It’s a good thing that I got too busy to finish my last edition of Oscar updates that I attempted to start at the beginning of this month because a lot has changed since then. Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is the only major hopeful left to screen, and that will take place within the next week.
So, lets hit the reset button and see where everything sits as we get ready to head into the final month of 2013. As always, lets start with the supporting ladies.
Here are my updated rankings:
1. Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
2. Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
3. Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels the Butler)
4. June Squibb (Nebraska)
5. Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
6. Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)
7. Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
8. Scarlett Johansson (Her)
9. Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
10. Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Click on the gallery to get my explanations. Next week will be the men in the supporting race. Have a happy Thanksgiving everybody.
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
One month later and Nyong’o is still at the top of my predictions. She is slowly cementing herself as the favorite in this race. Her truly brave and heartbreaking performance deserves no less. She goes toe to toe with her equally heralded co-stars, and there’s an argument to be had that she outshines them all. Between her, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nyong’o stands the best position now for a win on Oscar night.
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
The early word from the first screenings of “American Hustle” is that the hottest actress in film continues her impressive roll. Last year’s best actress winner has launched herself into strong contention for her third ever nomination in her reunion with David O. Russell. Time will tell if this performance can garner the same support her “Silver Linings Playbook” one did, but she’ll once again be a force to be reckoned with on the circuit.
Oprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler
I’m not a fan of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” as my review made pretty clear, and can’t say much more for Winfrey’s performance. However, Oprah has a wide base of support, so does the film to a lesser extent. It is impossible to deny that barring a surprising underdog Winfrey will earn her second Oscar nomination. A win, though, is extremely unlikely.
June Squibb – Nebraska
Mainstream audiences probably don’t know June Squibb, who only started acting in movies in her 60s after a long career on stage, but much like her co-star Bruce Dern, she makes the most out of the best opportunity of her career. Endlessly funny and surprisingly foul-mouthed, Squibb may be constantly berating Dern’s character, but the love she has for her husband is never in doubt, and that is an incredible feat she does with hardly a word of evidence toward it.
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
The debate of where Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep belonged has been settled, and Ms. Roberts will be competing in supporting, but advanced reviews of the film claim that she is the true heart of “August: Osage County.” Positive words like that will go a long way in pursuit of her first nomination since 2000, but a tepid reception of the film as a whole so far leaves her vulnerable.
Octavia Spencer – Fruitvale Station
Spencer was the first real contender for this award when “Fruitvale Station” released in July, but she’s had trouble staying in the conversation as of late. The performance is absolutely worthy and with screeners already out for the film, its very possible voters are being reminded of that. But until that proves to be the case, the edge has to be given to the women who are on everyone’s minds right now.
Margo Martindale – August: Osage County
There hasn’t been any word denouncing Martindale’s performance in “August: Osage County,” there just hasn’t been any words on it at all. Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep have dominated the reaction of the film as expected, but if one of the other impressive cast members were hoping to earn some awards love they needed to come out ahead of one of those two. Martindale will likely be buried by the bigger names.
Scarlett Johansson – Her
Scarlett Johnasson earning a nomination for her voice work in Spike Jonze’s “Her” is still a near unthinkable result, but the walls are slowly being torn down. Support for voice work has been growing and with Johansson’s performance it is coming to a fever pitch. A win for best actress at the Rome Film Festival was a huge cap in hear feather, and the first real sign that people are starting to realize this type of work deserves some recognition. The Globes may have deemed her ineligible, but the Academy and SAG will at least consider her.
Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
The ladies in Woody Allen’s films have always shined brightest, and while Cate Blanchett is getting a majority of the attention for “Blue Jasmine,” you can’t forget about Sally Hawkins. The two actresses play great off each other and each has their own rich, emotional journey. Hawkins’ may be the less showier part, but the quality isn’t.
Naomie Harris – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” did not play as well as some originally thought it would. However, practically no one blames the two performances from Naomie Harris or Idris Elba. Elba won’t be able to climb the mountain of other contenders for best actor consideration, but Harris still has a shot to squeeze in here, though unlikely.