I sometimes like to think of each year's Official Oscar Nominees as pageant winners or an ambassadorial relay team representing the Arts. In my imagination they reign for exactly one year until they have to pass on the tiara or the torch. This is probably why the old tradition of having the previous year's winner present the corresponding opposite sex category feels so satisfying on Oscar night and why it's so alarming when they mix it up (I wonder about Best Actor this year. Meryl Streep has supposedly never presented a competitive Oscar category -- can that be true? -- and if so will she finally do so next month?).
This is all a fancy way of saying I've updated the charts and republished. You can pretend you have a ballot and vote on these categories! So check out the charts...
Emmanuelle + Jennifer + Jessica + Naomi + Quvenzhane
We knew the media would eat up the spectacle of the Oldest (Emmanuelle Riva) and Youngest (Quvenzhane Wallis) Best Actress nominee in history sharing a category but I was surprised to see that that factoid got even more screen time than the Beauty Queen Showdown to come in Naomi vs. Jennifer vs. Jessica on these stupid infotainment shows that I watch approximately thrice a year (generally around the oscar noms, golden globes, and sag awards). I'm always interested to see whether the braindead infotainment shows even mention the arthouse nominees each year -- what on earth will they make of Amour? I guess this.
Bradley + Daniel + Denzel + Hugh + Joaquin
Two alcoholics, one crazy person, one poor soul who stole a loaf of bread and never stopped paying for it, and a President of the United States when they weren't so United. Can anyone beat Daniel Day-Lewis? I personally think that's a less worthy topic than this: how on earth did we get a category with this many stupendous performances in it? Even if one of your favorites was left off -- this isn't my exact lineup though it's close -- it would be churlish to complain. It might be my favorite full shortlist since 2003 (Ben + Bill + Johnny + Jude + Sean) without a dud or even an underachieving performance in the bunch. If only certain other categories *cough*thenextone* would have followed suit.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan + Bobby + Christoph + Philip + Tommy Lee
Presenting the only acting shortlist ever in the entire 85 year history of the Oscars that is composed entirely of previous winners. Several shortlists have eventually been composed only of Oscar winners as Joe Reid nerdily researched but that was all after the fact. Increasing the sting for those who like fresh blood at the Oscars, these performances aren't the most exciting. It's basically "good job, sir" and everyone moves on. For what it's worth this will be the category least like my own awards (I usually announce before the nominations but Oscar threw me by announcing so early)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy + Anne + Helen + Jacki + Sally
Another year, another set of whores, longsuffering wives, and concerned moms. Oh Oscar, you do love your types! In fact, had I stopped to remember Oscar's favorite types in this category (which I've researched and talked about so much in the past that it became common knowledge -- 'longsuffering wife, she's in!' ) I wouldn't have done so poorly in my predictions for this particularly category this year. I somehow forgot everything I knew in the face of the blinding brilliance of Charlotte Bless & such. Now, you might argue that Helen Hunt is a new type and her character makes a point of explaining that she's not a hooker. But that's splitting hairs for Oscar when you're onscreen receiving money for sex.
I bring Helen Hunt up because Thomas Williams on twitter caught an error on the page earlier. I had accidentally copied and pasted and under her photo it read...
Despite an often bizzare and thorny relationship with celebrity, no one can doubt his gift."
Thomas wrote "even though this caption was meant for Joaquin Phoenix, I actually think some of it works here too :-)" Ha! I would agree with that.
SEE THE CHARTS AND VOTE YOUR VOTES. Unless you have something left to see. The polls will remain up until the Friday before the Oscars so you have some time if you have to catch up on your screenings. (I will be adding to the charts as we go so they're not boring to revisit. Hope you enjoy.)