Viola Davis, Get On Up: This would be Davis' 3rd Oscar nomination, which could make her the African-American actress with the most nominations. Now, Get On Up is yet to come out, but if it is successful then Davis could have a shot at getting nominated in this category as it is the most kind to character actresses like Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins, and Catherine Keener. Since this would be Davis' 3rd nomination, a win could be possible not just because of that, but because she was widely expected to win Best Actress for The Help, only to be somewhat upset by Meryl Streep and a win here could easily make up for that.
Anna Kendrick, Into The Woods: The last two musicals director Rob Marshall brought to the big screen, Nine and Chicago, made their way to the Oscars and Marshall was able to land nominations for his actors or mostly his actresses. On paper, Into The Woods looks to have Oscar written all over it because it's a musical and has an all-star cast: Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and Anna Kendrick. I could see Kendrick scoring a nomination because she already has been nominated in this category for Up In The Air, so the Academy is already pretty fond of her and as I said, Rob Marshall is like a good luck charm for his actresses.
Judy Greer, Men, Women, & Children: The film doesn't have a release date yet, but this could be a "late bloomer" in the Oscar race. Plus, the film has Jason Reitman, who also did Juno and Up In The Air, behind it. Even though the film has an all-star cast that includes Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Emma Thompson, and J.K. Simmons, I could definitely see Judy Greer scoring a nomination. As I've said about Viola Davis, the Supporting Actress category is most kind to steadily-working character actresses. Greer is certainly one of them and has been around Hollywood for quite some time on various films, like the Best Picture nominated The Descendants and television shows like Arrested Development and Two and a Half Men. I may not have seen the film yet, but if she were nominated, I would certainly be pleased as I am quite a fan of hers and a nomination would see all her hard work and dedication in Tinseltown pay off.
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods: Streep made another film and could land another nomination this time around. In fact, she has about 3 supporting performances set for this year: Into The Woods, The Homesman, and Suffragette, so watch out. I kind of hope she doesn't get nominated even though I really like her, but I'll just predict she does just to be safe. Plus, I'll admit, you can never go wrong nominating her.
Kristin Scott Thomas, Suite Francaise: Suite Francaise may seem to have Michelle Williams be front and center, but there are plenty of other actresses in the mix, like Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie, Rush's Alexandra Maria Lara, and French-British character actress Kristin Scott Thomas who some of you may know from The English Patient, which she received a Best Actress nomination for. There is apparent talk of her retiring, so this could persuade the Academy to recognize her performance in this now before it's too late.
Now onto the "dark horse" contenders:
Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars): I already put her in the Best Actress category, but just in case, I'll also predict her as a dark horse for Best Supporting Actress. She did just win the Cannes Award for Best Actress and sometimes that is an indicator for the Oscar race.
Vanessa Redgrave (Foxcatcher): The Oscars love veterans and Redgrave is quite the veteran actress. Plus, the film already has awards traction.
Octavia Spencer (Get On Up): Both her and Viola Davis are working with the same director that landed them Oscar nominations. Who is to say that wouldn't happen again?
Emma Stone (Birdman): She has two potential Oscar contenders: Birdman and Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight. Plus, while the Supporting Actress category is usually served for character actresses, they like to recognize the usual starlet.
Naomi Watts (Birdman): She already has 2 nominations so the Academy is pretty fond of her. Plus, she is once again collaborating with Oscar favorite Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.
So, those are my predictions thus far for who could be nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Next, I will discuss my predictions for Best Supporting Actor. Until then, thanks for reading!