One of the surest predictions of Oscar Night 2013 is that Anne Hathaway will win the Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as woman turned prostitue Fantine in Les Misérables. Tom Hooper's adaptation of the hit broadway musical got mixed reviews, but almost every critic was quick to point out Hathaway as the undoubtedly highlight of the film. To me, it's no question that Hathaway is clearly the cast member who made the most out of Hooper's decision to record the actors singing live on set instead of using a pre-recorded track. The intention was clearly to not limit the actor's possibilities for improvisation while filming the scene in order to get the most realistic and effective performance. Some of the film's actors weren't good enough singers to pull this off, but Hathaway is not one of them. She is the best example of why Hooper's method was a good idea: she may not be the best singer or the best actress, but she surely is the perso who has made the most out of mixing both aspects of the musical performance on film.
Not everyone thinks as highly of Hathaway's performance as I do. The internet, which already turned itself on Les Misérables as a whole, has been quick to categorize Hathaway's performance as "oscar bait", which is to say she did it to win an Oscar. This, to me, is irrelevant, since so much about winning an Oscar is about publicity and politics. Ben Affleck, for example, has been parading all around hollywood trying to win himself a statue, and still, the internet doesn't turn on him. Luckily for Ms. Hathaway, the population of the internet and the membership of the academy are far from similar demographics and she should have no problem winning a couple of weeks from now.
What about the other nominees? Well, I think a third Oscar for Sally Field in Lincoln would be a little too much. Similarly, Helen Hunt (who is very good albeit in a lead performance in The Sessions) already won an Oscar and there doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm to give her a second one. Jacki Weaver from Silver Linings Playbook should be happy to get the (surprising) nomination while Amy Adams, who has already been nominated four times, is quickly becoming this category's eternal bridesmaid. She will probably win sometime, but it's unlikely it will be for her performance in The Master.
Who Will Win? Anne Hathaway
Who Should Win? Anne Hathaway