Oscars 2021: No clear front-runners for Best Supporting Actress

The 2021 Oscar nominations were revealed Monday, and now the race to April 25 is in full swing. “Mank” led the pack with 10 nominations, but the David Fincher drama is actually not leading most categories. In fact, several competitions are unusually tight at this year’s Academy Awards. This week in Gold Digger, The Post’s analysis of the Oscars shuffle, we dive into one of the closest: Best Supporting Actress.

1. Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) 

“Minari” got a huge boost Monday when it netted six Oscar nods, including Best Picture. But most notably, in a departure from the Golden Globes, Youn and her co-star Steven Yeun were respectively nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor — becoming the first Korean actors to ever be nominated at the Oscars. (Remember, the cast of “Parasite” was egregiously snubbed even though their movie was victorious.) While Yeun likely won’t win against Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Supporting Actress has no obvious shoo-ins. Youn has every reason to start practicing that speech.

2. Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 

Hey, she’s surprised us before! Think back to Oscars night 2019, when the world waited with bated breath to see if Lady Gaga or Glenn Close would win Best Actress. Instead, we heard a third name: “Olivia Colman!” The British vet’s widely admired performance in “The Favourite” likely benefitted from voters’ split affections for Close and Gaga. This time around, there’s plenty of love for Colman again. And she could go home — stay home? — a winner for “The Father.”

3. Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)  

Maria! We’ve just met a girl named Maria. The newcomer of the category is 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, who burst into Hollywood last year as Borat’s outspoken daughter Tutar in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Somehow, while sharing the screen with Sacha Baron-Cohen, Bakalova stole the movie. The Oscars, though, still have a hard time honoring comedy. Awkwafina wasn’t nominated last year for her dramedic performance in “The Farewell,” and Melissa McCarthy lost this same category in 2011 for her work in “Bridesmaids.” For Bakalova to win would take a big shift.

4. Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 

The last few weeks have made it clear that “Mank” is the sort of film the Oscars have to nominate, but probably won’t win much. That’s a shame, especially for Amanda Seyfried. The actress’ performance as Marion Davies is some of her finest work ever, but enthusiasm isn’t on her side. She didn’t even manage an equivalent Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, and actors are the biggest voting bloc at the Oscars.

5. Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 

Everybody loves Glenn Close — but, I’m sorry, this is a wasted slot. Critics loathed “Hillbilly Elegy,” and Close’s performance as an Appalachian grandma with a supersized personality has as many admirers as it does detractors. Her chances are even slimmer than Kathy Bates’ last year when she was nominated for “Richard Jewell.” With eight career Oscar nods and no wins, Close is now tied with the late Peter O’Toole for the dubious title of losingest performer.

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