As the season unfolded, I was so glad to see I was mistaken. Blanchett — who plays a New York socialite in the middle of a nervous breakdown as her life of privilege falls apart — is an absolute force of nature in this film, and she's been recognized for it.
She's picked up a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild award, among others, and tonight she'll pick up her second Oscar. (Her first was for “The Aviator” in 2004.)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees: Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips"), Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle"), Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave"), Jonah Hill ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club")
Who will win: I can't see anything stopping the Jared Leto train; he's won pretty much every award this year for his transgender character, Rayon, who is drug-addicted and dying of AIDS.
A big part of me, the part that revels in nostalgia, will be happy to see him take the stage. His rebel-without-a-cause character Jordan Catalano in the short-lived series “My So-Called Life” awakened my teenage heart once upon a time.
But I do have to admit, when I really examine the performance, the weight loss, fishnet tights, makeup and wigs did a lot of the heavy lifting for Leto as Rayon. Take away all of those things and you're left with a Southern lilt and not a lot of depth.
Leto will win. But my personal pick is for Michael Fassbender for his portrayal of the disgusting, slave-owning Edwin Epps. Talk about heavy lifting.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominees: Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"), Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"), Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County"), June Squibb ("Nebraska")