If you have a creative imagination — if you close your eyes real tight and purge certain key words like "Les Miserables" and "Fantine" from your ears — then chances are very good that you'll watch Catwoman become an Academy Award winner in less than a week.
In reality, it would only be Anne Hathaway walking away with the golden statuette — but reality is so boring! It's particularly boring in the 2013 Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category, a field with an outcome that's felt predestined since early word first trickled out on Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the legendary musical. But boring does not always necessitate bad, nor does it always necessitate underserving. Quite the opposite, in fact.
With that in mind, let us tell you our predictions for the Best Supporting Actress category at the 2013 Oscars. Spoiler alert: Hathaway doesn't lose. In fact, she totally wins.
Who Won't Win: It won't be Sally Field. Though she won Best Supporting Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, that success won't be repeated at the Oscars; her Mary Todd Lincoln was compelling enough, but it's Daniel Day-Lewis who will represent the cast of the Spielberg-directed biopic on the big night. It won't be Jacki Weaver for "Silver Linings Playbook," either, with Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro the only two actors from that movie likely to win Oscars this year. (Just remember, Bradley Cooper, it's an honor to be nominated!) Nor will it be Amy Adams, who was fantastic and different and understated in "The Master," but ultimately forgettable next to titanic performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Once upon a time, it could have been Helen Hunt for "The Sessions," who was long considered a frontrunner for her literal and figurative bare-it-all performance — but that was before Oscar voters "Dreamed a Dream." Talented actresses, all of them, but not winners — not this year.
Who Should And Will Win: The field of five Supporting Actress nominees comes down to only one true contender, unless we're on a collision course with the biggest Oscars blindside this side of "Crash." Hathaway's haunting, harrowing work as a factory worker, prostitute and mother living through the last, desperate days of her life has netted her victory after victory all throughout awards season, and it won't stop on Oscar night. Her Fantine stands out as one of the most important and memorable performances of 2012, one that will be brought up in interviews with the actress for however long she remains in the public eye. Hathaway already enjoyed a tremendous 2012 between her turn as sexy jewel thief Selina Kyle in "The Dark Knight Rises" and her award-fetching work as Fantine in "Les Mis." But her 2013 is going to be even brighter, once she adds the coveted Oscar to her trophy shelf in the wee morning hours after finishing that last after-party cocktail.