Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2011 Oscar Predictions: Acting in a Supporting Role

Yesterday, I launched Oscar Week here at Please Welcome Your Judges with an Oscar prediction contest and my predictions in Writing and Animation.

Now it's time to keep the prediction train a-goin' and take a look at the supporting actors and actresses. These tend to be interesting categories that honor nominees from films that would otherwise be absent from any Oscar race. And as we close in on Sunday, this crop represents one of the biggest question marks of the year—who will take Supporting Actress??

Keep reading and see who I think is Oscar-bound, who should be Oscar-bound and who was snubbed out of a nomination...

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

This is quite the crop of women we have here. I'll start by saying that I don't think Helena Bonham Carter is going to ride the momentum of The King's Speech to a win here. Jacki Weaver was devilishly superb in Animal Kingdom and it took a little distance from my viewing for that to sink in, but I still wonder if she and HBC really had better performances than snubbed Barbara Hershey in Black Swan. This race was always going to be between the amazing (and deserving) women of The Fighter... until, of course, Miss Steinfeld found herself nominated as a supporting actress instead of a lead. Could Adams and Leo split the vote enough for Steinfeld to sneak on through for the win? It's certainly possible, but I still think Melissa Leo will end up on top where she belongs.

Should & Will Win: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Should Have Been Nominated: Barbara Hershey, Black Swan

Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

This race is pretty much a sure bet, unless you believe, which I don't, that Geoffrey Rush has a chance because of his film's front-runner status. No, this one goes to a much-deserving Christian Bale, whose portrayal of crack addict (and "Pride of Lowell") Dicky Eklund in The Fighter was one of the best performances of the year in any category. In fact, that has often been the case for the Supporting Actor winner—Christoph Waltz and Heath Ledger, anyone? As for John Hawkes, I would replace him in a second with one of the fine gentlemen from The Social Network—Andrew Garfield if I had to pick just one. Geoffrey Rush was wonderful in The King's Speech, and both Renner in The Town and Ruffalo in The Kid's Are All Right turned out noteworthy performances, but it will be Bale with the golden statue on Sunday.

Should & Will Win: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Should Have Been Nominated: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

What do you think? Will The Fighter take both of these awards (likely the film's only two)? Will Steinfeld join the ranks of Young Oscar Winners? Is there a chance for HBC and Rush to win? Sound off in the comments!

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