Best Supporting Actress Nominees 2008

Forest Whitaker has spoken. The Oscar gauntlet has fallen. And we're off...
A month of Supporting Actress profiles will commence this Sunday, each attending to the golden boy's favorite actresses at the edge in...

Supporting Actress Smackdown for 2008:
Sunday, February 22.
Featuring an excellent panel of Smackdowners, including:
Rants of a Diva, Jakey,
Low Resolution,
Victim of the Time, The Rural Juror, & Alex in Movieland...

Very quick analysis from StinkyLulu:
The big "shocker" this morning derives from Kate Winslet's absence from this category. It's a compelling surprise, really, as I think Winslet's presence in the Lead Category for The Reader provides the first real threat to Hathaway's likely win in that category.

But over here in the land of Supporting Actressness, Winslet's absence from the Supporting Actress roster reconfigures the playing field meaningfully. On the first hand, no longer does Penélope Cruz have to worry about Kate love threatening her privileged position at the top of this particular heap. On the second hand, while I do think Cruz remains the favorite to win in February, I now think her new main rival for the trophy is the nicest nun, Amy Adams. Since March, I've been calling this year for Amy Adams. I do think Adams bears the "Hollywood" advantage over Cruz. Alone among this year's nominees, Adams a money-making, American actress who's visibly been on the rise for the last handful of years and, this year, Adams has received several essential, middle-brow nods of approval (Vanity Fair cover; CBS Sunday Morning profile; huge dvd success of last year's Enchanted). In other words, the Hollywood machine seems to have really been priming the pump for an Amy Adams win for Supporting Actress this year. On the third hand, I don't think Adams is this year's coaster. (That distinction goes, I feel, to Taraji P. Henson, an extraordinary actress nominated for an unremarkable performance in this year's most nominated film). On the fourth hand, I don't think Amy Adams and Viola Davis will "split" Doubt votes in any significant way. (Rather, I suspect that there's not going to be much voting for any of the Doubt acting nominees, especially not for this brilliant newbie. As a result, Adams stands well to get the "I should vote for something from that film" benefit which occasionally accrues to Supporting Actress nominees and which, in combination with the pump being primed for Adams recognition, really helps Adams gather any extra or straggling votes.) And on the fifth hand, with regard to Tomei, this nomination establishes Marisa Tomei, along with Cate Blanchett, as one of two actresses of her generation to enter the elite pantheon of women who have 3 nominations for Best Supporting Actress. This morning, Tomei joins likes of Celeste Holm, Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Anne Revere, Shelley Winters, Claire Trevor, Gladys Cooper, Diane Ladd and Dianne Wiest. So, for Tomei, I suspect this year'll be "it's an honor just being nominated for the 3rd time!"

So, summarizing all those aforementioned hands, I still think this year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar is Penélope Cruz's trophy to lose. I also suspect that Amy Adams is stealthily poised to facilitate just such an upset.
What are you thoughts, lovely reader?
Spill, please, in comments.


Criticlasm said...

I feel like Tomei will benefit from the residual shine being given off from Rourke. Interestingly, as she won her first time out of the gate, this might be considered a "comeback" nom for her as well; even though she's been doing consistent work, it's not been this high profile. I don't think they'd confer it to two of those stories, esp. if they give it to Rourke (though I still want Penn to win), but H'wood does love a comeback story.
I love Cruz, and think she's a fave, but for me I think it's Tomei, and then Adams, as the other possibilities.

Alex in Movieland said...

I was looking at these 5 ladies, thinking that there's no chance Penelope is not winning. Not because she's sooooo much better than the rest (cause she is better, but not that much), but because this was like a Presidential race and one of the two candidates (Winslet) has shockingly just stepped down.

Marisa has neither the performance nor the popularity to hold a 2nd Oscar so I don't really buy that. Taraji is too fragile and Benjamin is not winning Best Picture.
Maybe we'll just have to see about the Doubt ladies, though I see a Babel redux.

Please sign me up for the smackdown, with zingers, montage & all of that. :)

StinkyLulu said...

I don't know if I follow the "comeback" idea for Tomei. Her In the Bedroom nom in 2001 really marked her return to "respectability" in most ways.

StinkyLulu said...

And I'm also probably more impressed than I should be by the fact that Tomei [a] didn't get a SAG nom this year when Adams did and [b] nor has Tomei received a SAG performance nom since 1996 (just recognition for ensemble).

It's not that SAG is an especially reliable predictor but Amy Adams earned the votes among the actors even with Winslet in the category, along with Cruz, Davis and Henson. Tomei did not.

Alex in Movieland said...

Amy is sweet and all that, but lately it was shown that to WIN you need a bit more support. not just to get lots of nominations, but also to win a bit here and there. not the most. but still. and Amy has no chance at Bafta or SAG.

Tilda had Bafta, Kansas... (and the performance and the support of a BP beloved nominee).
Hudson - NYFCC, bafta, Globe, etc.
Weisz - Globe, SAG, San Diego (I think), etc.
Blanchett - SAG, tons of critics, BP support
Zellweger - SAG, Globe, some critics, 2 previous snubs
Catherine - SAG, bafta (I think), some critics, BP power.
and so on.

Amy was almost a safe nominee but I don't see her winning.
Penelope has the big critics, the excellent performance, the woody factor, the exotic mix, the hotness...

Marisa has some unexpected support from the critics and Mickey by her side. that could make her a faaaaar runner-up for me. and that because I though her performance lacked... something... the spark that says Oscar.

Viola has some support from the critics and, in an Obama year :P , she has a better position than Amy. but what about that screentime?...

just like Amy, I think Taraji is out of the picture (mostly for lacking big Oscar moment).

RJ said...

I'm interested to get other people's takes on these, because I certainly really like a few of these, but I don't know that I LOVED any of them.

Sally Belle said...

I'm sticking with Penelope because the others were all flawed in one way or another. (Viola, only by screen time.)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Mostly I'm pleased because it's about as good as we could have expected. I really don't care for Henson at all here, but it's better than citing that chick from Slumdog Millionaire that's for sure.

Here's hoping Penelope gets the win.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

I wouldn't mind seeing Adams win (I think she's much better- really great- than many are giving her credit for, and I'm glad you singled her out for praise in your review of the film), but I also think Cruz and Davis (who I believe will definitely get a substantial share of the votes) are equally memorable and deserving. But underdogs Tomei or Henson could snag it away and get to the podium, just ask Tilda Swinton. Who knows who will come out on top, especially in this category?

Slayton said...

Swinton won, I think, because there was no clear frontrunner among the five actresses. The only one who really didn't have a legitimate shot at winning was Saoirse Ronan, and the BFCA, SAG, Globe and BAFTA were split amongst the other four nominees.

I'm calling it for Cruz, as she was the leagues-ahead frontrunner before Winslet started picking up Supporting prizes. But I wouldn't mind an Adams upset (although I think it is unlikely).

Vertigo's Psycho said...

I'd put Cruz and Davis together at the front of the pack- Cruz has won more of the precursors, but Davis' work has caused major buzz to rival Cruz's. I liked Adams as much, but I think she's closer to "darkhorse" status than a good bet for the win.

However, with Kate Winslet winning Supporting Actress Globe and SAG awards for The Reader, it makes it even more difficult to forecast who's now out in front in this race (although Kate's looking better for the Best Actress win).

Criticlasm said...

Yesh--I think it's Winslet's best actress year.

And I hadn't seen the Wrestler when I commented above, I have now and am not sure they'd give it to Tomei for that. Wierdly, I think her post Oscar career has been proving that she was worthy of it the year she won it in that field. And comedy is hard, so there you go.

As for Cruz, I think she comes in and takes over the movie, basically, and you leave thinking how amazing she is. None of the others really did that for me. I feel like that's why she may take it. Interesting about the SAGS.

Sally Belle said...

I could see it going to Adams. Absolutely.

But, I didn't really dig her performance, and I thought it was as much a lead as Winslet in The Reader.

I'm pulling for Penelope myself.