Always Oscar’s most competitive category and this year is definitely no exception. I think the five spots are now pretty much decided with, as forecast, two Irish actresses making the cut.
AND THE NOMINEES FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE WILL BE:
CATRIONA BALFE (Belfast) Like her costar Ciaran Hinds, another sure bet. Her first nomination and one of two Irish actress (the other is Ruth Negga) to make the final five.
ARIANA DeBOSE (Westside Story) Taking over the Anita role from Rita Moreno, she’s the heart and soul of Spielberg’s triumph. A certain first nomination and now the favorite to win.
KIRSTEN DUNST (The Power of the Dog) After 20 years in the Industry Dunst will finally land her first Oscar nomination for her stunning work in Jane Campion’s movie.
AUNJANUE ELLIS (King Richard) She gives the best performance in the movie and a certain Oscar nomination, her first.
Ruth Negga (Passing). With the Golden Globe nod, Ruth Negga is back in the running and now favored to make the final five together with fellow Irish actress Catriona Balfe for her superb turn in Rebecca Hall’s ‘Passing”. It will be her second Oscar nomination following her Best Actress nod for “Loving” (2016)
THREE ADDITIONAL CONTENDERS:
NINA ARIANDA (Being the Ricardos). Nina Arianda’s turn as Vivian Vance is still in the running but loosing steam as the Balfe/DeBose/Dunst/Ellis/Negga combo solidifies.
KATHRYN HUNTER (The Tragedy of Macbeth). Coming out of left-field and winning NYFCC’s Best Supporting Actress, Kathryn Hunter dazzles playing all three witches – an inspired idea – and putting the rest of her costars to shame. Statistically, as the winner in NY, she has a 75% chance of getting her first nomination but, unfortunately for her, with Balfe, DeBose, Dunst, Ellis and Negga solidifying their positions, that percentage can only drop further.
RITA MORENO (West Side Story) Rita shines in a role created especially for her by Tony Kushner. She also gets to sing “Somewhere” which she does beautifully albeit to the detriment of Tony and Maria. A sentimental favorite. She could land a second nomination following her Oscar for playing the original Anita in the 1961 version.