best supporting actress
the help, octavia spencer
bridesmaids, melissa mccarthy
the artist, berenice bejo
albert nobbs, janet mcteer
the help, jessica chastain
Prediction: The Help, Octavia Spencer. there seem to be a lot of locks this year. both supporting actor categories might be the two biggest locks this year.
My Pick: The Help, Jessica Chastain. i did not see albert nobbs (nor do i ever plan to) but i would be happy to see any of the other four nominees win because they were all great. but 2011 was the year of jessica chastain. chastain was in 6 (6!!!) movies this year for which she was nominated for various acting awards. her films include 1) the debt, 2) texas killing fields, 3)coriolanus, 4)the help, 5) take shelter and 6) the tree of life.
two of these films (the help and tree of life) are nominated for best picture. take shelter and the tree of life are my two favorite films of the year. between just these three films, chastain shows off her incredible range of emotion, grace and comedy. oh, and before 2011, she had previously acted in only two films. incredible.
best supporting actor
beginners, christopher plummer
extremely loud & incredibly close, max von sidow
my week with marilyn, kenneth branagh
moneyball, jonah hill
warrior, nick nolte
Prediction: Beginners, Christopher Plummer. seemingly the lock of the oscars and also my pick even though i never saw the film. it's mostly because i don't really think anyone else deserves it (haven't seen marilyn) and i certainly won't be upset since i've seen 'the sound of music' like 50 times (it's my mom's favorite movie). jonah hill was not good in moneyball. nick nolte was good but nothing special. von sidow was the best part of a bad movie.
the help, viola davis
the iron lady, meryl streep
albert nobbs, glenn close
the girl with the dragon tattoo, rooney mara
my week with marilyn, michelle williams
Prediction: The Help, Viola Davis. also my pick (didn't see streep, close or williams). can't make a great case here except to say that rooney mara shouldn't have been nominated. i don't equate a great transformation with great acting. viola davis was the emotional center of a movie that only cared about emotional centers.
the artist, jean dujardin
the descendants, george clooney
a better life, demian bichir
moneyball, brad pitt
tinker tailor soldier spy, gary oldman
Prediction: The Artist, Jean Dujardin. i know people are saying it's a race between dujardin and clooney but i can't see how clooney wins. is this the second coming of roberto benigni? whatever you say about the movie or performance, everyone loves the smile.
My Pick: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Gary Oldman. of all actors working today, my level of expectation for the performances of gary oldman might only be surpassed by daniel day lewis. of the four performances (didn't see 'a better life') i saw, all the actors gave great performances (in clooney and pitt's case arguably their best performances). but none of them matched the driving force within oldman's portrayal of british spy george smiley's quiet exterior. oldman, the master at playing historical characters and eccentric villians is known for his explosive demeanor. but in tinker tailor his stillness comes across as even more intimidating and threatening. i wasn't a big fan of this film but gary oldman made an exceptionally boring plot interesting.