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The 2012 Academy Award Nominations were announced Tuesday and as hoped for and expected, both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were nominated for the coveted award.

Here’s how it stands; in the category of Best Actress: Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”; Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Viola Davis, “The Help”; Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”; and Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn.”

In the Best Supporting Actress category: Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”; Jessica Chastain, “The Help”; Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”; Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”; and Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

It’s early in the game, but here’s my prediction;  I do believe Octavia Spencer will win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “The Help.” Her performance as Minny Jackson brought comedy relief to “The Help,” which was admittedly hard to swallow at times because of what the Black women went through back in the day.  She played the role flawlessly, and she touched in some of us a sense of rebellion and in others a sense of retribution, all the while being true to the character she portrayed on the screen.  Don’t forget her character had a tough home life as well.

Spencer recently won a 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in “The Help.”
Davis is no stranger to the Academy Awards. She played Mrs. Miller in “Doubt,” for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2010.

No doubt, Davis was superb as Aibileen Clark in “The Help.” Her portrayal of this broken yet strong woman in the face of adversity was exceptional. You could tell by her walk, those deep eyes that have seen many rivers, and her shoulders that subtly drop in times of anger and confusion, but at the same time lift when her character takes a stand because she knows she’s on the side of right. Davis conveyed all those emotions without saying a word.

But she’s up against some stiff competition for the award in Streep and; but Oscar has been known to surprise us all.

We heartily congratulate Davis, and Spencer for their Academy Award nominations, and our prayers are with you both.

Gail can be reached at