Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The competition: Penelope Cruz’s mistress (Nine), Vera Farmiga’s frequent flyer girlfriend (Up in the Air), Maggie Gyllenhaal’s single mom journalist (Crazy Heart), Anna Kendrick’s game-changing wunderkind (Up in the Air), and Mo’Nique’s abusive deadbeat mother (Precious).

Previous winners: Penelope Cruz, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Hudson, Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett
My winner: Melanie Laurent
Who should win: Kendrick
Who will win: Last year, Kate Winslet’s promotion to lead actress come Oscar time opened the field wide open, and the year before that, a shocking winner triumphed due to the lack of a frontrunner. But prior to that, the winner of this category was set in stone well before the big night, and this year should mark a return to that. Mo’Nique has won pretty much everything thus far, and since her film probably won’t win in any other category, it makes sense that she would take this award. First-time nominees Farmiga and Kendrick probably cancel each other out. Gyllenhaal’s nomination was a surprise, and that’s definitely as far as it’s going to go. Ethan Hawke got in for “Training Day” when he rode on costar Denzel Washington’s buzz, but like Hawke, Gyllenhaal’s nomination is her award. Cruz is last year’s winner, and it’s too soon for her to win again. Back-to-back wins are rare in Oscar history, occurring only five times (Tom Hanks, Jason Robards, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Luise Rainer). Is Cruz really going to join that quintet? No, this is going to Mo’Nique.

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