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2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

Anne Thompson’s early look at the Oscar race includes Mary J. Blige, Holly Hunter and more.

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

Dennis Leupold

Newcomers often have a chance to shine in the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress (see Alicia Vikander and Lupita Nyong’o). Fresh faces may emerge as contenders as the year rolls on. This early in the game, we’re keeping an eye on various heavy-hitter scene-stealers in supporting roles.

READ MORE: 2018 Oscar Predictions

Two highly anticipated actress-director reunions to watch are Julianne Moore and Todd Haynes and Kirsten Dunst and Sofia Coppola. Moore was nominated for Best Actress the last time she worked with Haynes (“Far From Heaven”), and went on to win for “Still Alice.” Never-nominated Dunst plays one of several southern ladies who take in a wounded soldier (Colin Farrell) in Coppola’s Cannes Director-winning remake of “The Beguiled” (Focus Features).

Michelle Pfeiffer makes yet another comeback in Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” (Paramount), while past nominees Michelle Williams and Naomi Watts return in two real-life stories, P.T. Barnum biopic  “The Greatest Showman” (Fox) and Destin Daniel Cretton’s adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir “The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate), respectively.

Contenders to emerge from Sundance include Holly Hunter, who steals the show alongside Ray Romano in Amazon’s “The Big Sick,” Melissa Leo, who steals nuns-gone-bad drama “Novitiate” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Raging Bull” star Cathy Moriarty as a tenacious grandma in “Patti Cake$” (Fox Searchlight), and an unrecognizable Mary J. Blige, who popped out of the sprawling ensemble in Dee Rees’ acclaimed southern drama “Mudbound” (Netflix).  The Academy loves such riches to rags transformations.

A list of early possibilities is below. No film is deemed a frontrunner unless I have seen it.


Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”)
Kirsten Dunst (“The Beguiled”)
Holly Hunter (“The Big Sick”)
Julianne Moore (“Wonderstruck”)
Cathy Moriarty (“PattiCake$”)


Melissa Leo (“Novitiate”)
Lesley Manville (“Untitled PTA”)
Michelle Pfeiffer (“Mother!”)
Margot Robbie (“Goodbye Christopher Robin”)
Kristin Scott Thomas (“The Darkest Hour”)
Naomi Watts (“The Glass Castle”)
Michelle Williams (“The Greatest Showman”)

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Hunter Bergfeld

I think Carrie Fisher could be a great nomination for Star Wars


Don’t forget Penelope Cruz in Murder on the Orient, she’s in Ingrid Bergmans Oscar winning role… She definitely needs at least another nomination.

Therese Belivet

How about dianna agron in novitiate she was amazing she deserves oscar nomination


Guess Kirsten Dunst is now a shoo-in given the amazing notices out of Cannes

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