Ranking the Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominees, according to Letterboxd

Tracee Ellis Ross and Leslie Jordan recently announced the nominees for the 94th Academy Awards. Jane Campion’s Western The power of the dog led the way with 12 total nominations. There were a few surprises and rebuffs among the final nominees, including in both supporting performer categories.

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Kirsten Dunst finally received her first Oscar nomination for her performance in The power of the dog. Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds both scored nominations for Belfast, but their BAFTA-nominated costar Caitríona Balfe failed to qualify. But how the Letter box Do the scores of the seven films featuring nominated supporting actors or actresses rank?

seven JK Simmons – Being the Ricardos (2.97)

JK Simmons looks up from his paper in Being the Ricardos

In Being the Ricardos, Oscar winner JK Simmons plays i love lucy actor William Frawley. Frawley and Vivian Vance, played by Nina Arianda, portrayed the Ricardos’ neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz on the classic TV show. Simmons plays the grumpy actor, whose dodgy, alcoholic relationship with his on-screen wife is causing trouble behind the scenes.

Simmons’ Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor comes after nominations for the Critics’ Choice and Satellite Awards. The actor once won an Oscar for playing tyrannical music teacher Terence Fletcher in Whiplash.

6 Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds – Belfast (3.56)

Judi Dench as "granny"Jude Hill as "boyfriend" and Ciaran Hinds as "Pop" in BELFAST by director Kenneth Branagh

from Belfast Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds both secured their spots in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor races. The duo play Granny and Pop, the paternal grandparents of the film’s 9-year-old protagonist, Buddy. Set in 1960s Northern Ireland during The Troubles, Kenneth Branagh’s film has a total of seven Oscar nominations.

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Both performers have garnered British Independent Film Award and Satellite Award nominations, and the cast of Belfast is competing for a SAG Award. Hinds has already been named Best Supporting Actor of 2021 by the National Board of Review and earned a Golden Globe nomination for his turn as Pop.


5 Jessie Buckley – The Lost Girl (3.56)

Young Leda (Jessie Buckley) holds her daughters in The Lost Daughter

As the younger version of Olivia Colman’s Leda Caruso, Jessie Buckley is a struggling mother in The lost girl. Buckley’s Leda must choose between an emerging career in academia and her family, which makes the woman withdrawn and impatient. Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, the drama is based on Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel and won praise for its casting and Gyllenhaal’s screenplay, earning it an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Buckley and Colman have both been recognized for their performances in The lost girl, a psychological look at motherhood and memories. For his work in The lost girlBuckley earned Independent Spirit Award and BAFTA nominations as well as her Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

4 Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard (3.72)

Brandy Price listens to Richard speak in King Richard

Aunjanue Ellis brings Oracene “Brandy” Prince, mother of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, to life in biographical drama King Richard. A passionate and hardworking woman, Brandy coaches her daughters alongside her husband while juggling work and family life. A dedicated woman in tune with her emotions, Brandy is one of the film’s most likable characters.

Ellis has won numerous nominations for her work in King Richard. In addition to his Oscar nomination, Ellis has a BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Golden Globe nomination to his name. The National Board of Review named Ellis the Best Supporting Actress of 2021 and her King Richard co-star Will Smith won Best Actor.

3 Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog (3.75)

Shared image of Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

The incredible supporting cast of The power of the dog boasts three of the 10 announced nominations, including two for Best Supporting Actor. Kodi Smit-McPhee has already won a Golden Globe for his performance as Peter, the smart, sensitive and surprisingly ruthless son of Kirsten Dunst’s Rose who hopes to study medicine in college.

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Both on-screen and off-screen couple Dunst and Jesse Plemons received their first Oscar nominations for their work in this impressive adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel about a Montanan ranch family in the 1920s. When Rose marries George Burbank, she becomes the main target of her brother-in-law Phil’s torment and starts drinking. Unlike his brother, George de Plemons takes care of Rose and proves to be a decent man. Rose and George are the two most sympathetic characters in the western.

2 Troy Kotsur – CODA (3.90)

CODA movie audience happily applauds

The nomination of Troy Kotsur for his performance in CODA is historic. He is the first deaf male actor to be nominated for an Oscar, his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin, the first acting deaf contestant, and currently, the only winner for her performance in Children of a lesser God. CODA follows the life of Ruby Rossi, the only hearing member of a deaf Massachusetts family who must balance family obligations with her newly discovered passion for singing.

In the film, Kotsur plays Frank, a fisherman and Ruby’s father. As his daughter tries to find her place in the world, Frank struggles to make ends meet and starts a new business to get around new fishing restrictions. Kotsur’s outstanding performance also earned the actor a Gotham Award and nominations for the SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes.

1 Ariana DeBose – West Side Story (3.97)

Ariana DeBose has had a stellar awards season, earning nominations and accolades at many of the industry’s most prestigious awards shows. The second film adaptation of the musical, West Side Story reimagines the story of Romeo and Juliet by focusing on the Jets and the Sharks, two rival gangs in 1950s New York. The forbidden love between Tony and Maria is at the center of the musical.

As Anita, DeBose is one of the film’s biggest stars. Her incredible singing and dancing skills help the actress shine on screen and prove that DeBose was an excellent choice to take on the role that won Rita Moreno an Oscar in 1962. Earlier this year, DeBose won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as Anita. In addition to her Oscar nomination, the Broadway-trained performer has received BAFTA, SAG and Critics’ Choice Award nominations.

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