Sure, it’s probably a bit early to be making such claims, particularly since Les Misérables hasn’t even hit theatres yet. (It opens on December 14th.) However, I’m an Oscar buff and I can’t help but be thinking year-round about which films and performances will be honored come February. And so I’m going on record to state that I believe Anne Hathaway will receive an Oscar nomination next year for her supporting role as Fantine in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. (Whether Hathaway’s part is considered a lead or supporting role will depend on the adaptation. Those familiar with the stage version know that despite Fantine’s importance to the plot, she has limited stage time. So like Catherine Zeta-Jones’s role in Chicago  and Kate Winslet’s role in The Reader , Hathaway’s role in Les Mis could put her in either the lead or supporting races, depending on voters’ whims.)
It’s close. It’s so close. I can taste it. And it tastes awesome. The 84th annual Academy Awards is less than two weeks away. Take my birthday. Take Christmas. Give me the Oscars and remain silent during the show. I must not be disturbed. If you want to know my thoughts, follow me on Twitter (@suddenlydog), as I’ll be live tweeting for my third year.
There’s always plenty to get excited about each year, but here are my top five reasons the Oscars are worth watching this year:
5. A Pig and a Frog Walk into a Bar …
Though nothing has been confirmed, the prospects of Muppets appearing at the Oscars is enough to get me excited. “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets is nominated for Best Original Song. It would be a hugely missed opportunity if the Jim Henson creations of my youth didn’t appear on stage for the number (that is, assuming the songs are performed on stage this year—there’s only two, so why not?). And don’t forget—Miss Piggy is a fashionista. Could she be strolling the red carpet? Joan Rivers did leave some shoes to fill. I think our porcine friend could cram her hooves in them with little effort.
If you think back, it wasn’t really that long ago when Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Styles, Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Keira Knightley, Leelee Sobieski, and Anne Hathaway were really starting to break out and come into their own as young leading actresses. (Yes, some were child stars, but I’m talking about breaking into more adult-type roles.) Now, among the aforementioned actresses, there are four Oscar, four Emmy, and 17 Golden Globe nominations. They’ve all reached varying levels of success, and they’re all known and respected still today.
About five – 10 years ago, the ingénue was on an upswing. And now she’s back. Portman and Hathaway are still going strong, but they have to clear some space for Wasikowska and Browning, as they begin to form the new class of the ingénue—the ones to watch out for, the future (and in some cases, present) Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominees.
Remember these faces.