|2012's Best Supporting Actress winner Octavia Spender (The Help)|
We are in an exciting time for Oscar enthusiasts. We are officially one week away from the announcement of this year's nominees. In order to contribute some thoughts, I will be going down the major categories (Acting, Directing, and Best Picture) and predicting who will be the most likely to get nominated, as well as a few tidbits on why I agree with these decisions. Be warned that every story that I am going to write in relation to predictions will not actually feature any bias towards who should win. However, I will be detailing why I think each should be nominated. Also stay tuned for post-coverage in which I will actually be sharing my thoughts on the nominations and solidify who I believe should win in each category.
Next up in the predictions is the category that I have the most trouble filling out. As hard as Best Supporting Actor proved to be, there aren't as many standout Best Supporting Actress performances that really stand out. True, there are definitely a few that will obvious get the nomination, but I cannot think of a definitive five. Just like always, I have split the predictions up into who I think are the Front-Runners and the Possible Upsets who may get a surprise nomination (or at least I would hope so).
WHO: Anne Hathaway
WHAT: Les Miserables
WHY: It seemed like Anne Hathaway was the front runner since the teaser trailer premiered. Exuding emotion and having one of the most talked about song performances of the year with "I Dreamed a Dream," it seems like she has been the runaway hit of the collection. While people have gone on to complain about the film, very few find reason to argue about her performance, which has been known to give off a visceral action. She has a guaranteed nomination, and possibly, is the only nominee worthy of her slot.
WHO: Amy Adams
WHAT: The Master
WHY: Being my favorite aspect of The Master behind Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams has the thankless role of being able to manipulate anyone that she comes within ten feet of. Her performance isn't nearly as showy as Philip Seymour Hoffman or Phoenix, but in that way, she almost seems like an anchor. A frightening anchor that I feel so far is being ignored in the acting races. Still, for my money, she gives one of the best performances of the year and if Anne Hathaway wasn't such a compelling choice, I would fully endorse her as the front runner.
WHO: Sally Field
WHY: I am convinced that Lincoln is going to be big in terms of overall nominations. While I feel like the film never was never more than pleasant, I cannot really get behind Sally Field's nomination, which was even less interesting than Daniel Day Lewis' extremely understated performance. Still, in a weak year for Best Supporting Actress, I feel fine putting her in the race, even though I don't feel like she is deserving of that trophy.
WHO: Helen Hunt
WHAT: The Sessions
WHY: I will admit that this movie's best chances at an Oscar is still John Hawkes. However, from what I have heard, Helen Hunt is an equally interesting and engaging character. At very least, this could be seen as her comeback performance and the nomination will be able to ride on her returned success. As already stated, there hasn't been enough buzz around her to actually promise a win, but it almost seems fair to assume that she'll get a nomination.
WHO: Maggie Smith
WHAT: Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
WHY: I have already said that this category is having a weak year, and I do not personally find too much from Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that is worth top honors. However, as the Golden Globes nominations suggest, Maggie Smith is ripe for consideration. True, this is yet another slot that may be given just because of her established prestige, but unlike Sally Field or any other elderly actress, this slot actually feels deserved as it isn't trying too hard to be a good performance. It just is. Of course, it will at least remind us that Smith still has some charisma.
WHO: Ann Dowd
WHY: I really just want her to get nominated for her amazing, selfless marketing strategy. While I have yet to see the film, Ann Dowd's choice to self-finance and send screeners out to voters is an impressive, if honorable feat for a film that otherwise would be ignored. At very least, she is showing more passion for a nomination than I think any of my Front Runners ever really showed. Of course, I am subjected to just want to honor admirable deeds, and this is really making me respect her.
WHO: Frances McDormand
WHAT: Moonrise Kingdom
WHY: In terms of the longest shot possible, I don't think anyone will be as impossible to consider as Frances McDormand. Still, I dream of a guerrilla style campaign that gets the film much needed nominations. I feel like in terms of acting, McDormand is the front runner as the charismatic mother who doesn't want her daughter to fall in love. It is funny, sweet, and would be a nice update, especially since she hasn't been nominated since 2006's North Country.
WHO: Nicole Kidman
WHAT: The Paperboy
WHY: Because she already has gotten a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, she stands a better chance at very least qualifying for a slot. However, The Paperboy is notoriously trashy and stands very little chance at getting Oscar Buzz at this point in the game. As much as her Golden Globe nomination will essentially keep the movie in people's awareness, there is little chance that it will even be considered in this category. This is also notable because the older Academy voters probably are not into trashy subject matter.
WHO: Judi Dench
WHY: Yes, she may have gotten a Golden Globe nomination for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but the press around Skyfall has made many consider her. Yes, the movie may be more hinged on Javier Bardem's performance, but the film is also very emotional and Judi Dench proves that she is capable of making you cry. However, the James Bond franchise feels too old and her character too established to really be a front runner. However, with a heartbreaking plot twist towards the end, it may be able to play effectively to the voter's emotions, so never count that out.
WHO: Jacki Weaver
WHAT: Silver Linings Playbook
WHY: Because every other person in this movie is up for consideration. While I considered her to be one of the weakest elements, there is a possibility that the film will show up strong in all of the acting categories. However, Jacki Weaver's chances of winning are very low and since her role isn't as memorable as Jennifer Lawrence or Bradley Cooper, there is little chance that anything much will come of a nomination.
WHO: Samantha Barks
WHAT: Les Miserables
WHY: Okay, so the category already feels overstuffed with Anne Hathaway, but don't deny that Samantha Barks did a great job in a great movie. She may be too much of a third act, insignificant to the big picture, character for consideration, but she was still better than Amanda Seyfried and almost on par with Helena Bonham Carter in terms of overall quality. She is also one of the few pretty good singers in the cast. While I am fine with only one Les Miserables nomination in this category, I wouldn't mind the second choice being Barks.
Who do you think will win? Does anyone stand a chance of dethroning Anne Hathaway? Is Maggie Smith capable of taking Best Exotic Marigold Hotel into the final nominations? Can Nicole Kidman somehow pull an upset?