Academy of One: Best Actress in a Supporting Role 2016

These are my opinions and feelings. I do not represent the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and I have no power to revoke or award Academy Awards. Consider this an alternate universe, where everything is the same except which movies get recognition and which should fade out. Also, SPOILER ALERT! I may be spilling major details about several films.

I’ve now left a big hole in this category by removing Viola Davis from it and, let me tell you, I’m just getting started. There are a couple of other entries on this list that I think are on the bubble. I don’t want to tease it out any longer, so here are the nominees as they stand.

  • Viola Davis - Fences

  • Naomie Harris - Moonlight

  • Nicole Kidman - Lion

  • Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

  • Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

So, I have a few spots I want to play with. Here’s who I’m thinking of for potential usurpers.

  • Greta Gerwig - 20th Century Women

  • Min-hee Kim - The Handmaiden

  • Janelle Monae - Hidden Figures/Moonlight

  • Lupita N’yongo - Queen of Katwe

Greta Gerwig is one of those actresses who’s on everyone’s lips, but rarely makes it onto everyone’s lists. She’s never better than as a young woman who survives cervical cancer and has to reexamine her place as a woman and a human in the world, while imparting knowledge to a young man.

The Handmaiden is a film that awes me in many ways, but never far from that awe is the superb performance of Min-hee Kim. Her character’s duplicitous actions are so complicated that even when the audience thinks they’ve figured it out, there’s another level that Kim pulls off effortlessly.

It’s hard to choose between Janelle Monae’s two break out roles. She’s got nuance and compassion in Moonlight and strength and hyper intelligence in Hidden Figures. If I do choose her, it will be a tough call which role I go for.

Lupita N’yongo is able to take what would have been made a stereotypical role by another actress and she makes it into a fierce, fearless portrayal of motherhood. It’s such an incredible performance to watch.

O.K., so now that I’ve said my piece, it’s now time to cast some nominees out into the cold. Luckily, I have a freebie, so I’m only going to remove two actresses from the list. Here’s the list again.

  • Viola Davis - Fences

  • Naomie Harris - Moonlight

  • Nicole Kidman - Lion

  • Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

  • Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

The first to go is Nicole Kidman. Honestly, she’s the first to go off a lot of my lists. It’s not at all based on her talent. She clearly shines and is a big part of the emotional core of the film, but as I mentioned when I discussed Lion in the Best Picture category, a lot of the “Present Day” or Australian arc of the film is intrusive to the narrative and Kidman’s character is a big part of that problem. This may seem like specious reasoning and I have to admit, it is, but at the same time, there are just better performances out there than this one and I want them to have this spot.

The next to go is another previous nominee, Michelle Williams. Her character is afforded very little screen time and she only has that one big scene, you know the one, the one the trailer completely spoiled and diluted.

Williams is a good actress and she will be back in this category, or another category soon enough, but for me, and for right now, she’s got to make room for a better, meatier performance.

All right, with my ill-defined reasons for eliminating two actresses out of the way, here are the three that will make it into the reconstituted list.

  • Greta Gerwig - 20th Century Women

  • Janelle Monae - Hidden Figures

  • Lupita N’yongo - Queen of Katwe

Here’s what the field of contenders looks like with my additions.

  • Greta Gerwig - 20th Century Women

  • Naomie Harris - Moonlight

  • Janelle Monae - Hidden Figures

  • Lupita N’yongo - Queen of Katwe

  • Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

Now that the shoo-in Viola Davis has been reassigned to her proper category, this is a wide open field, right? Short answer, no.

All of my machinations and bluster for Viola Davis was a front (not really, but bear with me for the moment). I needed to get her out of the way to give this phenomenal actress her due.

Of course, I’m referring to the incomparable Naomie Harris. She is the only actor to play her character in all three segments of Moonlight, completing a twisting, turning timeline for her character.

It’s enthralling to watch her character move from worried mother, to addict, to being in recovery. Through the performance, I feel the hours, days, weeks, months, and years lived in between. These are the moments we don’t see, but are at the heart of Harris’ performance. This “missing time” is so present in the way she moves, speaks, and even breathes.

Naomie Harris just knocks my socks off in Moonlight and I could see no other actress winning my heart over for this category.

All right, it looks like they’ve started the music. That wraps us up for this week. So, between now and next week you can find me on Twitter @zyoungs108, you can like my Facebook page @zachyoungswrites, and visit my website, www.zachyoungs.com for links to where you can buy my self-published works.

Thanks for reading. I can’t wait to dive in with you next Friday with the nominees for Best Director for 2016.

Recent Posts
Archive

© 2016 by Morgan Youngs Proudly created with Wix.com