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Tag: Best Supporting Actress Oscar (1-10 of 51)

Anne Hathaway on her Oscar nomination and 'I Dreamed a Dream': 'It's a howl'

Anne Hathaway’s Best Supporting Actress nomination seemed a foregone conclusion — and most Oscar pundits agree that the award itself is hers to lose. But there was a time when Hathaway’s performance wasn’t such a sure thing.

Claude-Michele Schönberg’s Les Mis has been performed countless times since its premiere in the ’80s — and the part of virtuous Fantine, a factory worker whose fall from grace leads to one of the show’s most emotional moments, had been played by some of the theater world’s biggest names, including powerhouses Patti LuPone, Randy Graff, and Lea Salonga.

So how did Hathaway manage to put her own stamp on such an iconic role? “I was really lucky to get to sing a great song, period. But I was also lucky to be the first person to sing it on film,” the actress told EW this morning. She also noted that director Tom Hooper and his team placed “I Dreamed a Dream” later in the film than it appears in the stage show, “so I got to sing it from a more raw place than anyone had ever gotten to sing it before.”


Oscar Wildcard: Why I wish I'd pushed harder for Ann Dowd of 'Compliance'


prize_fighter1_bannerI feel bad because I gave up on Ann Dowd.

Early in the Oscar season, when the field is so open and many films are still unseen, it’s easier to get behind an underdog. There’s more room to suggest a longshot for consideration’s sake, which to me feels a bit more interesting than just trying to “guess right” for … what exactly? A pat on the head for correctly predicting who might get a trophy?

That’s why I wish I’d had the nerve to give Dowd more of a push for her truly devastating performance in Compliance as a fast food manager who is manipulated into doing terrible things by a man who calls her restaurant and says he is a cop investigating one of her young employees. READ FULL STORY

Sex and 'The Sessions': Helen Hunt does a job that is NSFW

The Sessions, a movie about a severely disabled man trying to lose his virginity, may be the hardest sell of award season. How do you get people to give a movie a try when the very premise is squirm-inducing?

Funnily enough, describing The Sessions is also a little like trying to be intimate. If you come on too strong, too direct or blunt, all you’ll do is turn the person off. (Case in point: the way I described the movie above.)

But once you’ve actually seen The Sessions, you know there’s a lot more to it. For one, it’s hilarious. There are a fair number of heartbreaking moments, yes, but for the most part the spirit of this story is witty and warm and charming. Is it awkward? Absolutely — but how was your first time?

The video above, a Prize Fighter exclusive via Fox Searchlight, does a great job showing the lively nature of the film by focusing on the sex surrogate character played by Helen Hunt, a woman whose job is to help this man find happiness in a body that has given him anything but.

Does that description woo you any better?


All 20 Oscar acting nominees pose for official Oscar 'school' portraits. Which is your favorite?

For this year’s Oscars, the 20 acting nominees have posed for photographer Douglas Kirkland in what the Academy calls “Out of Character: Portraits of This Year’s Acting Nominees.” Clicking through them, two things quickly become clear: One, with rare exception, the men weren’t too keen on being creative with their poses. And two, with rare exception, the women were keen on doing anything but a straight-forward pose.

Basically, they’re like the fanciest school portraits ever. Here are my four favorites from the acting categories, starting with Best Supporting Actor (all credits to Douglas Kirkland and AMPAS):  READ FULL STORY

Oscar predictions: 18 days to go

We’re finally in the homestretch of the Oscar season, and I’m happy to say we have a handful of real races on our hands this year. Best Actor continues to befuddle me, while Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay could both offer surprises on Feb. 26 . At this point I’m thinking Hugo screenwriter John Logan could capitalize on all the support for the film — not to mention the fact that he’s a sole credited writer, which always helps. At this week’s Oscar nominees luncheon, I was taken aback by the tremendous amount of goodwill directed at Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close supporting-actor nominee Max von Sydow. (Perhaps because Christopher Plummer wasn’t there, von Sydow received an inordinate amount of octogenarian love.) Do I suddenly think von Sydow could beat Plummer? No, but he definitely moves up a few rungs in my rankings this week. On today’s episode of my series Nominated With Dave Karger, we take a closer look at Extremely Loud.

Best Picture
1. The Artist (last week: 1) READ FULL STORY

Pitt, Clooney, Davis, Mara and more talk performances, inspiration at annual Oscar luncheon

George Clooney came for the “free booze.” Octavia Spencer was stoked to just be in the “room with all those luminaries,” while Kenneth Branagh claimed it was “the camaraderie” that brought him to the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. But no matter what their reason for attending, most of the folks in the acting categories first stopped by the press room to talk shop, give praise and, in the case of Nick Nolte, threaten to tell a joke (which never materialized).

Here is taste of what the actors had to say about their performances, awards season, and their fellow nominees: READ FULL STORY

Can 'The Help' make Oscar history?

In the 84-year history of the Academy Awards, there has been one African-American Best Actress winner (Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball) and four black Best Supporting Actress winners (Gone with the Wind‘s Hattie McDaniel, Ghost‘s Whoopi Goldberg, Dreamgirls‘ Jennifer Hudson, and Precious‘ Mo’Nique). But never have there been two African-American acting winners from the same film. That could very well change this month thanks to The Help. Both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer picked up SAG Awards for their performances in the summer hit, and I’ve been predicting Oscar wins for the two of them since November. Without nominations in the directing, writing, or editing categories, it’s got basically no chance at Best Picture, but two big Oscar wins seem likely at this point. On today’s episode of my series Nominated with Dave Karger, I take a closer look at the highest-grossing film in this year’s Best Picture category.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

Oscar predictions: Can Jean Dujardin beat George Clooney?

Last night’s Screen Actors Guild Award results certainly made at least one Oscar category a lot more interesting. Jean Dujardin’s win changed Best Actor from a race between George Clooney and Brad Pitt to a fight between Clooney and Dujardin. And as we’ve seen over the years (The King’s Speech, Gladiator, American Beauty), the Academy often likes to pair up Best Picture and Best Actor. I’m not quite ready to predict Dujardin as the Oscar winner just yet, but after I talk to some more voters, I may change my mind in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, The Help‘s Best Cast win (one of three victories for the film last night) was a wonderful moment for that group of actors, but history is not on its side when it comes to its Oscar chances next month. The last time a film won Best Picture without writing or directing nominations was all the way back in 1932. In my mind, The Artist—which has won the Producers Guild and Directors Guild awards—is still the clear favorite. Even though there are several films that lost Best Picture after winning the PGA and DGA (among them Brokeback Mountain and Saving Private Ryan), I don’t sense another film with enough overall support to unseat it. So here are my current rankings in the top 8 categories.


Octavia Spencer on her first Sundance film, and her Oscar nomination slumber party -- VIDEO

If you’re looking for Octavia Spencer tonight — the night before the Academy Award nominations are announced in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow — you’ll probably find her hanging in her PJs with The Help director Tate Taylor. That’s what the best supporting actress front-runner told EW’s Dave Karger yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival, while discussing Spencer’s role as an alcohol addiction counselor in the dramedy Smashed. Karger also talked with Spencer about why Michael Fassbender is stalking her, and what her favorite thing has been about riding the wave of The Help‘s wild success. Check out their interview below:  READ FULL STORY

Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain to be campaigned in supporting categories for 'The Tree of Life'

Merie Wallace

It’s not a huge surprise, but today comes word from Fox Searchlight that the entire cast of The Tree of Life — notably Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain — will be campaigned in the supporting categories this awards season. It’s a strategy that’s been used for several ensemble films in the recent past, like Babel and Slumdog Millionaire. (Babel‘s Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi ended up scoring Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress, while Slumdog‘s Dev Patel earned a SAG nod in the supporting-male race.)

For Pitt, the move heads off any potential vote splitting between his performances in Tree of Life and Moneyball, since the latter is clearly a lead role. But for Chastain, it’s muddier: The actress, who’ll end up costarring in six films released in 2011, will now be the recipient of supporting campaigns for Tree and The Help, just for starters.

Clearly Searchlight is going with a “the movie is the star” approach with its Tree of Life campaign, a decision that will put the spotlight on reclusive director Terrence Malick. And hey, maybe the dinosaurs were the leads.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

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