Three-time nominee poised for breakthrough
No prestige picture released in 2016 asked for more from its principal cast than “Fences.” In other words, Viola Davis can go ahead and clear out a spot on her mantle.
The 51-year-old veteran of stage and screen is a heavy favorite to nab the Best Supporting Actress prize at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Davis odds of -3000 to win her first golden statue. Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Octavia Spencer and Naomie Harris are also vying for the same honor.
Masterfully imbuing her character with strength and resolve, Davis nearly stole the spotlight from the legendary Denzel Washington in “Fences,” a dialogue-driven rumination on race, masculinity, betrayal and dissatisfaction. She at the very least cemented her reputation as one of the finest thespians of this generation. Previously nominated for “Doubt” and “The Help,” the South Carolina native and Julliard graduate seems overdue for a defining Tinseltown moment.
Kidman (+3300) has been a familiar presence on the red carpet for several decades. With her uplifting performance in “Lion,” though, she’s a legitimate contender for the first time since 2003’s “The Hours.” But will the leading lady of HBO’s new limited-run series “Big Little Lies” even outfox Williams (+800)? Casey Affleck’s primary screen partner in “Manchester by the Sea” delivered a powerful turn as a grief-stricken divorcee.
Despite being a recent victor for “The Help,” Spencer (+5000) faces a tough road here. Working in her favor: the fact that “Hidden Figures” continues to soar at the domestic box office. Meanwhile, Harris (+1500) just doesn’t have enough Hollywood clout quite yet. At the end of the night, Davis is simply destined to reign supreme.