Oscar Odds: Best Supporting Actress
By LaDale Anderson
Jan 31, 2014 - 6:04:45 AM

HOLLYWOOD—With the Academy Awards only a mere five weeks away, its time to start predicting who will take home the big award come March 2, in the movie industry’s pinnacle of all accolades. Some would say in America as well. In the next four weeks we’ll be looking at major categories including Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Director and Best Picture.


The race for Supporting Actress is a contentious one to say the least. While many ladies this year were snubbed by the Academy, I’m talking about you Oprah Winfrey, our five contenders are Sally Hawkins “Blue Jasmine,” Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle,” Lupita Nyong’o “12 Years a Slave,” Julia Roberts “August: Osage County” and June Squibb “Nebraska.” 


First off, I will admit I think Roberts was robbed by not being nominated in the Lead Actress role, she in my opinion delivered some of her best work and played more of lead role compared to a supporting role in my opinion. I mean did you see that dinner scene, fantastic acting to say the least. She’s in a category, where other performances shine a bit more than hers and because of that it hurts her chances at a win. The same can be said for Sally Hawkins.  While she is not the star of “Blue Jasmine,” she brings a lot of charm, wit and heart to the picture, but hands down Cate Blanchett is the driving force for that movie and that is where all the focus turns to.

Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave."


June Squibb portrays a character that is a bit sharp-tongued and a scene stealer, which is something the Academy looks for in supporting characters. Think Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) in “The Help,” but not constrained with a PG-13 rating. Squibb is indeed a dark horse in my opinion.


Jennifer Lawrence has already nailed down three Oscar nominations before turning 25, and she claimed the Lead Actress prize last year for “Silver Linings Playbook.” This time around she is a definite scene stealer in “American Hustle.” She soaks up the amount of time that she has on the screen, and in my opinion delivers acting that is unforgettable. She was the only character I kept thinking about after the movie was over compared to actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner.


Her biggest competition is “12 Years a Slave” newcomer Lupita Nyong’o who is absolutely a revelation in a performance that shatters your heart. Nyong’o portrays Patsey, a slave who endures unbelievable horrors at the hands of her plantation owner and his cruel wife. There are gripping scenes depicted by the actress that in my opinion ”˜scream Oscar.’ What does that mean you might ask? It’s a scene, that isn’t necessarily saying look at me, but when you see it, Oscar comes to mind.


So of course, the race is between Lawrence and Nyong’o. Lawrence took the Golden Globe; Nyong’o took the SAG and Critics Choice Award. With the BAFTA’s awards not to far away, a win for Lawrence could set-up an interesting battle, but I’m predicting a win for Nyong’o for sheer brilliancy to bring such empathy, sadness and hurt to the audience as they watch her character. The biggest factor in this race is if Lawrence and Nyong’o split the vote, which could open the door for Squibb to take the win. Remember, the Academy is notorious for throwing a curveball in the Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress race every year, so I wouldn’t be surprised this year either.

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