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Oscars 2022: Best Supporting Actress Predictions

Veteran winners vie for Oscars against newcomers in a crowded field.

(L to R) Caitriona Balfe as "Ma", Jamie Dornan as "Pa", Judi Dench as "Granny", Jude Hill as "Buddy", and Lewis McAskie as "Will" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

“Belfast”

Rob Youngson / Focus Features

At the fall film festivals, the long list of possible Supporting Actress contenders will be whittled down. Several Oscar perennials are looking for yet another nod.

Vying for their second Oscars: Viola Davis (“Fences”) stars opposite Sandra Bullock in Nora Fingscheidt’s “The Unforgivable (Netflix)”; Dame Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”) looks after her husband Ciaran Hinds in Kenneth Branagh’s ’60s remembrance “Belfast” (Focus); Marlee Matlin became the youngest Best Actress winner in 1987 for Randa Haines’ “Children of a Lesser God,” and now plays the deaf mother of a hearing child in Sundance prize-winner “CODA” (Apple TV+); and Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) goes west in “The Harder They Fall” (Netflix).

Looking for a win after multiple nominations are Rooney Mara in con-artist drama “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight); Glenn Close as a scientist in genre-bending “Swan Song” (Apple TV+); and Sally Hawkins, who lends an ear to Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) in “Spencer” (Neon).

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in “Passing.”

Netflix

Seeking their second nominations: Salma Hayek (“Frida”) plays a clairvoyant friend of Lady Gaga’s murderess in “House of Gucci” (MGM/UA); Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense”) stars opposite Bradley Cooper in “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight); and Ruth Negga, who broke out in racial drama “Loving,” takes on a woman trying to pass as white in Rebecca Hall’s Sundance hit “Passing” (Netflix).

Looking for their first Oscar mentions: Aunjanue Ellis as Brandi Williams, the mother of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard”; Jessie Buckley as the young Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix); Rebecca Ferguson as the powerful, conflicted mother of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides in sci-fi epic “Dune” (Warner Bros.); Kirsten Dunst marries the brother (Jesse Plemons) of a charismatic rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch), who undermines her and her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix); and respected veteran Emmy-winner Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), along with her three costars, is vying in the supporting category for actors’ showcase “Mass” (Bleecker Street).

In The Heights: Paciencia y Fe

Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia in “Paciencia y Fe”

Warner Bros.

Also vying for their first Oscar nods are Broadway veterans Cherry Jones, who plays a withholding mother in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (Searchlight); Vanessa Hudgens in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directing debut “Tick, Tick… Boom!” (Netlfix); Olga Merediz as the abuela in Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Miranda’s “In the Heights” (Warner Bros.); Audra McDonald as Aretha Franklin’s mother Barbara in biopic “Respect” (MGM/UA); and Ariana DeBose as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” update for Disney, the role that won an Oscar for Rita Moreno in the 1961 classic.

Oscar contenders are listed in alphabetical order; no one will be considered a frontrunner until I have seen the movie.

"Dune"

“Dune”

Warner Bros.

Frontrunners
Judi Dench (“Belfast”)
Ann Dowd (“Mass”)
Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)
Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)
Olga Merediz (“In the Heights”)

Contenders
Haley Bennett (“Cyrano”)
Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)
Glenn Close (“Swan Song”)
Toni Collette (“Nightmare Alley”)
Viola Davis (“Unforgiven”)
Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)
Rebecca Ferguson (“Dune”)
Sally Hawkins (“Spencer”)
Salma Hayek (“House of Gucci”)
Cherry Jones (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)
Rooney Mara (“Nightmare Alley”)
Marlee Matlin (“CODA”)
Ruth Negga (“Passing”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“Last Night in Soho”)

Long Shots
Nina Arianda (“Being the Ricardos”)
Awkwafina (“Swan Song”)
Cate Blanchett (“Don’t Look Up”)
Judy Davis (“Nitram”)
Vera Farmiga (“The Many Saints of Newark”)
Claire Foy (“Electrical Life of Louis Wain”)
Laura Harrier (“Finch”)
Gaby Hoffmann (“C’mon, C’mon”)
Vanessa Hudgens (“Tick, Tick… Boom!”)
Audra McDonald (“Respect”)
Diana Rigg (“Last Night in Soho”)
Andrea Riseborough (“Electrical Life of Louis Wain”)
Meryl Streep (“Don’t Look Up”)
Harriet Walter (“The Last Duel”)
Samira Wiley (“Finch”)

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