Best Supporting Actress
Should win: This is a pretty odd Oscar year, but it's also
in some important respects a pretty solid one. This is evident just from looking
at this category, in which minor or lighter (or both) films can often get a
shot. Say what you will about "The Sessions," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Les
Miserables," "Lincoln" and "The Master"; there's not a lot of frivolity going on
there. Even "Silver Linings Playbook," the ostensible comedy of the bunch, has a
lot of serious moments and a theme of coping with mental illness. The
movie's nominee, Jackie Weaver, is the weakest of the lot,
performance-wise. She's good as a harried Philadelphia wife and mom but doesn't
have much to do. Helen Hunt is excellent in "The Sessions," but
it's not much of what we haven't seen from her. Anne Hathaway's performance in "Les Mis" is
trouper-like but seemingly VERY prone to backlash. For my money, Amy Adams' portrayal of the sunny-on-the-surface,
steely-underneath cult founder's wife in "The Master" is the most galvanic and
surprising turn, and my favorite.
Will win: My gut tells me that the award will go to Sally Field for her portrayal of the first lady in
"Lincoln." Yes, Field is a multiple Oscar winner, but this would be her first
nod in this category. And she has a compelling backstory here: She had to battle
director Steven Spielberg for the role, which he initially believed her to be
too old for. And she is very wonderful in the role.
Bing: Academy Award nominees
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