While it’s true that the majority of roles for women unfortunately continue to fixate on youth, winners of the supporting actress category over the past decade have fortunately chosen to recognize the value of earnestness in it’s many forms.
From the tear-jerking breakout performances of young actresses like Jennifer Hudson and Lupita Nyong’o to career-defining roles for journeywomen like Melissa Leo and Patricia Arquette, the Academy tends to get it right when it comes to awarding the right actress in this category. With the exception of Penélope Cruz stealing the Oscar from Viola Davis in 2008, fortune tends to favor intensity, yes, but celebrate sincerity most. This year is no different.
Try to think of a word that captures the essence of each this year’s nominees.
Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight? Intense.
Rachel McAdams in Spotlight? Brave.
Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs? Dedicated.
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