Best Supporting Actress 2012

Who is your choice for Best Supporting Actress of 2012 from amongst the Oscar nominees?

Amy Adams - The Master
10
19%
Sally Field - Lincoln
8
15%
Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables
26
48%
Helen Hunt - The Sessions
7
13%
Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
3
6%
 
Total votes: 54

The Original BJ
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby The Original BJ » Sun May 26, 2013 2:24 am

I'd definitely have included Nicole Kidman; despite finding The Paperboy a hugely unpleasant experience, I think Kidman, as usual, proves she's one of our gutsiest and most exciting actresses with her fearless work here. I'd also note a performance that got basically zero attention: Isabelle Huppert's brief but incisive work in Amour. And I liked Ann Dowd, but she struck me as pretty clearly the lead in her movie.

Given how often big names are getting nominated for big roles in support these days, I like the fact that a genuine character actress like Jacki Weaver was recognized for work that legitimately exists on the sidelines. And it's not like she was anything less than good in Silver Linings Playbook. But the part is pretty minor, and I already voted for her for Animal Kingdom, so I move past her pretty quickly.

I was iffy on Amy Adams's chances up until she landed the nomination, simply because I didn't think her part was nearly as dominant as her costars. But I was glad she held on to the spot. Paul Thomas Anderson used her trademark naivete in a very fresh way, as a cover for far more duplicitous attitudes beneath the surface. In a way, she's almost like the Lady Macbeth of The Master, quietly controlling the lives of the men who surround her. I don't know if she ever had a moment that tipped her into win territory for me -- even her big scene is more noteworthy for the ickiness of the content rather than the acting force -- but she's consistently good throughout.

The only problem I have with Helen Hunt's nomination is that it came in the wrong category. She should have been a Best Actress nominee, and I honestly don't think she has any less to do in The Sessions than, say, Jennifer Lawrence does in Silver Linings. I think what I like most about Hunt here is the way she manages to inject a lot of humor into her role WITHOUT making her character seem like a punchline. She's a very real, sensitive person, and Hunt recaptures a lot of what I liked about her in As Good As It Gets -- this blend of heart and humor -- that has been missing in much of her work since then. I agree that she struggles with the accent, but I guess I got used to it pretty early on in the movie and it didn't much bother me after that.

In semi-defense of Anne Hathway, I will say that she was at least up to the challenges of her role, which isn't something you can say for some of her costars, who really struggled with the whole acting and singing at the same time thing. And so in that regard, I do think "I Dreamed a Dream" stands out as the high point of the movie, and the actress delivers the number with power and effective vocals. But...after the song was done, my friend and I both turned to each other and simultaneously uttered, "That's it?!" Given the hype, I expected a tour de force on par with, say, Liza Minnelli's Cabaret finale. What Hathaway delivered was...solid, but the entire number is performed at basically the same level, without all that much range of emotion. I don't think this was entirely the actress's fault -- by staging the number simply in one close-up, Tom Hooper literally gives Hathaway nowhere to go, and so the first verse comes off as basically the same as the last. I wasn't bothered that she won the Oscar -- as I said, I found her one of the more tolerable aspects of her movie -- but I didn't find her number to be so transcendent that I felt she deserved a clean sweep of awards. Or my vote...

...because I thought Sally Field showed WAY more colors in Lincoln. I did a research project on Mary Todd Lincoln for a history class in school, and I thought Field captured so many elements of this very complicated and troubled woman. Field found a lot of humor in Mrs. Lincoln's role as the country's ultimate hostess, particularly in that scene where she tells Tommy Lee Jones that people will never love him as they love her husband. She was fiercely maternal in those touching moments with her boys, and captured the intensity of Mary Todd's mental anguish in her fights with Day-Lewis. I can see why the performance would be somewhat divisive, and I know people in my real life who strongly disliked her work for being so unhinged. But, by all accounts, Mary Todd Lincoln WAS totally off the rails, and I felt Field plumbed the depths of her character's biggest fears (that her husband did not love her, and that she would continue to watch her children die) to strong effect. I can't say I was necessarily rooting for her to win a third Oscar -- I definitely didn't think she soared to that level -- but in literal terms, I think her work is the most impressive and well-rounded of this batch, so she gets my vote.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby rudeboy » Sat May 25, 2013 6:28 pm

Echoing what's already been said. Yes, Hathaway nailed her big number but remove that sequence and there's nothing there - the rest of her performance is entirely undistinguished, and the Oscar-winning makeup can't even succeed in making her look like she's suffering. In a weak year she did enough to warrant a nomination, I guess, but not win material.

I voted for Sally Field, who I've never liked this much before. I was extremely impressed by her forceful performance.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Mister Tee » Sat May 25, 2013 2:16 pm

I'm with Eric on the lack of interest here. There wasn't even an alternative of particular note; ones that come to mind -- Dowd in Compliance, Rosemarie deWitt in Your Sister's Sister -- are at least borderline leads.

I voted for Anne Hathaway in the Rachel Getting Married year, so I don't have antipathy to her in particular. But I find this a completely undistinguished performance, consisting of one-note -- 20 minutes of anguish -- and one popular song. The bloggers can pat themselves on the back for this one: they chose her before the film was even in production, and they pushed her all the way.

I was perfectly pleased Jacki Weaver got this spot over any of the Marigolds, and she's quite good given what she has to work with. But the role is just too small to be anything but filler in the race.

Sally Field has strong moments -- I liked her a lot in the receiving line scene -- but also some where she's not quite up to the demands of the script. She's a decent enough nominee, and better here than in most recent efforts, but not at winner level.

I think Sabin raises an interesting question: can a performance survive a bad accent? Some of us would argue Michael Caine did just that in The Cider House Rules, and I'd say Helen Hunt achieves the same here. I was a great fan of Hunt's on Mad About You, and liked (even if I didn't vote for) her As Good As It Gets work, but I've found her performances in the years since disappointing. It was great to see her give such a full-bodied (in all senses) and humane performance. She's my runner-up.

But I vote -- as I have multiple times, already -- for Amy Adams, who proves once again how wide her range is. She's a simmering presence throughout the film, and so vehemently in command in her final scene that one wonders if the film's title was meant to refer to her. It's not a great-great performance -- she's off-screen too much, for that -- and I suspect Adams has even more to show us in the years ahead. But, in this thin competition, she's the only one to whom I can give my vote.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Sabin » Fri May 24, 2013 11:15 pm

The other explanation is she's good.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Big Magilla » Fri May 24, 2013 7:35 pm

At least we have an explanation for Jacki Weaver's sole vote. More often than not we're left wondering why someone voted for a choice no-one else did. Sometimes the choices are so perplexing I wonder if the person who cast the vote really liked what they saw or are merely casting a protest vote.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Sabin » Fri May 24, 2013 5:45 pm

Eh.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Fri May 24, 2013 5:21 pm

I disregard anyone who says she only had one song to gauge a performance off of. She had multiple songs, a death bed fever dream and was part of the closing song. She may not have had a lot of screentime, but she was an integral part to the segments she was in.
Wesley Lovell
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Sabin » Fri May 24, 2013 5:06 pm

I guess we are doing this...

I went with Jacki Weaver pretty much in protest. I'm sorry but I need more than a song to give somebody an Oscar. I would happily give it to Helen Hunt had she not done that awful, awful accent. Every time she spoke, ugh! So distractingly terrible. Sally Field's work improves the more one watches Lincoln. I'm not sure she's very well cast in the film but she doesn't shy away from the unattractive qualities of this woman. But her scenes with Day-Lewis for me constituted the (ending aside) worst and stagiest stuff in the film. Remember Ralph Wiggum and Lisa Simpson performing the life of George & Martha Washington? That's how I felt. I was ready to give it to Amy Adams for The Master even though I don't think it's a great performance so much as Paul Thomas Anderson making good use of her presence (and one very surprising hand job). But I think better use is made of Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook and without any headlining scenes. Jacki Weaver has an off-handed doting doddering quality that validates her marriage to Robert De Niro and a lifetime of just barely missing the signals that something's up with her son. If I try to imagine anybody else in that role, I think I come up with someone who drastically takes away from a beloved movie of mine. After Animal Kingdom, I was prepared to never see Jacki Weaver again.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby mlrg » Fri May 24, 2013 12:10 pm

Helen Hunt - The Sessions

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Eric » Fri May 24, 2013 7:18 am

Among the weakest lineups of my lifetime.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby OscarGuy » Fri May 24, 2013 6:12 am

Why not rush? We've discussed these contenders to death over the last year. You can put your choices down and move on.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby The Original BJ » Fri May 24, 2013 12:24 am

What's all the rush?

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby ksrymy » Fri May 24, 2013 12:17 am

My picks
_________________________
1. Ann Dowd, Compliance
2. Amy Adams, The Master
3. Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
4. Judi Dench, Skyfall
5. Sally Field, Lincoln

6. Edith Scob, Holy Motors
"Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Best Supporting Actress 2012

Postby Big Magilla » Thu May 23, 2013 11:39 pm

This was as good a line-up as we've ever seen in this category.

One can quibble about Helen Hunt's category fraud, but it doesn't bother me. Her role in The Sessions was the female lead, but the film is about John Hawkes' character, not her. It's really a performance that could have fit comfortably in either category. The same could be said of both Nicole Kidman in The Paper Boy and Ann Dowd in Compliance and had all three been nominated over more deserving true supporting actresses, I might have had a problem, but not with just one slipping in.

At the other end of the spectrum is Jacki Weaver whose part in Silver Linings Playbook is so far in the background you almost don't know she's there. As with Naomi Watts in the leading actress race, we again seem to have a token Australian nominee representing the British/Australian contingency that might have been better served with a nod toward Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or Judi Dench in Skyfall.

The other three nominees, though, are stellar. I'm not sure what it is that Amy Adams does in The Master that rivets our attention, but does she ever. Sally Field delivers a remarkable interpretation of one of the most controversial first ladies in American history in Lincoln and might well have won a third Oscar if it weren't for Anne Hathaway's fierce portrayal of Fantine in Les Misérables. I think the Academy got this one right.


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