Oscar Predictions: EW's Prize Fighter on who is rising and falling

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Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Move over Oprah.

The frontrunner in this category is a woman who is boozy, blustery, and speaks truth a little too freely. That once described Oprah Winfrey’s character in The Butler, but now Jennifer Lawrence has emerged as an even bigger whirlwind in American Hustle, as the hostile spouse whose recklessness may get Christian Bale imprisoned or killed.

It’s rare for any performer to win back-to-back Oscars, but it has happened when the Academy finds a star it loves. (Ask Tom Hanks.) After winning lead actress for Silver Linings Playbook last year, Lawrence could find herself only the sixth actor in history to claim consecutive awards, and the first woman to do it since Katharine Hepburn in 1968 and 1969.

Or will her previous win actually work against the 23-year-old when voters actually begin to mull it over. If they want to honor another beautiful young talent, Lupita Nyong’o could have a strong chance for her long-suffering but indomitable field slave Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. 84-year-old June Squibb’s brutally foul-mouthed ball-and-chain in Nebraska could also endear her to the Academy, who love it when longtime character actors breakthrough with a star-making performance — especially if it’s late in their careers.

1. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
2. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
3. June Squibb, Nebraska
4. Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
5. Margo Martindale, August: Osage County
6. Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station
7. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
8. Scarlett Johansson, Her

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