Awards season is officially upon us and we're counting down the days until the Oscars on 24th February 2019. Here are our tips for the Best Supporting Actress contenders...
Will Michelle Yeoh win Best Supporting Actress for Crazy Rich Asians?
Kevin Kwan's vibrant novel Crazy Rich Asians received an exuberant adaptation this year, courtesy of director Jon M. Chu. Drenched in Singaporean razzle dazzle and with a sweetly romantic story at its centre, the movie made stars of several of its actors, Henry Golding, Awkwafina and Constance Wu in particular.
Even so, amid the impressive ensemble cast, veteran Michelle Yeoh stands out as the imperious Eleanor, the matriarch of a wealthy dynasty who will do anything to preserve the family name. This includes destroying the romance between likeable couple Nick (Golding) and Rachel (Wu), but the beauty of Yeoh's performance is that we don't necessarily hate or judge Eleanor for her actions.
Instead, we understand exactly why family and legacy are important to her, and Yeoh brings her years of accomplished performances (including the Oscar-winning likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to bear on what could be a one-dimensional pantomime villain. We're tipping Yeoh as the frontrunner in this year's Best Supporting Actress category.
Is Nicole Kidman a Best Supporting Actress contender for Boy Erased?
Nicole Kidman is currently undergoing something of a career renaissance, having delivered memorable turns in films as diverse as family adventure Paddington and adoption drama Lion (for which she was Oscar nominated).
This could very well turn out to be Kidman's year as she delivers a pair of contrasting but equally powerful performances in Destroyer (released on 25th January 2019) and Boy Erased (released on 8th February 2019). We've already earmarked her as a possible Best Actress contender for the former, a gritty drama in which a de-glammed Kidman plays a psychologically damaged cop confronting a dangerous cult member.
Then there's her role as a devoted yet conflicted mother in Boy Erased, the latest feature from actor-turned-director Joel Edgerton. This troubling story about a young gay teen sent to a conversion camp has drawn much acclaim for Kidman's performance, playing a devout maternal figure who is torn between her beliefs and her son's future.
Critics have agreed she shares excellent chemistry with co-stars Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe and Edgerton himself, so Kidman could be the one to upset Yeoh's chances on the big night.
Will Rachel Weisz or Emma Stone be recognised for The Favourite?
Now, this is an interesting proposition. Yorgos Lanthimos' bawdy, irreverent period comedy The Favourite (released on 1st January 2019) is drawing plenty of Oscar attention for its wickedly dark take on the final years of Britain's ailing Queen Anne. But with its fantastic trio of central performances from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma stone, all of whom are weighted equally in terms of screen time and skill, it presents a headache as to how the Oscars will split the vote.
It seems increasingly likely that Colman (who plays the gout-ridden Anne) is being positioned as the Best Actress frontrunner, despite being the least 'Hollywood' name out of the three. That creates an interesting dynamic between Weisz and Stone, who are brilliantly entertaining as court advisors Sarah and Abigail. Ironically enough, given the movie revolves around the on-screen battle between Weisz and Stone's characters, could the duel extend offscreen as they each compete for the Oscar?
Is Regina King an outside contender for If Beale Street Could Talk?
Regina King (Emmy-winning star of Netflix series Seconds) is set to stun in Barry Jenkins' sumptuous If Beale Street Could Talk (released in the UK on 8th February 2019).
The Oscar-winning Moonlight director returns with another story of tender romance beset by racial injustice, adapting James Baldwin's novel about a Harlem couple whose love affair is disrupted by jail time. We can probably expect Best Picture, Director and Screenplay nods, but King's supporting contribution shouldn't be overlooked.
She plays Sharon Rivers, the mother of central character Clementine (Kiki Lane), whose husband Alonzo (Stephan James) has been sent to jail. King's performance has drawn plaudits – reviews from this year's Toronto International Film Festival praise her as playing the role with "breathtaking depth".
Is Amy Adams attracting Oscar buzz for her performance in Vice?
Responses to a recent screening of Adam McKay's sly and intelligent political comedy-drama Vice (released on 25th January 2019), detailing the rise of Dick Cheney to the position of US Vice President, indicate it could be a dark horse in this year's Oscars.
Christian Bale is startling and unrecognisable under convincing ageing latex as the older Cheney, and he also plays the infamous figure in his younger years. Opposite him is a droll Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, under whose presidency Cheney achieved prominence, but Amy Adams as the latter's wife, Lynne, is also emerging as a possible frontrunner.
Deadline reports that a screening of the film drew raves for Bale, Rockwell and, in particular, Adams. Indeed, with several Oscar nominations already under her belt (including Best Supporting Actress nods for Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter and The Master), but no wins to date, this could be Adams' year to shine.
Is Black Panther's Letitia Wright this year's wild card choice?
We've already speculated on Black Panther's chances in the Best Picture (unlikely) and Best Supporting Actor (hotter) categories – but is Letitia Wright another secret weapon in the film's arsenal? The Academy Awards very often overlook blockbuster movies, but Wright could very much prove to be a wild card contender.
In many ways, Wright's humorous and spirited character Shuri, the quick-witted gadget engineer and sister of title character T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), embodies the heart of the movie. She's smart, practical and entertaining, and also introduces grace notes of inclusivity into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Far be it from us to boil her performance down to a political issue, but many people loved Wright's performance (as they did the entire movie) because it speaks to the here and now. On the other hand, the Oscars may well nominate her simply because it's a terrific performance. We'd love to see her recognised, but only time will tell.
Who are you tipping to win Best Supporting Actress at the 2019 Oscars? Let us know your choices @Cineworld.