This year's Best Supporting Actress race has pretty much been settled since the equivalent honor was handed out at the BAFTA Awards earlier this month, but indulge as we pay tribute to some of the other nominees will you?
In any other year Emma Stone might be Oscar night's upset special. A talented ingenue who has delighted audiences and the industry for a number of years with great roles in “The Help,” “Superbad” and “Easy A,” she's the sort of contender the Academy usually wants to anoint on Oscar night. In “Birdman” she gives an underrated turn (yes, we realize that it sounds ridiculous to call an Academy Award nominee “underrated”) as a daughter who sill hasn't figured herself out, but has enough street smarts to realize her father may be in a very strange place. If there is any sort of upset Sunday night, Stone would be a part of it. But she'll likely take home her first statue a number of years down the road.
Keira Knightley is now a two-time nominee who gives a very strong performance in “The Imitation Game.” She's had a remarkable run of quality performances lately (like everyone else, we're going to forget about “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”), which has silenced her often vocal haters club. At this rate, in a few years, she'll be a central figure in the always popular “Why haven't they won an Academy Award yet?” pieces.
Considering her impressive resume it's sort of shocking Laura Dern is only now earning her second Oscar nomination. Dern's nod is major recognition for her work in Jean-Marc Vallée's drama “Wild,” a film that has a quiet, but significant fan base. Here's hoping it doesn't take her another 23 years to get back in Oscar's good graces for nomination number three.
Meryl freaking Streep. Back at the Dolby Theater for “Into the Woods” and breaking her own record with an incredible 19th nomination. It's probably too soon for her to win Oscar number four, but at this point, is reaching 25 nominations simply inevitable?
And lastly, our winner, Patricia Arquette. The “Boyhood” star spent 12 years playing young Mason's mom and eventually became the soul of Richard Linklater's beloved achievement. She's taken every major award she's been up for including the Globe, the Critics' Choice, SAG, BAFTA and she'll win the Independent Spirit Award on Saturday, too. Is it a lock? Yep, it pretty much is.
Biggest campaign moment: Arquette winning LAFCA's Best Actress prize and NYFCC's Best Supporting Actress honor gave a legitimacy to her campaign that solidified her frontrunner status. Everyone else has been playing catch up (if they haven't given up) since.
Should have been there: The idea that Academy members would not watch the screener of “A Most Violent Year” because of the film's title, therefore robbing Jessica Chastain not only of a nomination, but possibly winning, is beyond me. “Nightcrawler's” Rene Russo, “Gone Girl's” Carrie Coon, “Inherent Vice's” Katherine Waterston and “Snowpiercer's” Tilda Swinton were all equally deserving of making the cut.
Will win: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Should win: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”