Oscar likes young actresses…and we promise that’s not as creepy as it sounds. You see, Academy Awards history is chock-full of precocious nominees with pinch-worthy cheeks, from Tatum O’Neal, who scored the Best Supporting Actress statue at the age of 10 for her performance in 1973’s “Paper Moon” to recent nominee Abigail Breslin, who was also a decade old when she received a nod for her hilarious performance in “Little Miss Sunshine.”
Continuing the youngster tradition is 14-year-old “True Grit” star Hailee Steinfeld, who’s up for the Best Supporting Actress award alongside heavy-hitters Amy Adams and Melissa Leo (both of “The Fighter”), Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”) and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”). Can the teen prevail? We asked the experts to weigh in.
“The Supporting Actress category might well be the closest of the acting categories,” explained MTV News’ own Eric Ditzian. While he and fellow MTV movies guru Josh Horowitz gave the advantage to “The Fighter”’s Melissa Leo—despite a bit of controversy surrounding a series of print ads she purchased to promote her nomination—Deadline Hollywood’s Pete Hammond said the two “Fighter” actresses may cancel each other out—leaving room for the up-and-comer.
“Take the top three contenders, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams from “The Fighter” and Hailee Steinfeld, who really is a leading role in ’True Grit’… I think here’s what to look for: Melissa Leo and Amy Adams could well cancel themselves out, which lets Hailee Steinfeld, a 14-year-old star who no one’s really ever heard of, sneak in.”
We’ll have to wait until Sunday to see if Hailee does indeed have the true grit necessary to pull off the upset. In the meantime, click play on the video above to hear who our experts think will take home the Best Supporting Actor award.
Don’t forget to log on to MTV.com at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday for our two-hour live stream from the Academy Awards red carpet! (Tweet your questions to @mtvnews using #oscars.)