Da’Vine Joy Randolph wins best supporting actress Oscar for ‘The Holdovers’

By Thomson Reuters Mar 10, 2024 | 6:39 PM

By Danielle Broadway

LOS ANGELES, March 10 (Reuters) – Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the best supporting actress Oscar on Sunday for her role as the grieving mother Mary Lamb in the boarding school drama “The Holdovers.”

An emotional Randolph took to the stage in a shimmering baby-blue dress, recounting how she started off as a singer until her mother persuaded her to go to the theater department, promising there was something there for her.

“For so long I have always wanted to be different and now I realize I just needed to be myself, and I thank you for seeing me,” she said.

While this is the first Oscar for the Black American actress, Randolph has dominated the awards season with a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, a BAFTA and a SAG award for her role as the cafeteria manager at the New England school.

The drama, directed by Alexander Payne and distributed by Focus Features, sees three people thrown together at Barton Academy during the Christmas holidays in 1970.

Mary Lamb, who is mourning the death of her son in Vietnam, is joined by a cranky teacher played by Paul Giamatti and a troublemaking student, played by Dominic Sessa.

The 37-year-old Yale School of Drama alumni, who got her start in theater, has said she is grateful to hear from audiences who resonate with Mary’s sense of loss and apathy toward the holidays.

“Imagine how hard it is if you’re going through something and all that is on your TV is cheery, cheery, cheery, and you don’t feel like that on the inside,” Randolph told Reuters. “I was very grateful to be a part of something that could be different and to be something to help other people.”

(Reporting by Danielle Broadway; editing by Jonathan Oatis)