True Grit's teen titan Hailee Steinfeld tops the influential pundits' poll, showing how volatile the supporting actress category is this year. David Poland explains, "It was always, in spite of a great run of wins by Melissa [Leo], a category with wiggle room. Hailee is a lead in a supporting category, the movie is a big hit." I'll say: True Grit's worldwide gross is now $176 million, which is $131 million more than Joel Coen told me he expected it to make.
Poland says that Steinfeld holds her own with some heavyweights, who cautions that she certainly shouldn't break out the champagne yet (and not just because she's too young to drink). "Melissa's performance still gets a lot of talk. Really, it could go any of the three ways." He means Hailee Steinfeld, Melissa Leo, or Helena Bonham Carter. "And that was 95% as true before 'The Ads' [Leo's controversial glamour ads]. That controversy just woke a hungry media from its slumber over a seemingly preordained season." Poland added.