Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Lawrence, Nyong’o, and Squibb were all sure things, while Julia Roberts was kind of a default choice for many voters. But that was good enough. Hawkins landed a few nominations this season, which probably helped remind Academy voters about her lovely, lively work as the perennially overlooked sister in Blue Jasmine.
Who’s out: Oprah.
The queen of all media clearly does not count the Academy as part of her realm. The Butler was a hit with audiences, but many voters questioned what exactly her character was doing in that movie. While she had her moments, there seemed to be several scenes (the suggested affair with Terrence Howard) that seemed tacked on to the story just to give her boozy housewife something to do.
Prize Fighter Score: 4.5 for 5.
I had Oprah on my list, but she turned out to not be one of the Academy’s “Favorite Things.” But it did also have Hawkins as the wild-card, writing: “If voters take a moment to look beyond the obvious before filling in that fifth position, Hawkins could end up among the finalists.” It seems they did just that, and it was well earned. Substance won out over fame, for once.
Next Page: The Best Director field …