As Molly Stearns, an intern on a presidential campaign, Wood sinks her teeth into a meaty role Oscar voters will find irresistible. We meet the alluring, self-assured Molly as she’s casually seducing staffer Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling). Wood banters with Gosling like a pro, but she truly shines once Molly is revealed to be a deeply troubled young woman with a secret. Shedding a few tears and wringing emotion from the script co-written by actor/director George Clooney, Wood all but engraves her name on the Best Supporting Actress statuette.
Wood recently competed for an Emmy for “Mildred Pierce,” playing Kate Winslet‘s malevolent daughter. Maggie Smith of “Downton Abbey” snuck a win away from her. Obviously an incredibly accomplished 24-year-old actress, this is not the first time Wood’s name has been mentioned in Oscar talk. She earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for “Thirteen” (2003), but Oscar voters passed her over.
Twenty-something actresses regularly attract Oscar attention in Best Supporting Actress. Anna Kendrick was 24 when she was nominated for “Up in the Air” (2009) and Michelle Williams was 25 when she competed for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). Last year’s Best Actress winner Natalie Portman‘s first nomination was for “Closer” (2004) when she was 23.
“The Ides of March” was directed by Clooney, based on co-writer Beau Willimon‘s play “Farragut North.” Though he has a knack for assembling strong ensembles, Clooney may find himself in contention in Best Supporting Actor as presidential candidate Mike Morris. He could well compete against Philip Seymour Hoffman, who steals a few scenes as his impassioned campaign manager while Gosling is a strong contender in the lead race.
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