Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2017: Best supporting actress nominees

A look at the best supporting actress nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, which will take place on 26 February 2017.


Image copyright Paramount Pictures

VIOLA DAVIS

Age: 51

Nominated for: Fences

The character: Rose Maxson, the devoted wife of Troy - played by Denzel Washington, who also directed the film, based on the 1983 August Wilson play. The pair are reprising the roles they played on Broadway in 2010.

Oscar record: Nominated for best supporting actress in 2009 for Doubt and best actress in 2012 for The Help.

The critics said: "Davis beautifully illuminates the ways in which Rose has learned to live with this man, to be quiet or cut him slack when it's not worth the effort of a fight, but to make it clear that she has lines she will not allow to be crossed." [The Hollywood Reporter]


Image copyright A24

NAOMIE HARRIS

Age: 40

Nominated for: Moonlight

The character: Paula, the drug-addicted and emotionally-abusive single mother of Chiron, the boy at the centre of this coming-of-age film.

Oscar record: None

The critics said: "Harris, a top British actress who has played everyone from James Bond's Miss Moneypenny to activist Winnie Mandela, is especially strong here, conveying an emotional rawness that is almost too much to witness." [Los Angeles Times]


NICOLE KIDMAN

Image copyright The Weinstein Company

Age: 49

Nominated for: Lion

The character: Kidman plays Sue Brierley, the adoptive mother of Saroo, who she finds as a young boy in an Indian orphanage.

Oscar record: Won best actress in 2003 for The Hours and was nominated in the same category in 2002 for Moulin Rouge and 2011 for Rabbit Hole.

The critics said: "Kidman's Sue has her own story to tell, and holds onto it forcefully in the domestic scenes: she can embarrass her son with pride and love, but she's also a fascinatingly strained figure, often barely keeping her grip. Right now, the best supporting actress Oscar must be hers to lose." [Telegraph]


Image copyright Twentieth Century Fox

OCTAVIA SPENCER

Age: 44

Nominated for: Hidden Figures

The character: Dorothy Vaughan, the acting supervisor of a group of African-American women working at Nasa's Langley Research Centre in the early 1960s.

Oscar record: She won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2012 for The Help.

The critics said: "Spencer quietly shines as the weariest, most subtly resilient member of the trio, Dorothy Vaughan, who used her position as an unofficial supervisor to advance the status of black women in her office." [Variety]


Image copyright Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios

MICHELLE WILLIAMS

Age: 36

Nominated for: Manchester by the Sea

The character: Randi, the former wife of Lee Chandler, who returns to his home town and has to confront family tragedy.

Oscar record: She was nominated for best actress in 2012, for My Week with Marilyn, and in 2011 for Blue Valentine. She was also nominated for best supporting actress for Brokeback Mountain in 2006.

The critics said: "Michelle Williams, as Lee's ex-wife, Randi, doesn't have a big role, but she's never less than remarkable and, in one encounter, unforgettably beset by grief and pain." [Wall Street Journal]


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