This year’s Best Supporting Actor category is wide open, and all five nominees are previous winners. Alan Arkin brought humor to “Argo,” but his momentum isn’t enough to compensate for a role less challenging than the other nominees’ roles. “The Master” was divisive and confusing, but its undisputed strength was its actors, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tommy Lee Jones nearly stole the show from Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” and would easily win if he was not opposing Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook” and Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained,” both backed by notorious awards campaigner Harvey Weinstein.
If De Niro wins, it will be in a similar fashion to Meryl Streep’s victory last year — he is a legend who hasn’t won in years. However, Waltz’s performance is just as deserving. This race will ultimately come down to campaigns. De Niro cried in an interview with Katie Couric, but Waltz made an episode of “Saturday Night Live” consistently hilarious for the first time in years. And yet, De Niro is the more famous actor, and like Streep last year, will be reinstated as one of Hollywood’s greatest icons if he wins.
- Elliot Little
In one of the most competitive shows in years, the Best Supporting Actress field is not particularly suspenseful. Nominees include Helen Hunt as a sex therapist in “The Sessions,” Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln in “Lincoln,” Jacki Weaver as the concerned mother of a bipolar son in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Amy Adams as the dutiful wife of a radical thinker in “The Master” and, of course, Anne Hathaway for her short yet impactful portrayal of Fantine in “Les Miserables.”
Weaver’s performance was the only role that was somewhat forgettable, while Field and Hunt, both former Oscar winners, gave strong and honest performances. However, Adams more than holds her own in the acting master-class that was “The Master.” With four Academy Award nominations to date over the last seven years, Adams is more than due for a win.
Adams is not likely to take the award home though, as the clear front-runner is Hathaway, who has gained recognition for her raw and fearless rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” She has already won awards from the BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her role and is likely to pick up another award here.
– Ife Olujobi
Elliot Little is a contributing writer. Ife Olujobi is a staff writer. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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