Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Oscar Predictions: Acting in a Supporting Role

With Oscar predictions in writing and animation done, it's time to move on to the actors! Let's start with the supporting categories, where there are two clear frontrunners, a few potential dark horses and some serious nomination snubs...

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

The frontrunner here is Octavia Spencer, who hasn't lost yet all season (rightfully so) for her portrayal of Minny Jackson, the best baker of shit pie in all of Jackson, Mississippi. Her co-star Jessica Chastain is probably the best chance for an upset—though I would've given her a nomination for The Tree of Life instead—but don't hold your breath. Of course, no one was really counting on an Emmy victory for Melissa McCarthy last fall, so you certainly never know.

Will & Should Win: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Could Win: Jessica Chastain, The Help
Should Have Been Nominated: Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life; Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

You have to go back all the way to 2006 to see the last time this particular category wasn't a total lock (and to be fair to Eddie Murphy, his loss to Alan Arkin that year was a pretty major, Norbit-related upset). Don't expect this year to be any different: Christopher Plummer has got this one in the bag. To be completely honest, I enjoyed Plummer's performance in Beginners but I wasn't blown away by it. There's been some discussion that Max Von Sydow, as the other 82 year-old nominee, could upset here, but I honestly don't even understand his nomination. This category could've been a lot more interesting had the right actors been nominated: take out Branagh and Von Sydow and give me any combination of Albert Brooks, Brad Pitt and Alan Rickman and then let's talk about who deserves the win!

Will & Should Win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Could Win: Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Should Have Been Nominated: Albert Brooks, Drive; Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life; Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

I'll be back tomorrow with my predictions in Lead Actor and Actress, where there actually are some serious neck and neck races. In the meantime, don't forget to enter the 2012 Please Welcome Your Judges Oscar Contest!

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