2013 Calvin Awards: Best Supporting Actress

By Kim Hollis

February 21, 2013

Dear lord, please let the person who cut my hair like this burn in hell.

An assortment of talented ladies caught our attention this year in the Best Supporting Actress category, but the one who walks away with the award is Anne Hathaway, who is pretty much the domination across the board this year from all critics' organizations. She's only really in Les Miserables for a short time, but she makes the most of her moment. Fantine is a tragic character, spiraling down into the darkest places that exist in humanity. Her musical lament, "I Dreamed a Dream", will be a scene that is long remembered in film history, and for good reason.

Our second place finisher came in only three points behind Hathaway. Judi Dench was simply magnificent as M in Skyfall for a number of films, but here we saw the character emerge as more deeply drawn. Even though outwardly she is tough and uncaring, we see her vulnerable side here as well. It's an unexpected turn for a character who has traditionally displayed that classic British "stiff upper lip", but it's a welcome change because it elevates both M and the film itself to new levels.

Harry Potter might be over as a film series, but the opportunities haven't ended for Emma Watson. Thank goodness for that. She's just a delight in Perks of Being a Wallflower, with her character Sam being the kind of person we all wish we could be friends with. She has a big, kind heart and she welcomes the protagonist Charlie into a group of friends when she realizes that he is lonely and troubled. Watson absolutely embodies these qualities, and we're sure that if her career continues to move forward with roles where she shines like she does here, no one's going to remember her as just Hermione.

We have a bit of a surprise in fourth place, with Pitch Perfect's Rebel Wilson taking the spot over people who have been more lauded through awards season. It would be all too easy to feel sorry for Fat Amy, an overweight girl who is weird to boot. Instead, thanks to Wilson's take on the role, she comes off as confident and content to be exactly who she is, and we relish the character because of it. Oh, and let's not forget that she can belt out a song, too.


Taking fifth place is Emily Blunt, who plays a mother determined to protect her child in the time travel drama Looper. She comes off as tough and resourceful in her efforts at keeping her child from people who would wish him harm, but we're also able to see the fear in her eyes when the secrets she has kept for many years begin to unravel around her.

Amy Adams of The Master and Django Unchained's Kerry Washington finish in sixth and seventh place. We've frequently seen Adams in the wide-eyed innocent roles such as she played in Enchanted and The Muppets, but it's always fantastic to see her playing against type, just as she did previously in The Fighter. Here, she's discomfortingly icy as the wife of a cult leader, and we responded to her take on this challenging role. Kerry Washington essentially is a damsel in distress who appears only at the end of Django Unchained, but she makes the most of the time she has. She's given some terrific lines that she delivers with aplomb.

Finally, we close out the top ten with Flight's Kelly Reilly, Jacki Weaver of Silver Linings Playbook and Samantha Barks in Les Miserables. We've seen Reilly before in her small role as Watson's girlfriend/wife in the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes films, but her character in Flight is completely different. A damaged addict who finds comfort with another damaged addict, her motivations are understandable even if they may not be logical. She's a sympathetic character who helps to soften the fact that Whip is such an unlikable individual. As a counterpart to Robert De Niro's obsessive nature in Silver Linings Playbook, Weaver grounds the film with a character who is steady and consistent. Her love for her family despite their foibles is admirable, and Weaver makes it believable. Finally, Samantha Barks reprised her Broadway role of Éponine from Les Miserables, and we'd say that she stole the show if it wasn't for the fact that Hathaway had already done so. Her rendition of "On My Own" - in the pouring rain, no less, is a powerful moment in an epic film.

Actresses who just missed the cut in the supporting category include Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises), Kristin Scott Thomas (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Alison Pill (Goon).

View other awards
Calvins Intro
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Cast
Best Character
Best Director
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Best Videogame
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Actress Film Total Points
1 Anne Hathaway Les Miserables 71
2 Judi Dench Skyfall 68
3 Emma Watson The Perks of Being a Wallflower 54
4 Rebel Wilson Pitch Perfect 48
5 Emily Blunt Looper 32
6 Amy Adams The Master 28
7 Kerry Washington Django Unchained 27
8 Kelly Reilly Flight 25
9 Jacki Weaver Silver Linings Playbook 24
10 Samantha Banks Les Miserables 23



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