We’re just days away from Oscar night, and while some watchdogs have already written off this year’s winners as practically predestined, we’re not so sure.
Take the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, for example. Conventional wisdom points to a “The Fighter” sweep with Christian Bale and Melissa Leo taking home their respective awards, but are they really locked in for victory?
We’re tackling that question past the jump, and asking you to join us by voting on YOUR pick for the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories.
Best Supporting Actor
There’s no doubt that Christian Bale is the frontrunner in this category. As MTV’s Josh Horowitz puts it in the video above, the timing feels right — this role was perfect for Bale, wonderfully different from his past performances while still clinging to the signature body transformations the actor is so well known for. If he wins, it’s more than well-deserved.
But what about Geoffrey Rush? Some are suspecting that Rush could drop in and nab that Oscar out of Bale’s hands if “The King’s Speech” goes on an awards sweep. We can certainly see that happening, but moreover, Rush’s performance as speech therapist Lionel Logue really was terrific. Rush already has his Oscar, so Bale would be the sexier victory… but if Rush does win, we can’t say he didn’t earn it.
The other three contenders are all deserving of their nominations — Jeremy Renner was chilling in “The Town,” John Hawkes finally got the role he deserved as Teardrop in “Winter’s Bone” and Mark Ruffalo brought a necessary energy to “The Kids Are All Right” — but in this race, we think it’s between Bale and Rush.
Best Supporting Actress
Perhaps the most contentious battle in all four of the acting categories, Best Supporting Actress should have been locked-and-loaded for Melissa Leo’s “The Fighter” performance. But after the actress took the Oscar campaign into her own hands, some have speculated that she knocked herself out of first place. But is her outward desire for an award really so off-putting that she shouldn’t win? We don’t think so, certainly not when her turn as troubled boxing mom Alice Ward was so compelling.
Might Leo’s co-star Amy Adams knock her out of the running? Maybe, but not likely; Adams has received plenty of Oscar attention in recent years, and she’s certainly deserving of her most recent nomination, but we don’t think it’s time. Likewise, Helena Bonham Carter could feel the “King’s Speech” effect, too, but that movie was really the Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush show: Carter was perfectly suited for her role, but she wasn’t the standout. “Animal Kingdom” actress Jacki Weaver is the dark horse in the race; the odds aren’t great, but she could come out of nowhere for a win.
But the real potential spoiler for Leo is Hailee Steinfeld. The “True Grit” star was fully captivating in the Coen Brothers’ recent Western, appearing out of nowhere to deliver one of the most memorable introductory performances in cinema history. At only 14 years old, there’s a very real chance that Steinfeld could win big on Sunday night.
Who do YOU think will win Best Supporting Actor and Actress on Sunday night? Vote in the polls above, and explain your picks in the comments section and on Twitter!
Make sure to tune into MTV.com on Sunday night at 6PM EST for our live-stream red carpet Oscar coverage!