HOLLYWOOD—Last week it was all about Best Supporting Actor, this week it is all about Best Supporting Actress, and I think this race might be the biggest lock of all the categories for me. One person has dominated, but there is someone nipping at her heels. The 2024 nominees are Emily Blunt “Oppenheimer,” Danielle Brooks “The Color Purple,” America Ferrera “Barbie,” Jodie Foster “Nyad” and Da’Vine Joy Randolph “The Holdovers.”

Going into awards season, the big talk of the town was the battle between Brooks and Randolph, but Randolph has run away with the momentum cleaning up with trophies along the way. Brooks is indeed the star and standout in “The Color Purple.” However, the chatter about the production of the movie and some of its stars not being happy has presented a dark cloud over the movie and I don’t think that bodes well with members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Blunt is beyond epic in “Oppenheimer” and is NOT getting the praise that she deserves. Her performance is quite calculated and mesmerizing to say the least. I wish more people were talking about Blunt because it is indeed a performance that is unforgettable. Unfortunately, this just might not be Blunt’s time. So that leaves us with two more contenders, hoping to take the prize from Randolph. One of those people is a surprise nominee, Ferrera for “Barbie.” She is the heart and delivers a monologue that is quite memorable to say the least. I know people are thinking America has no chance, and I would pump the breaks on that.

In recent years, the Academy has been a bit more generous with its awards; they like to spread things out unlike the Grammys who love to have sweeps year after the year. That hasn’t occurred at the Oscars in years and I don’t see one film dominating all the major categories. “Barbie” is indeed going to claim some technical prizes, but if there are two categories to watch out for it would be Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.

If Ferrera had more chatter, I would consider her a dark horse, but the dark horse in this race is two-time Oscar-winner Jodie Foster. Yes, the woman who has claimed Best Actress twice for “The Accused” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” It has been over 30 years since Foster last won an Oscar, despite being nominated in 1995 for Best Actress for “Nell.” She is indeed a powerhouse in “Nyad” as Bonnie, the coach who trains Diana Nyad to make that trek from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Foster has name recognition and with previous wins under her belt, she gives similar momentum like Meryl Streep did after winning an Oscar back in 2012 for her work in “The Iron Lady.”

If there is any threat to Randolph’s win, it is Foster. So let’s talk about Randolph who is a titan in “The Holdovers” alongside Paul Giamatti and Dominic Sessa. She holds her own as an actress and delivers the comic relief but has some subtle emotions of drama that rips your heart out as a cook who is grappling with the loss of her son who fought in the war. “The Holdovers” is a slow burn of a drama, but the drama is so mesmerizing that when those moments pop, they strike you at the core.

Without a doubt, I expect Da’Vine Joy Randolph to have her named called on March 10 when the Oscars are announced. If there is a surprise, it will be Foster, but after last year’s upset, I don’t see that unfolding in the 2024 ceremony for this category. It is more likely to unfold in the Best Supporting Actor or Best Actor race. Next week, it’s time to talk about Best Actor people and we have some contenders.