I disagree with Stu Van Airsdale‘s latest Movieline/Oscar Index assessment of the Best Supporting Actress race. The back-and-forth political weathervane stuff is bullshit. All that matters is whether or not a supporting actress’s performance has sunk in…period. Not if she’s been charming or funny or histrionic or anguished, but whether you felt her soul or not. Nothing else.

In this regard the only contenders are Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus), Shailene Woodley and Judy Greer (The Descendants), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter) and Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method) for a total of six.

Octavia Spencer has her uppity “shit pie” moment in The Help and I understand that she’ll probably be nominated, but I was more amused than moved, due respect. Berenice Bejo‘s Poppy Flopsy Mopsy Cottontail performance in The Artist is perky and spirited, but she doesn’t really reach in. Melissa McCarthy was great in Bridesmaids, but her performance was more of a personality bust-out than anything else. Mia Wasikowska was too subdued in Albert Nobbs. Marion Cotillard didn’t really stand out in Midnight in Paris. No Sandra Bullock action from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close until after 12.2.