The Rundown 2017: Supporting Actress

For our twelfth Rundown article, the most able assistance any category could have. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Supporting Actress as well as general commentary about the race. Next week, we’ll start off on Monday with an acting category where once a Best Picture win most frequently required a nomination and which has in recent years fallen into third place in its necessity.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner Predictions

  • Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
  • Allison Janney – I, Tonya (WL O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird (PP O)
  • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Allison Janney – I, Tonya (PP O)
  • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird (WL O) (TB O) (TL O)

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Wesley Lovell: The big question for this category is will the Academy go for theatrics or realism. In one corner you have Allison Janney who plays Tonya Harding’s hardnosed mother in I, Tonya whose quirky combativeness anchors the film. In the other corner you have Laurie Metcalf who plays a middle class mother looking out for her daughter as best she can in Lady Bird. Both performances are terrific and either would be a worthy winner, the question simply is which will be more likely to pique voters’ interests. Both are veteran character actors who’ve turned in plenty of strong performances both on stage and television, each with their best film roles to date. What leans the needle towards Metcalf is Lady Bird and its inability to become a frontrunner in any other category. Will the Academy want to send the film home empty-handed or throw it a bone here for the critic-approved performance. Of course, the televised awards have all gone to Janney whose fortunes have turned in the last month. The outrageousness of her character could be catnip for voters who like to see their acting moreso than feeling it. Of course, if these two women gain the lion’s share of attention and one of the other nominees were to sneak through, it’s doubtful that Octavia Spencer or Mary J. Blige would benefit, but Lesley Manville could. With Phantom Thread only really pushing into one category (Costume Design), it could be one of the few places the film gets recognized and its late-breaking popularity might bolster that. However, at this point, and without BAFTA’s results to change the conversation, I suspect Janney will come out on top with Metcalf a close second.
Peter J. Patrick: The smart money is on Allison Janney for her over-the-top performance in I, Tonya, and she may well win it, but sometimes Oscar goes for a less showy performance which is why I refuse to give up on Laurie Metcalf’s chances of winning for Lady Bird until the envelope is opened on Oscar night.
Tripp Burton: Allison Janney, a beloved Hollywood mainstay and a first-time nominee, has exactly the sort of role that Oscar voters eat up. Her only real competition is Laurie Metcalf, who has decades of respect from the acting community even without an extensive film resume. Metcalf could be a chance for voters to award Lady Bird, which is looking like it could go home empty-handed, but Janney is a formidable competitor to overcome.
Thomas La Tourrette: If the Best Actress race feels like a contest between just two people, the Supporting Actress race definitely is just between two. Both actresses are first-time nominees, though they have a number of Emmy wins and a Tony and Tony nomination between them, so they are well respected by their peers. Laurie Metcalf was the early frontrunner and seemed to have the Oscar all but sewed up. Then Allison Janney won the Golden Globe, the Broadcast Film Critics award and the SAG award and the momentum shifted. Metcalf may have more camera time and gives the more heartfelt performance, but I am thinking that the Oscar will go to the foul-mouthed career-changing performance by Janney. She created quite the memorable character in a mother none of us would want. I do not see any of the other three nominees having an impact in this race. Janney wins, but an upset by Metcalf is not out of the question.


Appears on Four Lists
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton Thomas LaTourrette
[New] = New Prediction
[Return] = Prior Prediction Returning
(O) = Original Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series

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