Octavia Spencer's win at the Globes as supporting-actress for "The Help," in which she plays a fiery maid whose mouth continually gets her in trouble, could give her front-runner status for the same prize at the Oscars. The same may hold true for supporting-actor nominee Christopher Plummer, who won a Globe for his role as an elderly dad coming out as gay in "Beginners."
An esteemed film and stage actor, Plummer went most of his 60-year career unacknowledged at the Oscars until earning a supporting-actor nomination two years ago as Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station." If he wins this time, the 82-year-old Plummer would become the oldest acting recipient ever; Jessica Tandy now holds that position for her best-actress win in "Driving Miss Daisy" at age 80.
Also in contention for supporting actor: Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn"; Jonah Hill as a statistics whiz in "Moneyball"; Nick Nolte as a derelict dad making amends in "Warrior"; and Max von Sydow as a mute mystery man in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."
Bejo, the romantic partner of "The Artist" creator Hazanavicius, was nominated for her role as a new star of the sound era in the late 1920s and early '30s. "The Help" co-star Jessica Chastain also was nominated for her role as Spencer's lonely, needy boss.
Also up for supporting actress are Melissa McCarthy as crude but caring member of the wedding in "Bridesmaids"; and Janet McTeer as a woman posing as a male laborer in "Albert Nobbs."
McCarthy is a rare funny lady competing at the Oscars, which rarely honor performances in mainstream comedies such as "Bridesmaids."
David Germain reported from Park City, Utah.