Best Supporting Actor:
In 1967, Sam Elliott made his feature film debut in an uncredited role in The Way West. At time, only one of his fellow nominees – Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) – was even alive. Now, after all of these years, the veteran and acclaimed actor has finally received his first Oscar nomination for his role in A Star is Born. His fellow elder statesman, Grant also received his first Oscar nomination this year and has also emerged as one of the major contenders for the award, having garnered strong support from various Critics Awards across the nation. These two veteran actors are joined by relative newcomer Adam Driver, who has made a name for himself on both the independent and blockbuster film circuits in the past few years, but has only broken through for his first nomination this year as well. He is nominated for his role in BlacKkKlansman.
This year’s Best Supporting Actor represents a “tale of two cities” situation with these first-time nominees joined by the winners in this category from the past two years. In 2016, Mahershala Ali won for Moonlight and now returns as the favorite in the category for his role as pianist Don Shirley in Green Book. Last year, Sam Rockwell won for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and is now nominated for his brief appearance as George W. Bush in Vice. Though Ali has emerged as a favorite, recent controversies faced by Green Book could see this category become more open than expected but Ali has remained consistently favored all awards season.
Prediction: Mahershala Ali
Best Supporting Actress:
Before the nominees were announced, few would have guessed that Roma actress Marina de Tavira would be included among this strong group of five, yet the veteran Mexican actress made the cut. A first-time nominee at the Academy Awards, de Tavira is joined by If Beale Street Could Talk actress Regina King who is also up for her first Oscar. King has emerged as a frontrunner in this category, having picked up a variety of acting wins in the run-up to the Oscars, including at the recent Golden Globe Awards. However, King was left out at the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, hinting that perhaps this category is more open than previously thought. Prior winners Emma Stone (La La Land) and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) are both nominated for their roles in The Favourite, representing two of the films’ three acting nominations. The final nominee is Amy Adams. Nominated for her role in Vice, this is Adams’ sixth Oscar nomination and her fifth in the Supporting Actress category. Whether or not she can breakthrough for the win will be one of the storylines to watch this year.
Prediction: Regina King
Best Original Screenplay:
Invariably the Screenplay categories see certain films that have gained Best Picture nominations also scoring nominations here, and this year is no different with four of the nominees for Best Original Screenplay also up for Best Picture. Both films from this year gaining the most nominations, Roma and The Favourite, have received one of their ten here. Roma marks Alfonso Cuar‘s first Original Screenplay nomination since 2002 with another Mexican film nY Tu Mamá También. Producers Guild-winner Green Book, which received five nominations overall, along with eight-time nominated Vice, are also nominated for the award. First Reformed completes the five nominees. The film was shutout in every other category despite being critically acclaimed for its directing and acting.
Prediction: First Reformed