Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Oscar Nominee Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

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hathawaylesmiserables.jpgIt's the most wonderful time of the year!

I know many people get a little sad after the excitement, beauty and activity of the holidays, but I am awaking from my winter slumber because the Oscar season truly revs up this week and next as we get ready for the announcement of nominees on January 10.  It's like Christmas all over again.  It's Christmas 2 - Electric Boogaloo. 

The nominees will be announced earlier than ever this year as The Academy continues to make every effort to reduce the effect and influence of other awards announcements on their party.  Of course, all of the other groups just moved their announcements up a little bit to counteract that effort.  And, you can't deny that getting a great deal of attention from The Critic's Choice Awards, SAG Awards and more is still great publicity if you are making the effort to mount a campaign and win a little bald golden dude.  

Voting will come to an end on January 4, a day later than originally planned as The Academy has some issues with its new online voting option for members, but that might end up being a blessing as voters hustle to see all of the late arriving, late opening Oscar bait.  Maybe this will save Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained or Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty

Over the next week, I will make my predictions about who will get nominated in the major categories, and, on Thursday, January 10, you can mock me when I am horribly wrong. 

Let's start with Best Supporting Actress!

Predicted Nominees:

Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Sally Field (Lincoln)

Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

Amy Adams (The Master)

Hathaway not only secured a nomination, but won the whole category last summer when Universal released a trailer for Les Miserables featuring her stunningly singing I Had A Dream.  It is the movie's highlight.  It was completely unexpected from her.  It started a buzz that was deafening.  And, only Helen Hunt had that much of an impact on her movie. 

Frankly, I am shocked Hunt is in the Supporting Actress Category, and might miss out if voters, like me, start thinking she should be considered the female lead of The Sessions, where she plays a sex surrogate helping a disabled 40-year old man lose his virginity.  Also, who has seen The Sessions?   

That's also the issue with Amy Adams in The Master.  Like The Sessions, it is much ballyhooed, but didn't get seen by many.  The movie's popularity in LA is what will get her a nod, as well as Adams' reputation and starpower.   

Any other challengers to these nominees face the same issue of having a movie that has not made any popular impact.  Unless a sudden surge in support shows up for another supporting actress from Les Miserables (Samantha Barks was great, people know the name Amanda Seyfried) or voters want to honor the venerable Dame Judi Dench for Skyfall, other possible nominees like Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy), Ann Dowd (Compliance) or Susan Sarandon (Arbitrage) are in movies that no one has seen. 

Actors, who nominate acting nominees, have already tipped their hands by nominating Hathaway, Field, Hunt and Smith for Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is a big deal, since many of the same people also vote for the Oscars.  Kidman was a SAG nominee, but I don't think the movie was seen as much around LA like The Master was, so I will stick with Adams.    

Tomorrow, Best Supporting Actor.