Best Supporting Actress 2014: Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game

THE IMITATION GAME
A photo Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game (via Collider.)

Oscar Present?
Role: Joan Clarke, a cryptanalyst who became good friends with Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch).. and his fiancée

Awards: N/A
Nominations: N/A

Festivals:

  • BFI London Film Festival (2014) – Opening Film
  • Toronto International Film Festival (2014) – Canadian Premiere

Why? We know Knightley mostly for frilly costume pieces – and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but she jumped that ship, thankfully – but the musical Begin Again and comedy Laggies see her playing against type, which helps with industry respect and (possibly) year-end kudos. She’s back in period-piece mode, but she’s avoiding the frills this time. The Imitation Game might be “the one” this season.

Why not? Benedict Cumberbatch might shine so brightly that Knightley fails to make an impression. At various points in the game, we thought that she would get in for best picture nominee Atonement (2007), The Duchess (2008), Never Let Me Go (2010), A Dangerous Method (2011), and Anna Karenina (2012); more often than not, her buzz fizzles once people see her films/performances (which isn’t necessarily her fault). Will Knightley go lead?

Ranking: No. 1 as of Aug. 27, 2014

More on the competition:
Best Actress in a Supporting Role 2014

See also (pages coming soon):
Best Picture 2014: The Imitation Game (more)
Best Director 2014: Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game
Best Actor 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game (more)
Best Supporting Actor 2014: Matthew Goode for The Imitation Game (more)
Best Adapted Screenplay 2014: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game (more)

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