‘The Help’ Nabs 84th Academy Awards Nominations, Should Head for Oscar Wins

by on March 7th, 2015
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Oscar buzz surrounding Dreamwork’s “The Help” proves to be accurate. The 84th Academy Awards nominations were announced Tuesday morning. The film, set in early-’60s Mississippi, garnered four nominations in three categories; Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role and Actress in a Supporting Role. This is one movie and cast that deserves to win in all three.

Best Picture: ‘The Help’

A film that spans the worlds of two colors at the start of the civil rights movement, “The Help” is a strong Oscar contender. It is a movie of understanding an era, bonding, pathos and triumph.

Chances: Although “The Descendants” and “The Artists” each won best film in their respective categories at the Golden Globes, that isn’t necessarily a litmus test for the Academy Awards. “The King’s Speech” beat out Golden Globe winner “The Social Network” for Best Picture in 2011. “Dreamgirls” won Best Comedy or Musical at the Globes in 2007 but wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Best Actress: Viola Davis

Perhaps a less obvious choice than Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) and Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”), but then again, Viola Davis’ strong role as Aibileen Clark, a maid/nanny who has raised many children after the death of her own son, was a less obvious part. That alone should put her above the other two favored actresses. Not to mention her recent Critics’ Choice Award win.

Chances: Streep and Williams both took home Golden Globes, so the competition is stiff. Oscar ballot casters are discerning though, so Davis should still have a solid shot. This will be her second time in this category and she should finally have an Academy Award to go with her two Tony Awards.

Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain’s Celia Foote is too country and too colorful for Jackson society. What could have been strictly a comedic role becomes touching as Chastain humanizes her character, forming unlikely friendships.

Chances: Chastain has had three breakout performances this awards season. Her role in “Take Shelter” and especially “The Tree of Life”. She could have been competing against herself, but was only nominated for her role in “The Help”. One problem is that she is competing against fellow “The Help” cast member Octavia Spencer. This could cause a splitting of votes and prevent an Oscar win for either actress.

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