What happens with Michelle Pfeiffer??? I´m waiting for her an Academy Award, but, it will be impossible if he doesn´t work enough... What do you think about "I could never be your woman"??? Will she be a contender or even a winner??? I wish!!!

Sasha said...

I think we should consider how the Oscars sometimes nominate a Supporting Actor or Actress that has been ignored by most if not all other Awards. Eg: Toni Colette, Marcia Gay Hardin (twice!)
Shoreh Agdashloo, even Jennifer Tilley among the women. Among the men there was Alan Alda, Djimon Hounsou, Robert Forester, Armen Mueller Stahl, James Cromwell, Paul Scofield.
This year, the wild cards are:

Sandra Bullock (Crash)
Brenda Blethyn (P and P)


Geoffrey Rush (Munich)
Frank Langella (Goodnight)

I may be wrong....but it'll be fun if they DO get a nod.

Sasha said...

I think we should consider how the Oscars sometimes nominate a Supporting Actor or Actress that has been ignored by most if not all other Awards. Eg: Toni Colette, Marcia Gay Hardin (twice!)
Shoreh Agdashloo, even Jennifer Tilley among the women. Among the men there was Alan Alda, Djimon Hounsou, Robert Forester, Armen Mueller Stahl, James Cromwell, Paul Scofield.
This year, the wild cards are:

Sandra Bullock (Crash)
Brenda Blethyn (P and P)


Geoffrey Rush (Munich)
Frank Langella (Goodnight)

I may be wrong....but it'll be fun if they DO get a nod.

VanHelsing said...

yeah... Bullock as a wildcard nominee would be a pleasant surprise indeed... and her presence at the Oscars would definitely boost the show's rating especially after Bullock's win at the People's Choice Awards... so, what say you, Oscar voters?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Bullock has a hope in hell. She got the same kind of respect Phillippe got for that film; i.e. "well done for being solid amongst even better company". Surely Newton would get a Supporting Actress nod for Crash ahead of Bullock though?

But the fact that this category is so overcrowded with 10 very possible nominees (Adams, Bello, Johansson, Keaton, Keener, Li, MacLaine, McDormand, Weisz, Williams) means a slot could easily open up for a wild, out-of-nowhere longshot.

If only Lead Actress were this interesting this year.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I agree with anonymous Rob that Bullock has no chance. Thandie Newton had a bigger and more memorable role.

With all the buzz surrounding Crash and them sending out 100,000 more DVDs to screeners, I think there is a good chance we could see Newton, Howard or Cheadle get a nod.

Also, I think Langella has a great chance just like Alda last year. Good call Sasha!

One thing I have learned about predicting the Oscars is you can't always go with your personal favorites (Scarlett Johanssen). That has always hurt me in the past. To me it all seems to be about the buzz surrounding a film or performance at a particular moment that is why I think Adams in Junebug is a shoe in and names like Johanssen and McLaine are out.


Anil said...

I wanted to make a few Oscar predictions before the nominations are even announced.

Paul Giamatti will get the Oscar(we shouldve given it to you last year/earlier: a la Renee Zelwegger, Cate Blanchett, Judy Dench, Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman!!!!!! )

Crash will get the Best Screenplay award. (to compensate it for NOT winning Best Picture)

Michele Williams will get the best Supporting Actress Award. ( in order to award the film in an acting category because the lead actor wont win)

Felicity Huffman could be the front runner, but I think Reese will get the prize.

Best Actor is P.S.Hoffman's to lose. It WOULD be great if Straithern got it though....he's been underappreciated for so LONG!)

Best Picture will be Brokeback, Director: Ang Lee

Now for the Globes....much more predictible:

Actor drama: Heath Ledger (the usual: young good looking movie star who wins the Globe)

Actor Musical or Comedy: Joaquim Phoenix

Actress Drama: Felicity Huffman ( she deserves to win, but the Globes will choose her ONLY because of the Housewives connection!) Look for her to win the globe for that tv role as well!)

Actress Musical or Comedy : Reese Witherspoon ( again, she deserves to win, but THEY'LL be voting ONLY because she's a young gorgeous star)

Supporting Actor: George Clooney (or Director or both....the starstuck Globe voters may give him all 3 of the awads he's been nominated for!!!!) if George doesnt win Director it'll be Ang Lee. If he doesnt win S Actor it'll be Giamatti's)

Supporting Actress: Michele Williams ( in keeping with the star struck nature of the globe voters!)

Picture Drama: Brokeback Mountain
Picture Musical or Comedy : Walk The Line

Let's see how accurate I am! More to follow!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that Huffman may lose out on the Lead Drama Globe because she'll likely win in the TV Lead category?

I can't remember a year when the Drama Actress line-up seemed so pre-determined, and I just wonder if we're missing something.


Anonymous said...

i think Michelle williams will win.

Diogo Moutinho said...

Btw you forgot Cate Blanchett for Bandits in 2001 - NBR, GG nod, SAG nod and not Oscar nod.

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