Lito’s Oscar Picks : Best Supporting Actress

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SERIES 1: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

It’s my 19th year of being fascinated, interested in, and analyzing the Oscars.  I’ve learned a thing or two while at the same time finding myself consistently surprised by how the Academy makes its annual selections.  Assessing from what I know from all the buzz throughout awards season, here is my take on who will take home the statuettes in the major races on March 2nd!

The Nominees Are…

SALLY HAWKINS in BLUE JASMINE

FOR HER: Paired with her Golden Globe nod, this deserving actress is riding the “Blue Jasmine” love to her first nomination. Perfect opposite to Cate Blanchett’s self-destructive downer of a woman. Many say she was snubbed of a nod in 2008 for “Happy-Go-Lucky”

AGAINST HER: She was kind of the surprise nominee taking what was thought to be a for sure spot for Oprah Winfrey. Blanchett is likely to overshadow her.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE in AMERICAN HUSTLE

FOR HER: She has so much going for her. A hot to trot career, a multimillion dollar franchise film series under her belt, even an Oscar for Best Actress (for last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook”). She won the Golden Globe and various critics prizes for her brassy turn in this film. Could she win two in a row? This could be the only place for the Academy to honor “American Hustle’s” actors.

AGAINST HER: Well… she just won last year. Two in a row for the 23 year old? Some gripe that she isn’t as deserving as the buzz suggests, plus she’s up against some strong competition. Likely she’ll be nominated many more times in the future.

LUPITA NYONG’O in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

FOR HER: With a formidable screen debut, Nyong’o left an indelible impression as the tortured slave, Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” and has many critics groups singing her praises. She also won award from the Critics Choice and the coveted SAG award. Momentum is building fiercely on her side.

AGAINST HER: She’s a total newcomer and sometimes, the Academy wants their actors to pay their dues. Some might argue that the part was somewhat underwritten and that the role is missing a few key scenes to give her the arc she deserves.

JULIA ROBERTS in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

FOR HER: In what many are calling her best performance since her Oscar win for 2000’s “Erin Brockovich”, Roberts stole many scenes from her costars and held her own opposite a fierey Meryl Streep. “Osage County” is a beloved stage play and her role is an audience favorite.

AGAINST HER: She has received very little precursor support and many feel that it was better as a stage play than a film. Many also argue that this is actually a lead performance.

JUNE SQUIBB in NEBRASKA

FOR HER: She gave the most vivacious performance in the “Nebraska” cast and at 84 has earned her first nomination. Making her part more than just a hammy, tough talking old lady part, Squibb employed dignity and elegance to it. She has been nominated for many critics awards including the major guilds…

AGAINST HER: …but she hasn’t really been winning any of them. “Nebraska” isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

THE LOWDOWN: This one seems to be a tense battle between Oscar darling Jennifer Lawrence and the stunning newcomer Lupita Nyong’o. Nyongo’s SAG win indicates strong actor support. June Squibb could upset if the vote splits between the two, but expect Nyong’o to reign victorious.

MY PICK: JENNIFER LAWRENCE

My Supporting Actress lineup matches 5/5 with the Academy’s this year! With that said, my personal vote would go to Jennifer Lawrence. I enjoyed all five of these turns and it wasn’t easy to pick from them, but there was just something that resonated from Lawrence. That fire that burns within her really came out in a playful and compelling way making the most of a smaller part and seeming like a large presence!

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