HOLLYWOOD—In a mere three weeks, an actress will join the ranks of Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Connolly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Penelope Cruz and Meryl Streep as winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.  This year’s group of ladies is a competitive one indeed.  In this years race we have the following Amy Adams “The Master,” Jacki Weaver “Silver Linings Playbook,” Anne Hathaway “Les Misérables,” Sally Field “Lincoln” and Helen Hunt “The Sessions.”

Amy Adams who has been nominated multiple times, but has yet to win is absolutely stellar in “The Master” as the wife of our highly praised teacher.  However, the problem with the picture is that not many have seen it, so the buzz of her performance has yet to reach the masses.  Furthermore, her work has been overshadowed by her co-stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Supporting Actor) and Joaquin Phoenix (Lead Actor).

Helen Hunt was considered a front-runner in the race at the start of the awards season for her work as a sex counselor who helps an immobile man portrayed by John Hawkes.  The actress dons quite a bit of nudity for the role which is something that always grabs the attention of Oscar voters.  However, her performance has taken a back seat after “Les Misérables” was unleashed to critics, but more on that later.

Jacki Weaver the unseen matriarch of “Silver Linings Playbook” delivers a quiet role.  It’s not in your face enough to be remembered by the audience in my opinion, she more of an emotional arc for the picture which works, but it’s not a performance you talk about after leaving the theater.

Let’s talk about our two front-runners Sally Field and Anne Hathaway. Field is indeed fierce and captivating as the wife of Abraham Lincoln; she brings intensity, a charm and likability to a character that audiences will remember vividly each time they watch the picture. She is indeed the perfect balance to her co-star Daniel Day-Lewis, which sums up quite well what a supporting actress’ role plays with our lead character.

Then we have Anne Hathaway who steals the show in the musical “Les Misérables.”  The problem with musicals is the fact that they are sometimes difficult to sit through.  I found the picture to be quite enthralling at times, and at other times quite flat, but what saves the picture in my opinion is Anne’s performance.  While she is indeed on the screen for about 12-15 minutes she soaks up every single second she has on the screen. Personally for me seeing her inside that factory begging for her job was incredible acting on the actress’ part.  She displays a character so defeated that the audience gravitates for her; pity, sorrow, sadness, anger are just a slight few emotions that one will experience.  When she belts out that song during her final moments it just screams Oscar.  She controls every frame in those final moments.

So in the end, Hathaway will indeed take the victory.  If there is an upset, it will be by Field who has quite a career on Hathaway and she might have some peers looking to award her for her fine work in “Lincoln.” However, at this point I’d say Anne is a lock she’s already swept most of the supporting actress trophies this award season and only one more waits for her: Oscar!

By LaDale Anderson