Finally, there’s the booby prize of Oscar categories, Best Supporting Actress. It’s where Academy voters feel emboldened to indulge in odd tastes or speak their minds. Ruby Dee looked like a viable candidate after her Screen Actors Guild award; she, too, is an icon, largely unrewarded, and as the title villain’s long-suffering mom, she’s the main reason to see American Gangster. But I think the prize will go to a different kind of mother, the model of irresponsible parenthood played by Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone, the closest the Oscars will get to an anti-Juno.
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