I previously mentioned that over the next few weeks I'd be taking a look at the nominees in eight major categories for the 2011 Academy Awards. I'll be writing about what I think will win, what I want to win, and my thoughts about each category overall.
The following are the nominees for outstanding performance by an actress in a supporting category. (Wow, that was WAY too formal).
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom
If I had my druthers, I wouldn't screw a chimpanzee like Les Claypool, but I would bypass any envelope opening on Oscar night and hand the award right over to Hailee Steinfeld who has delivered what is my second favorite performance of the year (Natalie Portman's Black Swan turn as Nina Sayers being the first). Not only did Steinfeld handle the Coen brothers' tongue-twisting dialogue with as much - if not maybe more - finesse than veteran actors Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, she also carried nearly every scene of the second True Grit adaptation, with the gargantuan task of being a street-wise, quick-witted (but not mouthy) teenager who's not so much older than her years than she is very adept at making herself appear that way. Steinfeld's one of the main reason I went to see the film a second time, after feeling lukewarm about it at first. After that second viewing I was sold on the film, and I saw it a third time just to enjoy her performance even more.
That being said, this is a strong category all the way around. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo both impressed in The Fighter, although Leo is more memorable (and the actress more unrecognizable. Maybe it's because I last saw her as tough but softer-spoken attorney in HBO's Treme, but I didn't realize I was watching the same actress until halfway through The Fighter). She just picked up a SAG award a few nights ago, so there's little doubt she'll walk home with Hollywood's highest award on the 27th.
Helena Bonham Carter, though, has the best chance of having her name called instead of Leo, and as The King's Speech just nabbed a bunch of SAG (and a Director's Guild Award as well) the odds are even lower that Mrs. Tim Burton will win her first Oscar (twelve years after being snubbed for her performance as Marla Singer in David Fincher's Fight Club).
Animal Kingdom was a film I had multiple chances to see but passed up every time (and that's something I'm regretting, after finally watching this amazing trailer), but I've heard many good things about Jacki Weaver's work in the film. Her win would be an upset, but one that I'm sure no one would mind.