Time to bust into the acting categories! Best Supporting Actress has been a lock in recent years and things don’t appear to have changed. Last year, Octavia Spencer was the much-deserved winner for balancing comedy and drama, a nice change from the two previous winners who played overbearing mothers (Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” and Mo’Nique for “Precious”).
For the acting categories, you’ll see that I break down the nominees by percent chance of winning the Oscar. Here goes.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
- (10%) Amy Adams – “The Master”
- (20%) Sally Field – “Lincoln”
- (63%) Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”
- (5%) Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
- (2%) Jacki Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”
After winning the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, Anne Hathaway is in my opinion the surest winner of all the acting categories this year. When an actress gets nominated for an Academy Award and she isn’t in the movie for long, it’s a sign of a sure winner, especially in this category.
The most infamous example is Beatrice Straight who in “Network” appears for six minutes as a wife who flips at her husband (a main character in the film) for having an affair. It was enough of an impression to win an Oscar though her character has no significance to the film as a whole. Dame Judi Dench also won for “Shakespeare in Love” despite just eight minutes screen time as Queen Elizabeth.
Hathaway’s ability to thrive with Tom Hooper’s camera jammed up in her face and breathe new life into the most famous anthem from “Les Misérables” had everyone charmed from the beginning. The Academy has always fancied her (she hosted the Oscars recently, if you’ll painfully recall …) and considering the quality of work she does, she deserves “Academy Award winner” before her name in movie trailers. Even people who didn’t like this movie gave her the credit that was due.
If anyone is a threat, it’s Sally Field. Talk about someone the Academy once loved — Field is two for two at the Oscars. I found nothing that special about her role in “Lincoln,” but everything surrounding her was, so the nomination makes sense. Before the Golden Globes, she was a neck-and-neck favorite with Hathaway based on the film critics’ awards. Still, her chances are slim.
Beyond those two it’s just playing favorites. The next most worthy performance in my opinion is Amy Adams in “The Master,” the otherwise criminally under-nominated film. If you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s a brave role to say the least, working hard and fast to chip at her goody two-shoes image.
Helen Hunt has been part of the awards season conversation since day one. the Oscar winner is definitely a good comeback story and her part requires her to really bare all in “The Sessions,” something based on Adams’ nomination is clearly “a thing.” Rather than go on a diatribe suggesting the Academy wants to reward actresses who take chances with their sexual image, I’ll just say that it’s a good performance but not worthy of a win.
“Silver Linings Playbook” deserves acting recognition, but until the Oscar nomination were announced, Jacki Weaver was an afterthought for her role as the mother. Considering Melissa Leo’s win for playing the mother in David O. Russell’s last film and Weaver’s surprise nomination for “Animal Kingdom” in 2011, however, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Her part just doesn’t have the stuff wins are made of.
Prediction: Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”