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When it comes to acting categories, especially supporting, predicting who’s going to come away with the Academy Award is always a much easier bet than, say, Best Picture or Director. Looking over the past few years, there haven’t been many upsets when it comes to supporting categories. Based on this year’s list of nominees, expect the same results.

All the critically lauded films are represented here. So, before we get into the breakdown of the nominees, here is a shout out to a few actresses who were overlooked during this awards season: Emily Blunt (Looper), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Ann Dowd (Compliance), and Lauren Ambrose (Sleepwalk with Me). Whether it’s because they’re in sci-fi film or a little seen indie, none of them received the recognition they deserved.

But these actresses did. Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress with my predicted winner in red

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Amy Adams The Master

Amy Adams (The Master)

Why She Was Nominated:

Amy Adams is one of the most respected young actors working today. Ever since her Junebug nomination she’s consistently done memorable films, including The Master. From David O. Russell to Paul Thomas Anderson, she picks the right people to work with.

Why She Might Win:

Amy Adams’s performance floats between warm, intimidating and angry in subdued ways all throughout The Master. Unlike Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, she doesn’t get the joys of yelling “pig fuck” or squinting and mumbling a whole lot. She grounds their relationship, along with the rest of the movie.

Why She Might Not Win:

Adams performance isn’t showy enough. There’s no crying and little yelling. If Jack Nicholson didn’t win for hanging with a naked Kathy Bates, Adams certainly won’t win on the count of giving Hoffman the most angry handy of 2012.

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Sally Field LincolnSally Field (Lincoln)

Why She Was Nominated:

Because, if you haven’t heard, Lincoln is the pinnacle of performance art. Also, everyone loves Sally Field, even the people who saw The Amazing Spider-Man.

Why She Might Win:

Because all of the talk of actors not breaking character on set. The publicists on Lincoln really seemed to want us — or the awards voters — to know that. When people get wind off an actor not breaking character, they become in awe over someone getting paid millions of dollars to do the finest and most expensive role-playing.

Why She Might Not Win:

Lincoln is the Daniel Day Lewis show. His performance is so gigantic, albeit in subtle ways, it overshadowed certain actors who came into contact with his magical acting chops.

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Anne Hathaway Les MiserablesAnne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

Why She Was Nominated: 

Universal’s publicity department did a heck of a job selling her performance as the greatest thing you’ll ever, ever see in a theater. “You want to know what sadness is? Come see her performance,” most of the ads said. And they worked.

Why She Might Win:

There is no “might” here. The award is hers to pick up. If you don’t recall, everyone went bananas over her work in the movie. Even the film’s harshest critics spoke highly of her performance. If you can overcome Tom Hooper‘s literally in-your-face approach to Les Mis, then you deserve all the awards available.

Why She Might Not Win:

Since Hooper’s adaptation wasn’t universally loved, maybe there’s .01% chance that will have an impact on Hathaway’s chances.

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Helen Hunt The SessionsHelen Hunt (The Sessions)

Why She Was Nominated:

Hunt had a role she could bite into, which we haven’t see her do in a fair amount of time. Plus, The Sessions was a movie for everyone (except kids maybe), and her brave portrayal of human sexuality earned her a lot of respect from the audience, critics and voters.

Why She Might Win:

Everyone loves a comeback story. Hunt did fine work in the fine enough Sessions. It’s the opposite of the performance that Adams gave in The Master, getting to show off emotions every now and then. The Academy has plenty of clips to choose from for her.

Why She Might Not Win:

It’s an earnest performance in a small movie. Plus, this doesn’t reflect the quality of her performance, but Anne Hathaway met the tears requirement to have her oscar in the bag.

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Jacki Weaver Silver Linings PlaybookJacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Why She Was Nominated:

Silver Linings Playbook was one of those movies which gives all of the main ensemble a few scenes to shine. Weaver added a much needed stability to David O. Russell’s film.

Why She Might Win:

Here is the woman responsible for helping to introduce Crabby Snacks to millions of people. I still don’t know what the hell they are, but Weaver made them sound as sweet as can be, probably because she brings such warmth to every scene in Silver Linings Playbook. The movie has been a favorite in the acting community, so maybe Weaver will finally get recognition for her equally valuable work in the film.

Why She Might Not Win:

Jacki Weaver doesn’t have huge, moving moments like the ones Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro had to bite off of.

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Read more about The Oscars


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