Motherhood is a common theme for supporting actresses this year, from Emmy winners Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney parenting lead actress potentials Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie in “Lady Bird” and “I, Tonya,” respectively. Then there’s Mary J. Blige’s tough matriarch in “Mudbound,” a commanding performance by the singer. Matriarch Catherine Keener is not to be trusted in “Get Out” while Holly Hunter is loving parent to a sick daughter in “The Big Sick.” And there’s a mother of a different kind with Melissa Leo in “Novitiate,” playing a Mother Reverend grappling with change. Other potential nominees include previous winner Octavia Spencer, standing out in the strong ensemble of “The Shape of Water,” previous nominee Kristen Scott Thomas bringing grace to the wife of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” and newcomer Hong Chau, stealing scenes as a political activist in “Downsizing.” Buzz is also high on Lesley Manville, though “Phantom Thread” is still shrouded in secrecy.

Top Contenders
Mary J. Blige

Hong Chau

Holly Hunter
“The Big Sick”

Allison Janney
“I, Tonya”

Catherine Keener
“Get Out”

Melissa Leo

Lesley Manville
“Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf
“Lady Bird”

Kristin Scott Thomas
“Darkest Hour”

Octavia Spencer
“The Shape of Water”

Also In Play
Kirsten Dunst
“The Beguiled”

Tiffany Haddish
“Girls Trip”

Tatiana Maslany

Elizabeth Marvel
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)”

Nicole Kidman
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Julianne Moore

Carey Mulligan

Michelle Pfeiffer

Julia Roberts

Lois Smith
“Marjorie Prime”

Juno Temple
“Wonder Wheel”

Bria Vinaite
“The Florida Project”

Kristen Wiig

Other Possibilities
Bridget Everett
“Patti Cake$”

Berenice Bejo

Carmen Ejogo
“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Elle Fanning
“The Beguiled”

Carrie Fisher
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Julianne Moore

Andrea Riseborough
“Battle of the Sexes”

Margot Robbie
“Goodbye Christopher Robin”

Millicent Simmonds

Tilda Swinton

Emma Thompson
“Beauty and the Beast”