By John H. Foote
The supporting ladies. Previous winners, nominees, long-overlooked artists and brand new performances worthy of a nomination.
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Here you go.
ANNETTE BENING IN THE REPORT
Bening is another who might be considered due as she has been nominated for award-winning work, but no Oscar. This film is rumored to be sharp and edgy with Bening delivering an intense solid performance. A truly great actress who has been close before and lost. This could be her year.
MARGOT ROBBIE IN ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
her star continues to ascend. Though she has few lines she is the sunny bright heart in this dark tale. Family and friends have stated Robbie nailed Sharon Tate, bringing her back to life in a beautiful, glowing performance. So good she seems to glow from within.
ZHAO SHUZHEN IN THE FAREWELL
As Nai Nai the dying matriarch of the family, blissfully unaware of her fate as her family descends to visit her one last time, Shuzhen was a delight in this film, luminous and lovely.
LAURA DERN IN MARRIAGE STORY
If Noah Bambauch has written her a great role she could be unstoppable. With Big Little Lies Part 2 just ending placing her in the public eye, a plum role in Little Women, she might be noticed for this if they decide to nominated this fine, brave actress.
MERYL STREEP, FLORENCE PUGH, EMMA WATSON and LAURA DERN IN LITTLE WOMEN
These four women are all potential nominees from this film. Streep seems the most likely, though good things are being said of Pugh and Dern. If this is the slightest bit good, expect the film to be laden with nominations. This category could be jammed with them, all from Little Women.
JANELLE MONAE IN HARRIET
The rapper has proven her gifts as an actress, she was tremendous in Hidden Figures (2016) and Moonlight (2016) so all eyes will be on her in this historical drama about Harriet Tubman. Monae has it, whatever it might be. She is gifted and the camera adores her.
JUDI DENCH IN CATS
A brilliant actress coming to the end of her career, in a beloved musical, in a great role. Dench might just swoop in, cat-like, and nab that Oscar. She looks great in the makeup designed for her, and her abilities are beyond reproach. Don’t laugh…could happen.
ANNA PAQUIN IN THE IRISHMAN
Paquin won an Oscar for her performance in The Piano (1993), charming the audience and world with her stunned face at the podium. She headed off to HBO later headlining True Blood for several seasons making a film here and there. Supporting actresses do well for Scorsese; Diane Ladd, Jodie Foster, Cathy Moriarty, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Lorraine Branco, Juliette Lewis, Winona Ryder, Sharon Stone, Cate Blanchett…why not Paquin?
MAGGIE SMITH IN DOWNTON ABBEY
Acting royalty reprising her role from the hugely popular TV show, surrounded by British opulence and fine actors and writers. One of them will be a nominee, expect it to be Smith.
OCTAVIA SPENCER IN LUCE
This popular Oscar nominee (and winner) is back as an unorthodox supervisor of children who pays attention to her charges. The Academy has proven they love Spencer with an Oscar for The Help (2012) and nominations for Hidden Figures (2016) and The Shape of Water (2017). They might love her again.
One of Canada’s best-known film critics, he spent 10 years on TV as co-host of Reel to Real, and another 10 in education (still writing as a critic) as Director of the Toronto Film School, where he created the curriculum for three programs and taught film history. Film has always been his passion. He has written for magazines such as Toronto Life, Fashion and Hollywood North, been quoted in the Los Angeles and New York Times, as well as the major Toronto dailies. Online he has written for such sites as The Wrap, In Contention, Awards Circuit and The Cinemaholic. His first book Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker, was published in 2010. His second Steven Spielberg: American Film Visionary, a massive volume, has just found a publisher and he’s working on American Film Renaissance – 1967-2018 with Nick Maylor. As a critic, he has had the good fortune to interview directors and stars such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Emma Stone, Jane Fonda, and countless others. As he quips, “Everyone but Jack Nicholson!”