Last Updated: February 4, 2019
With the Oscars right around the corner, it's time to take a look at who has the best chance of winning Best Supporting Actress. By now, several of the key Academy precursors, including the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards, and various industry guilds, have already handed out their trophies, providing a bit of clarity in what ended up being one of the wildest and most unpredictable awards races in recent memory. Nowhere is the insanity of the 2019 awards circuit more apparent than in the Best Supporting Actress field, where SAG and Oscar voters went on incredibly diverging paths.
Emily Blunt won SAG's Best Supporting Actress for her performance in A Quiet Place, and that would normally make her the frontrunner for the Oscar. Before this year, there was perfect overlap between Supporting Actress SAG and Oscar winners this decade. That streak is coming to an end, since Blunt was not nominated by the Academy. So what does all that mean? We're going to rank the five Best Supporting Actress contenders, in order of most likely to least likely to take home the gold statue.
Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk
If King wins the Oscar this year, she'll be bucking some serious trends. In a surprising development, she was snubbed by SAG - despite being the presumed frontrunner at the time those nominations were announced. The last time the Oscar's Best Supporting Actress did not at least score a SAG nomination was 2001, when Jennifer Connelly won for her turn in A Beautiful Mind. The only other outlier in SAG history (which dates back to 1994) is Marcia Gay Harden in 2000's Pollock, so King has history very much working against her. Still, she was able to garner enough support with Academy voters to score her first career Oscar nomination. And now, even with the SAG miss, the award could be her's to lose.
Of the five Best Supporting Actress nominees, King is the one who's had the most luck with the precursors. Earlier in the season, she won at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards, and National Board of Review, a trifecta that clearly establishes her as one to beat. If one of King's competitors took home the SAG award, then her chances at the Oscar would have been diminished. But the fact the guild went with Blunt speaks to a general lack of widespread enthusiasm for the other nominees. If Beale Street Could Talk was one of 2019's more curious snubs in several categories, but it should be represented on Oscar Sunday by King.
Amy Adams - Vice
Much like Leonardo DiCaprio prior to The Revenant, Adams is an Academy darling, but can never seem to secure the win. Over the course of her illustrious career, she's now amassed a total of six nominations and even has some notable snubs on her résumé (including 2016's Best Picture nominee, Arrival). There are few things the Oscars love more than rewarding an overdue veteran for their body of work, and with fellow overdue actress Glenn Close competing in Best Actress this year, many were hoping Adams would finally take her elusive first Oscar home for her supporting turn in Adam McKay's Vice, where she delivers a powerful performance as Dick Cheney's wife Lynne.
Related: Read Screen Rant's Vice Review
Vice itself turned out to be one of the more polarizing offerings of awards season, but it found lots of traction with awards voters. Adams has been a beneficiary of that reception, securing other nominations at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, and SAG. While Christian Bale's incredible, eerie transformation into the former U.S. Vice President has (understandably so) generated most of the media attention for Vice, Adams is as great as she's ever been as Lynne, channeling her determined, steely demeanor. It feels inevitable she'll win an Oscar one day, but she may have to keep waiting. Adams has not picked up a single meaningful precursor, which puts her at a distinct disadvantage. If she won the SAG, she'd be in the driver's seat, but it's not her time yet.
Emma Stone - The Favourite
Yorgos Lanthimos might be an acquired taste for some, but awards voters happily ate up his period costume drama, which chronicles a rivalry between Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail (Stone) for the affections of one Queen Anne (Best Actress candidate Olivia Colman). The collected efforts of that main trio deserves a lion's share of the credit for why the film works as well as it does, so it isn't surprising all of them are in the running. Stone, already a winner for La La Land (and another nomination for Birdman) was afforded an opportunity to display more of her range, gleefully sinking her teeth into a darkly comedic role - and she more than rose to the occasion. The Favourite scored 10 nominations, with Stone picking up a Best Supporting Actress nod.
Stone was also recognized for her efforts by the Golden Globes, SAG, and Critics' Choice, but in all likelihood, she will not be pulling off a Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor winner in 2009 and 2012) by winning two Oscars relatively close to each other, which is a pretty rare feat. Stone won Best Actress just two years ago, and voters have already decided to go a different route. Much like Adams, Stone has spent a majority of awards season watching others in her category get the hardware. There's also something else that hurts Stone's prospects: her own co-star.
Rachel Weisz - The Favourite
Much like Stone, Weisz was also nominated for the Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics' Choice Award for her performance as Lady Sarah. Coincidentally, she is also a former Academy Award winner, taking home Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for The Constant Gardner. Once again, Weisz finds herself back in the race, but she's facing some stiff competition - including her plucky co-star. The two square off against each other in Best Supporting Actress this year, but what does that mean for either of their chances?
In Oscar history, 34 films have been double-nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category (two of them, Come to Stable and Pinky, were released in 1950). In 22 of those instances, the Academy Award went to someone from a completely different movie, which is roughly a 65 percent clip. Those are not insurmountable odds for the Favourite ladies to overcome, but this is still somewhat difficult to pull off. To be fair, in the two most recent occurrences of this happening, the double-nominated film did win the Oscar (Melissa Leo topped Amy Adams in The Fighter; Octavia Spencer beat out Jessica Chastain for The Help), but that probably won't happen this year. Stone and Weisz losing the SAG make them long shots unless some surprises are in order.
Marina de Tavira - Roma
The latest acclaimed film from Alfonso Cuarón has been one of the dominant titles of the season, winning Best Director at the DGA awards and Best Picture at the Critics' Choice. Some believe it could become the first foreign language film to win Best Picture, as it's clear it has massive support from voters. Roma pleasantly surprised last month when it scored two Oscar nominations for acting, including Tavira as Sofia, mother of the main family depicted in the semi-autobiographical period piece. A veteran of Mexican film, TV, and theater, she delivered a strong performance that helped ground Roma and emphasize its themes.
One of the reasons why Tavira's nomination was such a shock is because she was virtually absent from the race prior to Oscar nominations morning. Including her Academy nod, she's only earned two Best Supporting Actress nominations this year (the other coming from the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association Awards). It would be rather unprecedented if she won the Oscar without being in the running for the Golden Globes, SAG, or Critics' Choice Awards, so Roma fans shouldn't bet too heavily on Tavira taking this home.