Is Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) about to receive her fifth Oscar nomination and first win? Yes, according to our extra super ultra early odds for Best Supporting Actress, which are based on the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users who have already placed their bets here in our predictions center. Do you agree that Williams will be the woman to beat?
“The Fabelmans” hasn’t screened anywhere yet, so the size, scope, and impact of Williams’s role remain to be seen, but we know she plays the mother of a boy based on director and co-writer Steven Spielberg himself. Playing a maternal figure is often a good way to win an Oscar, whether the mother is a positive influence (Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood,” Yuh-Jung Youn in “Minari”) or a negative one (Mo’Nique in “Precious,” Allison Janney in “I, Tonya”).
Williams also has an overdue narrative: she has been nominated four times over the past 16 years without a win, for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), “Blue Valentine” (2010), “My Week with Marilyn” (2011), and “Manchester by the Sea” (2016). Along the way she also picked up an Emmy for playing dancer and actress Gwen Verdon in the FX limited series “Fosse/Verdon,” further demonstrating her consistency and dramatic range.
For years Spielberg movies were kryptonite for actors at the Oscars. It took decades for even a single performer to win for one of his movies. It took an actor of the stature of Daniel Day-Lewis to break that curse: he won Best Actor for playing the title president in “Lincoln” (2012) The Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor for “Bridge of Spies” (2015). And just this past year Ariana DeBose became the first woman to win an acting Oscar for a Spielberg film, taking Best Supporting Actress for the his remake of “West Side Story.”
Perhaps all those factors in her favor are why she’s such an overwhelming favorite as of this writing, even sight unseen. She’s backed by all of our Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, as well as 17 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Oscar nominations, and 16 of the All-Star Top 24 who had the best prediction scores over multiple years. It won’t be long, though, before we find out if Williams lives up to the advance expectations: “The Fabelmans” is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, a first for Spielberg and perhaps the start of Williams’s march towards the Oscar stage.
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