Who will take the gold? Fox411's Dr. Oscar's offers Best Supporting Actor/Actress predictions

The Academy Awards are often described as Hollywood’s Super Bowl. This year, that may actually be an understatement.

But rest assured. If you’re looking for some guidance as you prepare for your office Oscar pool, you’ve come to the right place. For the past four years, Fox 411 has provided some of the most accurate predictions on the web. This year, we plan to do it again.

Today, we take a look at the Best Supporting Actor and Actress category, which pits big names like Christopher Plummer against Nick Nolte and Jessica Chastain against Melissa McCarthy.

Let's take a look at the odds.


THE NOMINEES: Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn,” Jonah Hill in “Moneyball,” Nick Nolte in “Warrior,” Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” and Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

PREDICTION: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Plummer been seen as the Oscar frontrunner since the film’s release last summer. Nothing has happened to change that. It’s a beautiful and heartwarming performance. He’s a veteran actor with an extremely long list of film credits. The Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award have both gone his way. Quite simply, he’s an absolute lock. At the age of 82, he’ll become the oldest acting winner in Oscar history. Not bad for a so-called “Beginner.”.


THE NOMINEES: Berenice Bejo in “The Artist,” Jessica Chastain in “The Help,” Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids,” Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs” and Octavia Spencer in “The Help”

PREDICTION: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

This category has a long history of upsets, so I was hoping to make a surprise prediction for Berenice Bejo in “The Artist” or possibly even Jessica Chastain in “The Help.”

However, it seems all but certain that this prize will go to Chastain’s co-star Spencer for her scene-stealing turn in the summer smash. It was possibly the most talked about performance of 2011, and has already been honored by the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and the British Film Academy.

If I’m correct that Viola Davis loses her Best Actress bid, this may be the one place where “The Help” gets rewarded. I suppose that it’s possible for a sweep by “The Artist” to carry Bejo through, or admiration for Chastain’s large body of work last year to allow her to unexpectedly prevail. But both scenarios seem highly unlikely.

Bottom line: the only help Spencer will need is on her acceptance speech. The prize is as good as hers.

Check back this week for more of Dr. Oscar's predictions. Tune into Fox411.com Sunday at 6 p.m. to watch our live coverage of the Oscars red carpet.