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2/7   Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
9/2   Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
50/1   Mary J. Blige (Mudbound)
66/1   Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)
66/1   Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)




I’m picking the upset.
I can’t figure out why Allison Janney is so heavily favored. I mean yeah she was great in her role BUT there are a few variables that tip the scales which are pretty clear if you pay attention to the Oscars and how they operate…

My reasoning:  This category sets up an interesting and rare situation where the top two contenders actually play very similar roles. Both Metcalf and Janney play mothers to their respective movie’s lead role. Both appear to be hardass parents on the surface, and to a degree are alone in their parenting (Metcalf’s husband in Lady Bird was not a hands-on parent). Going even further, they both played roles based on real people, albeit Janney’s role of Tonya’s mother is a much more recognizable figure. This creates a very level playing field.
So what makes Janney better than Metcalf? I can’t think of anything other than a few lines that made me laugh. BUT what makes Metcalf better than Janney? Well she’s the beneficiary of better writing and a character with deeper development. There were some very real emotional moments between Metcalf and Saoirse, a lot actually. The arguing in the clothing racks, the opening car scene, and the folding of the laundry debacle were all pretty powerful moments, but none more so than the scene where she reveals to her daughter how dire their family’s situation is. All while the depressed father sits and plays solitaire, driving home the fact that she was doing the hard parenting all on her own.

If Metcalf gets passed over on this one I’ll be embarrassed for the Academy.