1. Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
It's her big debut, but a powerful one. As Patsy, the apple of Epps' eye, she is the epitome of slave dehumanization. It's a powerful performance, worthy of a win I guess. Actually, there is a below the line contender that should take the cake...
2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
It doesn't hurt to be Hollywood's it girl, but Jennifer Lawrence steals the show in what is the best performance of the film. Also she won the Golden Globe. She and Nyong'o are the two leading winner contenders, in the two leading film winner contenders.
3. June Squibb, Nebraska
Like Emma Thompson, this is a crotchety lady performance, but this one steals scenes likes no other. June Squibb's graveyard scene is the stuff Oscar dreams are made of.
Remember when she was a leading contender? What doesn't work with her role is that it's neither emotionally engaging nor characterized well... but the fact that she's Oprah really helps with her campaign. She isn't always making the ballots, i.e. Golden Globes.
5. Scarlett Johansson, Her
You know what? It's come down between Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), but I've picked Scarlett Johansson. It's the greatest voice performance of all time, and blows all supporting performances this year out of the water. She's been nominated for many critics groups, and I think we might be looking at a bit of a surprise come tomorrow. IDK, I just really loved Her.
Yea, if Johansson doesn't make it (and probably won't), don't count out Roberts and Hawkins.