Best Supporting Actress Contenders 2016

Frontrunners that might not actually be there when Oscar nods are announced
Jane Fonda in 'Youth'

Who’s ready for some actual rankings?  The Best Supporting Actress race has gone from being competitive to a shrug your shoulders and “pick ‘em” play.  Two of the presumed nominees are controversial because most pundits (and rival studios) believe they are actually leading roles (“The Danish Girl’s” Alicia Vikander and “Carol’s” Rooney Mara).  That means no matter what SAG does there is still a good chance they either don’t make the cut in this category and/or knock someone out of the Best Actress field.

The bigger current story is the fact players such as Elizabeth Banks (“Love & Mercy”), Rachel Weisz (“Youth”) and Julie Walters (“Brooklyn”) have a legitimate shot to actually crack the five.  Moreover, these slow burners may not make the SAG Awards nominations cut a few weeks from now and squeak in on Oscar nomination morning.  So, don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t a race.  The question is whether the participants are legitimate.

In the meantime, some long overdue rankings for this particular category.

As of: November 18, 2015

The Top Five

1. Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
The presumed frontrunner, but shaky considering I’ve already heard Academy members sigh at the fact they think it’s a lead performance.

2. Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Not convinced SAG members are enthusiastic over her performance, but this is quickly turning into the “we are supposed to vote for her (or him)” nominee this year.

3. Jane Fonda, “Youth”
Barring any bizarre political shenanigans likely a lock.

4. Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
She “should” get in and if the movie was a hit she would have had a better chance to win.

5. Joan Allen, “Room”
Might actually be turning into something of a lock and  might not even need to get a SAG nod either.

Almost There

Jennifer Jason Leigh, “Hateful Eight”
Might be this season’s red herring. Might not.

Julie Walters, “Brooklyn”
If Walters was campaigning she could steal a nod. Now that she’s free is there still time?

Elizabeth Banks, “Love & Mercy”
The dark horse candidate. Why? Screeners went out early which helps, it’s a great performance and she’s been a prominent figure on the circuit (almost as much as Fonda).

Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Could ride the coattails of overall love for the movie.

Rachel Weisz, “Youth”
Deserves it probably more than Fonda, but the movie really has to play as well to Academy voters and SAG nom com as Searchlight thinks it is for her to get a nod.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below.

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With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios, has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times and co-founded HitFix, Inc. serving as its first Editor-in-Chief and President. Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.

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