The Oscars: Best Supporting Actresses

Anne Hathaway vs Sally Field at the head of the class. Photo: Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

BEIJING, January 29, 2013 – In the ever fickle film industry, supporting actors and actresses often find themselves functioning as props in the hands of an A-listers–Shakespearean trained greats dissolve into their roles as villains or damsels in distress. Yet on the rare occasion these second tier thespians do upstage those in the leading roles. Such is the case for this year’s nominees for Best Supporting Actress. A couple of them, in fact, picked up nominations while their leading actor or actress costars did not. So who was the best supporting actress of 2012? Unfortunately for the vacillating academy, there are actually two.

Taking a look at the entire list of nominees–Amy Adams in The Master, Sally Field in  Lincoln, Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, Helen Hunt in The Sessions, and Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook–we uncover a field of veterans and new comers.

In The Master, Amy Adams gave the tour de force performance of her career. From The Muppets to Oscar nomination time, Adams has become a household name and strong leading lady who can also be next seen in the new Superman film: Man of Steel as… that original damsel in distress, Lois Lane. But in The Master she proved she could more than hold her own, aspiring to the heights of her Oscar nominated costars Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Supporting Actor) and Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor).

Helen Hunt and Jacki Weaver on the other hand are two veterans who’ve stepped out of the shady realm of “aging actresses” and back into the limelight. Far removed from their comfort zones–TV sitcoms for Hunt and a return to acting after a ten-year hiatus for Aussie sensation Weaver–both stars more than rose to the occasion in these recent Oscar sweepstakes.

This year though, it seems, only Anne Hathaway’s and Sally Field’s performances were the league that includes the best of the Oscar’s best. So who gets the Oscar this year?

Sally Field won the Oscar for Norma Rae in 1979, winning yet again for Places in the Heart in 1984. It’s been nearly thirty year since her last win, but the academy has an excellent memory. At the opposite end of the spectrum, thirty-something Hathaway is a couple of years younger than Fields was when she won her first Oscar. Though nominated for a musical, Hathaway’s performance as a prostitute, grittier and darker than anything she’s done before, outshone that of her costar and leading man, Hugh Jackman. Perhaps because her sterling performance was begot by a musical, where such intense suffering could be interpreted brilliantly through song and verse rather than mere dialogue, Hathaway may very well be a shoe-in for her first Oscar statue.

Meanwhile, as we await the Academy’s final choices, the full list of Best Supporting Actress nominees, along with my predictions for the winner are is as follows:



Amy Adams in The Master

Sally Field in Lincoln

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

Helen Hunt in The Sessions

Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook

Winner: Anne Hathaway in Les Miserable

Upset: Sally Field in Lincoln


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Dwain Worrell

A Georgia State University graduate, Dwain Worrell majored in theater with concentration in play and screenwriting. Dwain is a news  article translator in Beijing and a screenwriter.

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