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« 3 Days Til Oscar. Open Thread | Main | Burning Questions: Is '12 Years a Slave' Really Too Rough For Oscar? »
Wednesday
Feb262014

Nathaniel's Ballot: Supporting Actress & Breakthroughs

Scrambling to finish my own Film Bitch Awards now, as Oscar night looms. Two new categories announced today: Best Supporting Actress completes the traditional Oscar parallel categories. It won't surprise you to see Oscar nominees Lupita Nyong'o and Sally Hawkins listed but otherwise I'm off-Oscar with three other acting triumphs I just couldn't shake. They deserve longer write-ups but the tradition requires these mini-capsules.

I've also added The Breakthrough Category because it's not right to let the year go by without naming the five newish actors I'm most excited to see again. The list begins with 17 year olds Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12)  & Tye Sheridan (Mud) -- who'll soon be co-stars! --  and continues on through the oldest, The Great Gatsby's Elizabeth Debicki, 23, who is only 23 so it's a really young group this year. Debicki was so grabby a screen presence that she didn't get lost in Baz's gaudy party but somehow became the life of it. Too bad she's barely in it!

And, ICYMI, it Best Songs, Scores and Sound

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Reader Comments (21)

Lea without Adele... oh my. (But you put her in Breakthrough, so that's something.)

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I'm still hurting from Exarchopoulos's absence from your Actress ballot but ecstatic to see Seydoux on the supporting one.

Nyong'o was of course soulful and vivid and richly deserving of every nod, and although I generally find Paulson's performances (in sympathetic roles) completely misguided, she was note-perfect in 12 Years.

Hawkins is one of my favourite people in the world and I feel guilty for leaving her off my shortlist so it's always good to see her on someone else's at least.

And I haven't seen Don Jon yet but look forward to Johansson.

Meantime my ballot, for what it's worth, would be:
Seydoux (Blue)
Adams (Her)
Nyong'o (12 Years)
Lawrence (Hustle)
Moore (What Maisie Knew)

with lots of love also for Scott-Thomas, Martindale, Woodard and Paulson.

I was also really impressed by Portia Doubleday for packing so much humour and believable vulnerability into her sex surrogate cameo in Her. And I quite liked Dever, Lili Taylor (in Conjuring) and of course Hawkins.

Great year for actresses in both categories.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

The score of Philomena is so good you have to name it twice, once in the actual top 5 the other at the finalist LOL

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

It's almost laughable how personally I took Adele not being in your top 5 actresses of 2013. Lol it's so stupid, but this is like my actress haven! I was counting on her getting some love here after all the brutal awards season snubs. ;) That little Lea writeup and Adele in Breakthrough was a nice reconciliation gift though. To me, that film and those performances are lifers. Oh and love seeing ScarJo, Gandolfini, and Elyes Aguis!

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

All great nominees! Just watched DON JON recently, and ScarJo is without a doubt the best thing about the film. I wished the film was restructured to be all about her Barbara Sugarman

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKent

Adele can have my gold medal instead...

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I'm so glad you decided against Oprah. I thought the only memorable performances came from David Oyelowo and Yaya Alafia.

Also glad you included Scarjo. She was by far the best thing about Don Jon.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

sad man -- i didn't decide "against" her. I loved that performance. Frankly, I think the hate on it was people letting their feelings about Oprah get in the way. Best performance she's ever given... not that there's a lot of competition but still..

February 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Your best actor list totally matches mine. Dern or Hanks for the gold!

I like the actresses too, especially Julia and the amazing Paulina, definitely the best female performance of the year. Sorry Cate! Will you give Paulina a medal? Can I campaign for her? I know I can only expect the bronze because Brie will get the gold and the silver is for Cate. I would have included Adèle although I agree she might never find a role like this again.

I miss Jennifer Lawrence in the best supporting list. I know she's way too young for that role and that the character is totally fake, but she blew my mind. Right now I feel she can do anything. Léa for the gold!

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I saw American Hustle three times and Lawrence gets better on each viewing. She has this hurricane quality, pushing Rosalyn in multiple directions and it still looking perfectly human. People say Rosalyn doesn't make sense as a character, but who makes sense on real life? Being contradictory and chaotic is part of life. So, yes, as Matthew asked, I do believe Rosalyn spend years as housewife at the same time she has the volcanic behavior.

I loved Lawrence in this movie.

And she's gonna win, mark my words.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I am feeling more and more it's Jennifer since none of the other can win now.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Please someone explain to me what's so amazing about Hawkins in "BJ"? People saying Nyong'o is not the best supporting in her film, that Lawrence is too young for the part, that Squibb plays the typical rude old lady and that Roberts is miscast, but only praises for Hawkins. Why? Is it because she's the least divisive? I don't recall anything outstanding in that performance.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

So, so glad you cited Sarah Paulson. She's the unsung hero (um...performance-wise) of 12 Years a Slave. One of my favorite moments in the film is when Patsey is making the corn husk dolls and Mary is just staring down at her with that seething resentment. And it's kind of an unexpected turn from Sarah Paulson, who I already liked, but has a certain--softness about her that betrays how good she was going to be at playing this part. Although Nyong'o is my favorite of the actual Oscar nominees, I think I'd vote for Paulson over her if she was in the mix.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

Lea's character is Emma, not Eva ;)
Now I need to remind you that I love the Film Experience (and it's not just not to feel bitchy about making corrections, sorry, I just can't help it) :))

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZooey

If the Academy votes for entertaining, then Lawrence will win. If it chooses great acting, Lupita's got it.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Mine, right now, from winner down:

Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Rosamund Pike, The World's End
Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave (how this didn't catch on, I have NO CLUE)
Kaitlyn Dever, Short Term 12
JLaw, American Hustle
(6-10: June Squibb, Nebraska, Margot Robbie, The Wolf of Wall Street, Kat Dennings, Thor: The Dark World (given quite a bit more to do (even if it's "just" comic relief) and she cranks it up), Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Amy Adams, Her)

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

My tears flow for Emma Watson.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Noticed something though: Three categories (Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) have only 11. Did you unconsciously channel the Nostalgia Critic when conceiving these lists?

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Count me in on the Adele love. My list would be incomplete without her on it, winning the gold.

But I am still reminded why I love this site. I was in-contention (the only other film site I keep up with) and the immense praise for JLaw/hate for Lupita was making me sick, lol. She's great, but definitely just entertaining and miscast. In my opinion it feels like she's acting in a different movie than the rest of the cast.

My list would probably be...

Emma Watson, The Bling Ring
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Sarah Paulson, 12 Years a Slave
Lea Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color

The last spot is between Oprah Winfrey in The Butler and Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Nat - I thought I could skip The Butler due to the lukewarm reviews and lack of Oscar love, but your comment about it being Oprah's best work ever (better than "The Color Purple"? Better than her "You told Harpo* to beat me" speech?) makes me rethink my decision. Do I now need to see it?

* - Someone, somewhere HAS to have written about how Oprah's husband in TCP was named Harpo, right? I know it's based on the book, but seriously, of all the names...

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Me34, Sally Hawkins' performance is certainly not showy, but that's what I love about it. It's a generous, subtle, layered portrayal of a woman who may be just as damaged as her sister.

February 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

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