Wnen I reviewed *Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire* in November, I said this about Mo’Nique’s performance as the mother from hell who hurls abuse and blunt instruments at her obese teen daughter Precious (the gifted Gabourey Sidibe) and then flops in front of the tube to gorge on pigs’ feet and her own bile. “The role could have been a caricature of cruelty, but Mo’Nique — a stand-up comic with real acting chops — refuses to play her the easy way. This monster has her reasons, shocking though they are. There is one word for Mo’Nique: dynamite. She tears up the screen and then, in a climactic scene with Precious and her social worker (a revelatory Mariah Carey), tears at your heart. If Oscar has a sure thing this year, Mo’Nique is it.”
In the time since nothing has persuaded me to change my mind, especially those who discredit Mo’Nique by claiming she hasn’t done enough press to promote her movie, preferring to stay in Atlanta doing her BET talk show and caring for her kids instead of kissing Academy ass. Mo’Nique actually thinks her performance should do the campaigning for her. Only in Hollywood would this behavior be considered aberrant. Mo’Nique wins it or they’ll hear from me.
This is not to denigrate the other nominees, including Penélope Cruz in *Nine* and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bridges’ redemptive love in *Crazy Heart*. But the two strongest contenders would be Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, both in *Up in the Air*. [Click here to watch my interview with Farmiga, Kendrick and writer-director Jason Reitman on ABC News Now. ](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD4JTRuSH-U)
So screw the Academy. If the vote was yours — and you could pretend Mo’Nique was no longer in the picture — who would get your personal Oscar as Best Supporting Actress? I’m tempted to write in Marion Cotillard who was extrtaordinary in *Nine* and *Public Enemies*.
More on the 2010 Oscars:
Download Peter’s Oscar ballot (complete with his picks) and enter to win the Best DVDs of 2009:
Download Peter Travers’ 2010 Oscar Ballot (Right click and choose “save as”)