The Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress may be a slam dunk for one actress, but there are many actresses hoping to either earn their first nomination or notch another one this year.
The 2017 Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress includes many awards veterans mixed in with contenders getting their first big awards break. Viola Davis has certainly shown herself to be the frontrunner at this stage in the race, but nothing is ever locked in at the Oscars.
Here are the five actresses we predict will get nominated for Best Supporting Actress, followed by the five actresses who could upset the race:
1. Viola Davis - Fences
This feels like Viola Davis' year. The indomitable actress goes toe-to-toe with Denzel Washington in the very actor-friendly Fences and nearly upstages him at several points. Davis has a lot of screentime in Fences to the point that some argue she's a lead, but her run in Supporting Actress has clearly paid off so far. Davis has won the Critics' Choice and the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actress and she looks very well on her way to finally receiving an Oscar. This will be her third nomination, following 2008's Doubt and 2011's The Help.
2. Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea
Michelle Williams is destined to be the runner-up this year. Her role as Randi in Manchester by the Sea is a small one but it's a prime example of an actress making the absolute most of limited screentime. More Oscar voters will likely be watching Manchester over Fences considering it's perceived as one of the top 3 films (with La La Land and Moonlight) so an upset is possible, however unlikely. Williams was previously nominated for 2005's Brokeback Mountain, 2010's Blue Valentine and 2011's My Week with Marilyn.
3. Naomie Harris - Moonlight
Naomie Harris looks to score her very first Oscar nomination after a long career in the business. In Moonlight, Harris plays protagonist Chiron's drug-addicted mother and pulls off a powerful performance. Like Davis and Williams, Harris has picked up nominations at all the major precursors, including Critics' Choice, Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA, so she's almost definitely in for an Oscar nomination, too.
4. Nicole Kidman - Lion
Nicole Kidman is very likely to score her fourth Oscar nomination this year for Lion, after being nominated for 2001's Moulin Rouge! and 2010's Rabbit Hole and winning for 2002's The Hours. Her role in Lion is a classic archetype for Best Supporting Actress nominees - the loving, but long-suffering mother. Kidman is obviously well-liked in the industry and while it's not clear how voters will respond to Lion, she has all the requisite precursor nominations to suggest an Oscar nomination will follow.
5. Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Octavia Spencer is poised to become the first African-American actress in Oscar history to receive another nomination after winning. Spencer swept award season for her scene-stealing turn in 2011's The Help, and now she's receiving many of the same nominations for her scene-stealing role in Hidden Figures. Her movie is the box office champion two weeks in a row and she seems to have more awards traction than her co-stars, but she could very easily miss out - to her co-star...
STILL IN CONTENTION:
6. Janelle Monáe - Hidden Figures
Janelle Monáe may end up taking out Spencer for that fifth slot in the end. Monáe was in two highly acclaimed movies this year, Hidden Figures and Moonlight, so she is surely on Academy voters' radars. Oh, and those two movies also happen to be her acting debuts! If Academy voters want to reward Monáe for her impressive debut film performances, after years of acclaim in the music industry, she could make a surprise upset on Oscar nominations morning.
7. Greta Gerwig - 20th Century Women
Greta Gerwig's buzz has slowly but surely fizzled, much like Tom Hanks in Sully and Ruth Negga in Loving. Gerwig started the awards race off right with a Critics' Choice nomination, but she hasn't been nominated for anything major since. It's not clear if enough voters will even watch 20th Century Women, and even though she has made a name for herself in the indie world, she's not exactly a known commodity compared to others in this race. Gerwig has a shot if voters really respond to the film, but it might be too little too late at this point.
8. Molly Shannon - Other People
Even before the Gerwig talk began, many were raving about Molly Shannon's passionate performance as a cancer-stricken mother in Other People. Shannon has been a well-liked character actress for many years after leaving SNL, so it would have been nice to see her receive major awards love for the first time in career. While Shannon still has a shot because of her relative buzz, it just doesn't seem likely anymore.
9. Lily Gladstone - Certain Women
Lily Gladstone is a newer actress who happens to have received many critics' awards mentions, including a win from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Certain Women is clearly low on the screener list compared to other movies here, though, so unless there's a huge swell of voters who love this performance, she's probably not getting in.
10. Helen Mirren - Eye in the Sky
Helen Mirren is pretty much always an awards contender no matter what she does. Winning an Oscar for 2006's The Queen and receiving nominations for 1995's The Madness of King George, 2002's Gosford Park and 2010's The Last Station, she is an Academy favorite. Some were thinking Mirren might sneak into the SAG Supporting Actress race considering how much they love her (five wins from 13 nominations), but it didn't happen. But you should never say never with Mirren, so she's in the hunt but it looks like this won't be her year.
The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 8:18 a.m. ET.