Best Supporting Actress Analysis

Oscar15header

And now our watch begins.

It’s been seven days since the much talked about nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards were announced. We’ve stated how we felt about the noms, but now with all emotions and conspiracy theories behind us, we begin our breakdown and analysis of all the nominees. This week we look at the Best Supporting categories.

Pop-Break’s Oscar Watch 2015: Best Supporting Actress Analysis

Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

To be honest with you, I think Arquette belongs in the Best Actress category.  Her role as the mom in Boyhood is a main character right along side Ellar Coltrane’s Mason, but I’ve come to peace with her in this category.  This is a fascinating nomination because it also factors in a performance that began back in 2002.  If there was ever an excuse to give someone a career Oscar, this would be it.  I think that’s a big reason why Arquette has to be the front runner in this category: seniority.  While this is her first nomination, she’s been around for a while.  Her breakdown scene at the kitchen table towards the end of the film is truly her stand out moment.  It’s a very Oscarey performance that will be tough to beat.

Boyhood

Chances of Winning: High

Is the Performance Worthy of an Oscar? Yes

Laura Dern (Wild)

This was one of the bigger surprises out of all the nominations.  Many assumed this last spot would go to Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), or Naomi Watts (St. Vincent) who got the SAG nomination.  Even though this one came out of left field, I think it’s a great call by the Academy.  While this is Reese Witherspoon’s movie, Dern holds a lot of weight in those flashback scenes.  When I think back on it, I should have seen this one coming.  It’s the type of performance that gets you nominated, but has no chance of winning, which is exactly what’s going to happen.

Chances of Winning: Low

Is the Performance Worthy of an Oscar? Yes

Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)

Dan Cohen: I said this in my nomination reactions, but Knightley to me is the only aspect to The Imitation Game that is worthy of a nomination.  Her charisma and ability to deal with the curmudgeon Alan Turing really brings you into an otherwise mediocre movie.  I wouldn’t be shocked if she pulled a big upset here, as the Academy may want to give The Imitation Game something.  It did very well in the nominations.

Chances of Winning: Mid-Tier

Is the Performance Worthy of an Oscar? Yes

Emma Stone (Birdman)

birdman-BIRDMAN-one-sheet-4_rgb

Emma Stone certainly has the best chance to upset Patricia Arquette.  I know a lot of people see Arquette as way out in front, but it’s closer than you think.  Stone gives one of those performances in Birdman that really floors you.  And while she’s great in the whole movie, her monologue where she rips apart her dad (Michael Keaton) is one of those scenes that can win you an Oscar by default.  Don’t sleep on Stone for this award.

Chances of Winning: High

Is the Performance Worthy of an Oscar? Yes

Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

Dan Cohen: If you put Meryl Streep under truth serum, she’d probably tell you she doesn’t deserve a nomination here.  I don’t have an issue with her being nominated, but this should have been Chastain’s spot.  Streep’s first scene is great, but after that, it’s still good, but not at all Oscar level.  Meryl Streep is probably the greatest actress who ever lived, and I do believe she will win a fourth Oscar, but this is one of those nominations that really makes me think members of the Academy circled her name just because.  I’d be fascinated to see Meryl Streep in a superhero or sci-fi movie that came out in November or December, just to see if she would get a nomination.

Chances of Winning: Low

Is the Performance Worthy of an Oscar? No

===========================================================================================
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.
===========================================================================================

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.