Best Supporting Actress
Who'll win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2005?
Winning an Oscar for Supporting Actress is all about the role. It must be substantial enough to make a strong impression. Talented as they are, Sophie Okonedo and Laura Linney are both saddled with smallish ''wife of'' parts in Hotel Rwanda
. Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman plays against type as a stripper in Closer
, and voters like to reward young ingenues who stretch a little (think Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted
or Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite
). But she didn't even get a SAG nomination. Virginia Madsen downs her juicy monologue about wine and life in Sideways
with understated gusto, but portraying a siren of a certain age may not seem like such a hard sell. So in a very, very tight contest, voters may rally around a showbiz-oriented role (think Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago
). And in The Aviator
, Aussie chameleon and critical fave Cate Blanchett daringly embodies another great Kate very familiar to the Academy, four-time winner Katharine Hepburn.