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Road to the Oscars: Fight for fame

29 January 2014 By Nick Salacki, Contributing Writer No Comments

Hello Towerlight readers. My name is Nick. I am a Mass Communication: Journalism/New Media junior at Towson. I am also a movie buff and hope to one day work for Entertainment Weekly.

Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the Academy Award ceremony on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Until then, I will be giving you my own predictions on each category, starting with Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

The official nominees are Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmine,” Julia Roberts for “August: Osage County,” Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave,” Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle” and June Squibb for “Nebraska.”

Sally Hawkins stars in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” as Ginger, the sister to the leading Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine. When Jasmine’s rich husband is sent to jail due to fraud, she turns, moneyless, to her sister Ginger for help and support.

Ginger is one who can’t say “no” to her sister, but I can say “no” to Sally Hawkins’ nomination. Hawkins’ performance was delightful, but I do not believe it is worthy enough for such an award.

Julia Roberts stars in John Wells’ “August: Osage County” as Barbara Weston, the eldest of Violet (Meryl Streep) and Beverley’s (Sam Shepard) children.

Violet, the family junkie/matriarch, cannot keep her honest yet hurtful words to herself, leaving Barbara to fill the role of mother. Barbara’s character is strong, independent and one of my favorite performances of the film. Her nomination is well deserved.

Lupita Nyong’o stars in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” as Patsey, a slave woman owned by the ruthless and cruel Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

Patsey is also a friend of main character Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who she meets while Northrup is on his harsh journey of slavery from owner to owner.

Innocent and helpless Patsey is harshly punished frequently, yet she still stands strong through the pain.

Her performance is one of the most gripping and real I have seen in a while. Her nomination is a given.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, the dimwitted wife to Christian Bale’s Irving Rosenfeld.

Rosalyn believes she can outsmart her husband when in reality she makes careless mistakes, including an aluminum foil microwave fire.

Rosalyn is proud and independent yet irresponsible, dumb and overall hilarious to watch. Lawrence steals every scene she is in with her major talent. Her nomination is well deserved.

June Squibb stars in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” as Kate Grant, the wife of main character, Bruce Dern’s Woody Grant.

After receiving a letter in the mail saying he had won a million dollars, Woody feels undoubtedly determined to travel across state lines to retrieve his prize.

The whole film, Kate hilariously talks down to her husband about his ridiculous determination on what she believes is a scam, as well as his family and ancestors.

Squibb’s character is the film’s sole source of comedy and she plays the character brilliantly. Her nomination is a real joy to see realized.

I have mixed feelings between Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o. Twenty-five percent of me wants Lawrence to win because it will make her the female Christoph Waltz, where the actor always wins an Oscar when working with a particular director.

Waltz with Quentin Tarantino in “Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.” Lawrence with David O. Russell in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.” It would be interesting to see this become a reality.

However, the other 75 percent of me believes Nyong’o deserves the award most. Nyong’o has clearly shown that she has the pure talent through her beautiful and emotional acting that, I believe, is the evidence that the Academy should use to grant Nyong’o her first Academy Award.

Nyong’o’s performance was so rich and captivating that when I think about Lawrence in “American Hustle,” I just laugh.

Overall, I enjoyed each of the nominated actresses, especially Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o.

From those two, my vote goes for Nyong’o and I believe the same for the Academy’s.

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