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Tough Mother and Rookies Make Up Supporting Actress Oscar Race

Supporting Actress Oscar Contenders 2018
Courtesy of Paramount/Neon/Fox Searchlight

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
“Mudbound”

Hong Chau
“Downsizing”

Holly Hunter
“The Big Sick”

Allison Janney
“I, Tonya”

Catherine Keener
“Get Out”

Melissa Leo
“Novitiate”

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
“Stronger”

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

Nicole Kidman
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Julianne Moore
“Wonderstruck”

Carey Mulligan
“Mudbound”

Michelle Pfeiffer
“mother!”

Julia Roberts
“Wonder”

Lois Smith
“Marjorie Prime”

Juno Temple
“Wonder Wheel”

Bria Vinaite
“The Florida Project”

Kristen Wiig
“Downsizing”

Other Possibilities
Bridget Everett
“Patti Cake$”

Berenice Bejo
“Redoubtable”

Carmen Ejogo
“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Elle Fanning
“The Beguiled”

Carrie Fisher
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Julianne Moore
“Suburbicon”

Andrea Riseborough
“Battle of the Sexes”

Margot Robbie
“Goodbye Christopher Robin”

Millicent Simmonds
“Wonderstruck”

Tilda Swinton
“Okja”

Emma Thompson
“Beauty and the Beast”