Okay, as with the Best Actor category, the Best Supporting Actress appears to be chosen already. The Best Actress category also set records this year for oldest nominee (Emmanuelle Riva) and youngest nominee (Quvenzhane Wallis).
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
I really like Jennifer Lawrence. She came out of nowhere with Winter’s Bone, did a nice job as Mystique in X-Men First Class (helping to offset January Jones), and saved The Hunger Games from mediocrity. I also like that, for Hollywood, she is a plus-sized lady. Her performance in Silver Linings Playbook is delightful and I would normally hope she gets the Oscar.
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
I like Jessica Chastain and she is quite good in Zero Dark Thirty but all she has to sell is tough. She is tough in the movie but we don’t usually give out Oscars for that. There was not a lot of emotional depth written into the role but she handled it well.
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
No contest – Emmanuelle Riva’s performance blew me away. Amour is a two-hour slog and it often feels like Michael Haneke is trying to punish you for watching his film but it is a very honest and resonant look at what real love looks like. Emmanuelle Riva is absolutely uncanny as a wife who suffers a stroke – every nuance of her performance was amazing.
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Well I won’t see this until Oscar Sunday but nominating a pre-teen for acting usually just means that you like them in that role – not that they can necessarily act. Still it isn’t fair for me to pass judgement until I see it.
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Naomi Watts is quite good in The Impossible but the real stars of that film are the tsunami (unbelievable that it wasn’t nominated for special effects – the tsunami is terrifying) and the first two-thirds of the script.
Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, The Master
Curse you Master! I miss one darn film and it gets nominated for everything.
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway’s fifteen minute performance (aka the only reason to sit through a three hour Les Miserables) is truly excellent. She can belt out a tune and turn on the waterworks – all while getting a haircut.
Sally Field, Lincoln
I really enjoyed Sally Field’s performance as the First Lady though I have to admit that some scenes were much better than others.
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Poor Helen Hunt! Normally, as an older actor, baring your body is considered daring and a gateway to an Oscar. Unfortunately the only thing that trumps that is drastically changing your body. Nudity < Haircut.
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Jacki certainly deserves an ‘A’ for effort. Any actress that can hold her own while performing with three lunatics (Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Jennifer Lawrence) is doing great.