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➻ BEST ACTRESS
Blanchett has to win this. Bullock is the weak link -- she's just OK. For Streep, whom I love, this is a bottom-drawer performance. Dench is a terrific actress, and she's very good in this film. Adams I love. But you have to vote for who's truly the best, and to me, Blanchett -- whom I'm normally not that wild about, with the exception of Bandits -- is that. She was just a revelation; she was just spectacular.
MY PICK: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
➻ BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Everyone was at least very good, but Cooper was the best. I think this is the best he's been in anything. If he wasn't in the category, I'd probably end up voting for Jonah Hill, only because I found him so funny. Jared Leto was good and will win, but he's getting tremendous points because of the person he's playing more than the way he played it, which is as close to pandering as you can get.
MY PICK: Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
➻ BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lawrence and Hawkins are the two obvious best of the five. Hawkins had a difficult part -- it's not an attractive role, and she's intentionally overshadowed constantly by Blanchett, but she registers strongly in each scene she's in. Jennifer was even better -- she has that extra level of excitement in every scene she's in. She just dazzles; she's always doing something original and bold and surprising and believable. June Squibb was fine. Julia Roberts was horrendous. And Lupita was very good, but a lot of the commotion over her is attributable to people's tremendous empathy with and sympathy for the role she's playing.
MY PICK: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)