February 28, 2021

Oscars Predictions: Best Supporting Actress – Will Yuh-Jung Youn Become the Second Asian Woman to Win Supporting?

Variety’s Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year’s contenders in all categories. Variety’s Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE

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2021 Oscars Predictions: All Awards Categories


UPDATED: Jan. 21, 2021

With such unknown factors coming in the supporting categories this year, due to a seeming “shortage” of contenders (which is not true if people look elsewhere), this could present an opportunity for some history to be made. Currently, Yuh-Jung Youn, who plays the lovable grandmother from “Minari,” leads in the critics’ awards. Can this goodwill continue and spill over to the actor’s branch, especially with groups like SAG? If she does manage to beat the odds, Youn will become just the second Asian actress to win supporting actress in Oscar history, following Japanese actress Miyoshi Umeki from 1957’s “Sayonara.” If nominated, she would be only the fourth Asian actress to ever do so, following Umeki, Shohreh Agdashloo (2003’s “House of Sand and Fog”) and Rinko Kikuchi (2007’s “Babel”). Her competition seems to be coming from Maria Bakalova from “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” who is neck-and-neck with Youn in regional wins. The only issue is trying to find more nominations for the film in other categories. The last woman to win this category as her film’s sole nomination was Penélope Cruz in 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Not impossible, as the film is competitive for spots in adapted screenplay, makeup and hairstyling, original song, and, believe it or not, best picture.

(Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)

Yuh-Jung Youn
“Minari” (A24)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Soonja

DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton

Amanda Seyfried
“Mank” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Marion Davies

DIRECTOR: David Fincher
SYNOPSIS: 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.
STARRING: Tom Burke, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, Monika Gossman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Leonard Moore, Gary Oldman, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, Sam Troughton

Maria Bakalova
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Tutar Sagdiyev

DIRECTOR: Jason Woliner
SYNOPSIS: A satire on Trump’s America that follows a Kazakh journalist who’s sent to America to deliver a gift from his government to Vice President Mike Pence. Along the way, his worldview is turned upside down and steadfast beliefs are challenged by his teenage daughter.
STARRING: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova

Olivia Colman
“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination, 1 win (2018’s “The Favourite” in best actress)
ROLE: Anne

DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
SYNOPSIS: A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
STARRING: Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

Ellen Burstyn
“Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: 6 nominations, 1 win (1974’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” in best actress)
ROLE: Elizabeth

DIRECTOR: Kornél Mundruczó
SYNOPSIS: When a young mother’s home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
STARRING: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker

Jodie Foster
“The Mauritanian” (STXfilms)

OSCAR HISTORY: 4 nominations, 2 wins (1988’s “The Accused” and 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs” in best actress)
ROLE: Nancy Hollander

DIRECTOR: Kevin Macdonald
SYNOPSIS: A detainee at the U.S military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center is held without charges for over a decade and seeks help from a defense attorney for his release.
STARRING: Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, Shailene Woodley

Helena Zengel
“News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Johanna Leonberger

DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
SYNOPSIS: A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
STARRING: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Michael Angelo Covino, Ray McKinnon

Olivia Cooke
“Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

Glenn Close
“Hillbilly Elegy” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: 7 nominations (most recently for 2018’s “The Wife” in best actress)
ROLE: Mamaw

DIRECTOR: Ron Howard
SYNOPSIS: An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future.
STARRING: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso, Haley Bennett, Freida Pinto, Bo Hopkins, Owen Asztalos

Dominique Fishback
“Judas and the Black Messiah” (HBO Max/Warner Bros.)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Deborah Johnson

DIRECTOR: Shaka King
SYNOPSIS: The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal.
STARRING: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons, Martin Sheen, Dominique Thorne, Algee Smith, Lil Rel Howery, Jermaine Fowler

Saoirse Ronan
“Ammonite” (Neon)

OSCAR HISTORY: 4 nominations (most recently for 2019’s “Little Women” in best actress)
ROLE: Charlotte Murchison

DIRECTOR: Francis Lee
SYNOPSIS: 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
STARRING: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Fiona Shaw, Gemma Jones, James McArdle

Valerie Mahaffey
“French Exit” (Sony Pictures Classics)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Mme. Reynard

DIRECTOR: Azazel Jacobs
SYNOPSIS: An aging Manhattan socialite living on what’s barely left of her inheritance moves to a small apartment in Paris with her son and cat.
STARRING: Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Valerie Mahaffey, Susan Coyne, Imogen Poots, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel di Tomasso

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Swankie

DIRECTOR: Chloé Zhao
SYNOPSIS: After losing everything in the Great Recession, an old woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
STARRING: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells

Candice Bergen
“Let Them All Talk” (HBO Max)

OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination (1979’s “Starting Over” in supporting actress)
ROLE: Roberta

DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
SYNOPSIS: A famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.
STARRING: Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Gemma Chan, Lucas Hedges

Nicole Kidman
“The Prom” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: 4 nominations, 1 win (2002’s “The Hours” in best actress)
ROLE: Angie Dickinson

DIRECTOR: Ryan Murphy
SYNOPSIS: A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.
STARRING: Meryl Streep, Jo Ellen Pellman, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells. Tracey Ullman

Ariana DeBose
“The Prom” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Alyssa Greene

DIRECTOR: Ryan Murphy
SYNOPSIS: A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.
STARRING: Meryl Streep, Jo Ellen Pellman, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells. Tracey Ullman

Priyanka Chopra Jonas
“The White Tiger” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Pinky Madam

DIRECTOR: Ramin Bahrani
SYNOPSIS: The epic journey of a poor Indian driver who must use his wit and cunning to break free from servitude to his rich masters and rise to the top of the heap.
STARRING: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rajkummar Rao, Mahesh Manjrekar

Vanessa Kirby
“The World to Come” (Bleecker Street)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Tallie

DIRECTOR: Mona Fastvold
SYNOPSIS: Somewhere along the mid-19th century American East Coast frontier, two neighboring couples battle hardship and isolation, witnessed by a splendid yet testing landscape, challenging them both physically and psychologically.
STARRING: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck, Christopher Abbott, Karina Ziana Gherasim

Talia Ryder
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Skylar

DIRECTOR: Eliza Hittman
SYNOPSIS: Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark across state lines from rural Pennsylvania to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.
STARRING: Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Théodore Pellerin

Ciara Bravo
“Cherry” (Apple TV Plus)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Emily

DIRECTORS: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
SYNOPSIS: An Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder becomes a serial bank robber after an addiction to drugs puts him in debt.
STARRING: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Kelli Berglund, Thomas Lennon

Jayme Lawson
“Farewell Amor” (IFC Films)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Sylvia

DIRECTOR: Ekwa Msangi
SYNOPSIS: Reunited after 17 years, an Angolan immigrant is joined in the U.S. by his wife and daughter. Now strangers sharing a one-bedroom apartment, they discover a shared love of dance that may help them overcome the distance between them.
STARRING: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah, Jayme Lawson, Nana Mensah, Joie Lee, Marcus Scribner

Elizabeth Debicki
“Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
SYNOPSIS: Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
STARRING: John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh

Fiona Shaw
“Ammonite” (Neon)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Elizabeth Philpot

DIRECTOR: Francis Lee
SYNOPSIS: 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
STARRING: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Fiona Shaw, Gemma Jones, James McArdle

Toni Collette
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: 1 nomination (1999’s “The Sixth Sense” in supporting actress)
ROLE: Mother

DIRECTOR: Charlie Kaufman
SYNOPSIS: Full of misgivings, a young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm. Upon arriving, she comes to question everything she thought she knew about him, and herself.
STARRING: Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley, David Thewlis, Toni Collette

Taylour Paige
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
ROLE: Dussie Mae

DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues”. Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play..
STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

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