As we head into Oscar season, it’s hard to avoid the fact that at least on paper, Netflix boasts a bevy of contenders. Leading the supporting actress contenders is newbie Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies opposite Charles Dance as partner William Randolph Hearst in David Fincher’s “Mank.” Also from Netflix, long overdue Glenn Close (seven nominations) could score as Mawmaw, an Appalachian living in Ohio in Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” Ellen Burstyn delivers a searing performance opposite Vanessa Kirby as the mother of a woman who has lost her child in “Pieces of a Woman.” And back in musical mode is Oscar perennial Nicole Kidman in Netflix A-lister Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Broadway hit “The Prom.”
One sureshot nomination will go to Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) as a daughter tangling with Anthony Hopkins in Sundance drama “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics).
Bulgarian discovery Maria Bakalova could score a nod for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” for among other things, landing a hotel room interview with Rudy Giuliani under the guise of a 15-year-old journalist. Not only the movie’s hilarity but its dead-serious political aims will give it some weight with voters.
Also possibly entering the race are German import Helena Zengel, who movingly stars opposite Tom Hanks in Paul Greengrass’s post-Civil War odyssey “News of the World,” as well as Korean star Youn Yuh-jung, who broke out at Sundance in family farm drama “Minari” (A24).
Never to be underestimated is four-time nominee Saoirse Ronan, who falls in love with Kate Winslet in Cannes selection “Ammonite” (Neon). And two-time winner Jodie Foster stars in Kevin Macdonald’s true Guantanamo Bay story “The Mauritanian” (2021, BBC Films/STX).
Potential Oscar contenders are listed in alphabetical order. No movie will be deemed a frontrunner until I’ve seen it.
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Ellen Burstyn (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”)
Nicole Kidman (“The Prom”)
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)
Carrie Coon (“The Nest”)
Felicity Jones (“Midnight Sky”)
Gina Rodriguez (“Kajillionaire”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Ammonite”)
Debra Winger (“Kajillionaire”)