This Sunday, the 92nd annual Academy Awards are set to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The anticipated awards ceremony includes many competitive categories, including the Best Supporting Actress race in Oscars 2020. It's been a tough race filled with many deserving performers (along with the well-noted absence of Jennifer Lopez, who was snubbed for her celebrated turn in Hustlers), but only one actress will walk away with the gold prize. And while there are predictions in place for who is expected to win, we here at CinemaBlend have our favorites in this category. There's no telling until Sunday if our pick matches the evening's recipient, but here's who we would like to see receive the acting prize.
When it comes to tallying the votes, a number of writers and editors at CinemaBlend ranked their favorite performances from one to five, with the number one pick being their favorite, and number five being their least favorite. After tallying up the scores based on the averages, a conscious was made. The ranking serves as a composite of everyone's collective picks, not merely the choices of any one individual person. It should also be noted that, when it comes to picks three and four, there was a tie in place. Therefore, we differentiated the choices based on which nominee received the most #1 votes. Without further ado, this is CinemaBlend's official ranking of 2020's Best Supporting Actress nominees!
#5. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Average Rank: 4.5714286
An exceptional talent with over a hundred acting credits to her name, Kathy Bates is a legend of the big and small screen, and the Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell is actually the fourth she's earned over her impressive career. Having received previous nominations for 2002's About Schmidt, 1998's Primary Colors, and 1990's Misery (for which she won Best Actress), Bates' latest performance represents another humane, moving performance from the acting veteran.
She plays Bobi Jewell, the fearful, deeply concerned matriarch of the title character who finds her life turned on its head when her son becomes a nationwide humble hero to the target of public, federal and media scrutiny when he's perceived as a potential local terrorist. It's a credit to a number of the movie's dramatic performances, including Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell in addition to Bates, that Richard Jewell can find its emotional center. Through another engaging performance from this acclaimed actress, the movie provides an intimate look at this '90s scandal.
#4. Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Average Rank: 3.1428571
Ever since she arguably stole the show in 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street it's been apparent that Margot Robbie is set to become a big time star. Sure enough, the rising talent has only continued to prove herself in a variety of different movies, including Z For Zachariah, Mary Queen Of Scots, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and I, Tonya, for which the Australian actress received her first Oscar nomination. Even the biggest critics of Suicide Squad agreed that her work as Harley Quinn was aces. A mere couple years later, Robbie has now received her second Academy Award nomination for Bombshell, and it's attention well-deserved.
In the Jay Roach-directed film, Margot Robbie plays a composite character: Kayla Pospisil, a low-level Fox employee hoping to rise up in the ranks of the television news station. Following a traumatic incident with Roger Ailes, the character must reconcile with the insidious underbelly of this toxic work environment. The actress provides another engrossing and devastating performance, one that continues to show the range and depth she will bring into her future roles.
#3. Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Average Rank: 3.1428571
An acting heavyweight with over four decades of experience under her belt, Laura Dern continues to prove herself as one of the most consistent talents in the business. Therefore, it's only fitting that actress is considered the overall frontrunner in this category for her supporting role in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. Having previously been nominated twice before for her work in 1991's Rambling Rose and 2014's Wild, Dern's third nomination for her dazzling turn in this acclaimed dramedy is another standout, providing the performer with a prominent, punchy, and typically dryly funny character as the divorce lawyer on Scarlett Johansson's side of the custody battle.
Laura Dern's Nora Fanshaw is a straight-shooter and unafraid to be bold and harsh, but also there to be supportive and caring when the moment calls for it. Having established herself in classic movies like Jurassic Park, Wild At Heart, Blue Velvet and more, Dern is a bright, well-proven talent who consistently gave exceptional performances in her career. This year, Dern could finally get her Oscar due, even if she did end up in the middle of the pack of CinemaBlend voting.
#2. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Average Rank: 2.4285714
This year, Scarlett Johansson is nominated in not one, but two separate Oscar acting categories for her performances in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit. The A-list actress has become a real box office draw through action blockbusters like Lucy and the various movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wherein she played Natasha Romanoff, i.e. Black Widow. But it's notably Johansson's performances in movies like Lost in Translation, Under The Skin, and more that prove both her comedic and dramatic talents. It was only a matter of time before she was due to receive Oscar consideration, and for her part in Taika Waititi's anti-hate satire the nomination is well earned.
While Johansson certainly brought the fireworks with Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, many viewers were taken aback by her deft mix of humor and pathos in Jojo Rabbit, where she played Rosie, the title character's wise, warm maternal mentor. Scarlett Johansson's tender, affecting supporting role made the farcical dramedy's third act all-the-more devastating in its emotional catharsis.
#1. Florence Pugh, Little Women
Average Rank: 1.7142857
Florence Pugh had a great year. The young actress already proved her talents through an extraordinary performance in 2017's Lady Macbeth, along with standout roles in The Outlaw King and the TV mini-series The Little Drummer Girl, but it was her three strong performances in Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Greta Gerwig's Little Women that showcased the powerhouse potential of this exceptional young talent. While she's set to become an even bigger name through her upcoming performance in Marvel's Black Widow, the actress received her first Oscar nomination for the aforementioned Little Women, and it's CinemaBlend's pick for this year's Best Supporting Actress prize.
The latest adaptation of the classic piece of literature finds Florence Pugh playing the role of Amy March, the youngest March sister. In the role, Pugh flawlessly captures the wild range of emotions found in this turbulent young woman, from her stubbornness, her fiery temper, and her wild burst of emotions, to her gradual maturity, where she became more reserved, intuitive, patient, and forlorn (and in doing so totally changing many fans' long-held opinions of the character. It's an exceptional performance that showcased the great dramatic range in this talented actress, and is our favorite of the five nominees competing for Best Supporting Actress.
Who is your pick for Best Supporting Actress? Let us know in the comment section below which nominated actress you'd love to see walk away with the gold statue during this Sunday's ceremony. Also, be sure to tune in to ABC on Sunday, February 9th, at 8 PM EST to find out who'll win the award, be on the look out for more of our breakdown of the major Academy Award categories as we get closer to the big day!
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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