Certainties: Anne Hathaway is the clear frontrunner for this Oscar prize for her tragic Fantine in Les Mis, although Sally Field is a major rival for her portrayal of the emotionally raw First Lady in Lincoln. The Sessions’ Helen Hunt seems like a sure bet for a nomination, too.
Surprises: Nicole Kidman. Nicole Kidman. Nicole Kidman. I said it yesterday when she scored a SAG nomination, and I’ll say it again — The Paperboy was reviled by critics, and when the screener went out to voters hers was the only name listed for consideration. Even crummy movies list ever single qualifying contender. It seemed like a gesture of surrender, but placing all their eggs in her basket seems to have worked. Somehow. God bless her. Amy Adams was left off the SAG nominations list yesterday, which was a significant loss. Ranking here helps recoup some of that momentum, although many voters complain that her role in The Master felt underwritten. (Critics, however, like to say that it was simply left open to interpretation.)
Snubs: Ann Dowd, one of my favorite performances of the year, as the well-meaning but gullible fast-food manager who is manipulated by a prank caller into horrible actions in the indie thriller Compliance. She’s being pushed in the supporting category, even though she’s really a lead. And also, the Globes tend not to pay enough attention to indie films. Or non-celebrities. Jacki Weaver from Silver Linings Playbook was also overlooked, along with Amanda Seyfried and Samantha Barks from Les Miserables.
NEXT PAGE — Winners, losers, shocks: Supporting Actor