Chris Hanna and Radina Papukchieva sound off on the best supporting actor and actress Oscars and pick who they think will take home gold on Feb. 26.

The nominees for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role are:

Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Jessica Chastain for The Help
Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer for Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer for The Help 

“Not the shiniest of the Oscar categories, but it boasts some great performances nevertheless. Octavia Spencer is the awards season’s favourite, and although I think The Help was one of the best cast films of the year, the award belongs to Spencer’s co-star Jessica Chastain. As the bodacious blonde who hires Minnie (Spencer), she was bubbly and vulnerable at once, embodying the emotional force of the film. The other performances in the category are best described as ‘meh,’ with a surprise nomination for Melissa McCarthy’s turn as hilariously thug-ish sister-in-law in Bridesmaids. It’s really between Spencer and Chastain.”Radina Papukchieva 

“One actress has dominated awards season with her performance, and come Oscar night, Octavia Spencer’s (The Help) hot streak will surely continue. As Minnie, a sass-mouth maid in Jackson, the most racist town in Mississippi, Spencer gives a performance that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you smile. It was somewhat of a weak year for this category this year, with Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) the only other nominee that could give Spencer a run for her money.”Chris Hanna

The nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role are:

Kenneth Branagh for My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Nick Nolte for Warrior
Christopher Plummer for Beginners
Max von Sydow for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

“There is no doubt that Christopher Plummer will take home the Oscar for his performance in The Beginners. Canadian Plummer’s 60-plus-year career (which includes credits in The Sound of Music and Oedipus the King) has been largely devoid of award recognition, his first Oscar nomination coming in 2010 for his turn as Tolstoy in The Last Station. Plummer plays a man in his mid-seventies with terminal cancer who has just come out to his son (Ewan McGregor). Plummer has cleaned up every award there is, so it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking home the Oscar, but kudos must be given to Kenneth Branagh for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn, the best performance in that film (sorry, Ms. Williams.)” – Chris Hanna

“Do I really need to repeat the brilliant arguments stated above by Chris? Christopher Plummer is long overdue for an Oscar and it is surprising that in his whole career, this is only the Canadian actor’s second nomination. The category is filled with good performances, among my favorites are Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn and Jonah Hill in Moneyball. But Plummer’s performance as a gay dad coming out to his son just as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer in Beginners is just everything you could ask for: funny, intelligent and heartbreaking, and it outdoes all the other performances in the category.” – Radina Papukchieva 

Check back in tomorrow when we dissect the original and adapted screenplay categories.

Who do you think will take home the supporting acting Oscars on Feb. 26? Sound off in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter

@cafephenomenon

@Chris_Hanna

@Papukchieva

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About The Cafe Phenomenon

"The Cafe Phenomenon" refers to a situation, specifically in a cafe, where you are sitting with a friend and engaging in conversation with them, but you suddenly find yourself unable to listen because the background noise of the cafe distracts you from what they are saying (the background noise could be any thing: the gossip at the next table for example). It happens that, from time to time, in certain contexts the background noise is stronger and more defined than our personal and private one on one conversations. Our blog, made up of a group of friends from Concordia's journalism program, can serve as the background noise penetrating the intimate discussions of our virtual cafe dwellers (hopefully adding insight, relevant coverage, and interesting ideas). Or it can be the friend with whom you are deep in conversation. This, our dear readers, we leave to you.

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