David Onda’s Oscars Diary: Day 2

by | February 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM | Awards, Movies, Oscars

Natalie Portman clutches her Oscar (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty)

As we race towards Hollywood’s biggest night, the question on every movie fan’s mind is simple: Who is going to win?

In the days ahead, I’ll be giving my two cents (because what movie critic isn’t?) on which stars and films should take home an Oscar … and which stars and films actually will. Today we’ll kick things off with the race for Best Supporting Actress.

This year’s nominees are  (left to right below) Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”), Jessica Chastain (“The Help”), Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”), Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help”).

Conventional wisdom tells us that the winner of the year’s Golden Globe – in this case, Octavia Spencer – will go on to win the Oscar in the same category. In fact, three of the past five Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners (Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique and Melissa Leo) also won the Golden Globe.

So, who’s taking home the trophy this year? In my opinion, the race is between Octavia Spencer and Berenice Bejo. If I were going to play the upset, I’d say Bejo takes the trophy. The Academy has heavily favored indie dramas in this category in the past few years and Bejo’s performance (without words, mind you) is stunning.  I dare you not to fall in love with Peppy Miller.

If I were going to play it safe, I’d say Spencer gets the win. Her performance was well-rounded, well-executed and has the obvious momentum heading into the big event. I think Spencer’s overall effectiveness in the film is overshadowed by Viola Davis’ role, but that’s why the category is called “Supporting Actress.” Either way, both women are deserving of the award.

Who is not? Melissa McCarthy. Sorry, folks, I know it’s not a popular opinion, but “funny” by itself is not an Oscar-worthy quality. If it were, Steve Carell and Tina Fey would have their shelves stocked. I liked “Bridesmaids” a lot, and thought McCarthy was very funny, but she did not give an Oscar-level performance.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Berenice Bejo

WHO WILL WIN: Octavia Spencer

Finally, have you ever wondered who chooses the Academy Award winners? There are nearly 6,000 anonymous Academy members who make the annual selections, but a recent L.A. Times investigation, as reported by NBC News in the video below, reveals a shocking imbalance in voter demographics.  Click below for the full story:

Check back tomorrow for Day 3 of my Oscar Diary, including my predictions for Best Supporting Actor. Also, don’t forget to keep preparing for the Oscars with Oscar nominees on XFINITY On Demand and tune in Sunday, February 26 at 7 p.m. EST for our Oscars chat live from Hollywood. I will be there on the red carpet and backstage to interview Oscar winners in the Press Room. Mark your calendars – you won’t want to miss it.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.