Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The competition: Berenice Bejo’s bubbly actress (The Artist), Jessica Chastain’s loony housewife (The Help), Melissa McCarthy’s energetic bridesmaid (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer’s closeted painter (Albert Nobbs), and Octavia Spencer’s sarcastic maid (The Help).

Previous winners: Melissa Leo, Mo’Nique, Penelope Cruz, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Hudson, Rachel Weisz
My winner: Mélanie Laurent (Beginners)
Who should win: Bejo or Chastain
Who will win: In the 18-year history of the SAG Awards, the Best Supporting Actress trophy from the Golden Globes, SAG, and the Oscars has been rewarded to the same actress nine times. Only once did an actress – Lauren Bacall in 1996 – win both the Globe and the SAG and then go on to lose the Oscar. This category tends to be locked up pretty well, and I don’t see anyone taking down Spencer. Even if voters didn’t love the movie, it’s hard to deny the hilarity and bravura of her performance. Chastain is the year’s breakout star, and she’ll certainly be back in the future at least a few times, especially if she spreads her movies out into separate eligibility years. McTeer, the only returning nominee, definitely won’t win, though her performance was strong (DB). Bejo could theoretically win if voters went nuts for her movie, but she hasn’t received acclaim anywhere near the level of her costar Dujardin. The real threat to Spencer is McCarthy, whose comic performance was immensely popular. I’m not sure she’s serious enough to actually win an Oscar, but she did take home an Emmy for “Mike & Molly” due to her newfound success. This category’s just too sewn up, however, for Spencer.

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