Poll: Can Hailee Steinfeld stage an Oscar upset?

The vast majority of Oscarologists polled by Gold Derby – 18 out of 23 — believe that Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) will win Best Supporting Actress. However, there are some formidable pundits among the naysayers who believe Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) will pull off an upset: Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Kris Tapley (In Contention) and Anne Thompson (Indie Wire).

When upsets occur at the Oscars, they often wreak havoc in those supporting categories. Recent examples: Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock,” 2000), Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential,” 1997), Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” 1996) and Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny,” 1992).

Melissa Leo may seem invincible after recently winning the Golden Globe and SAG Award, but beware: Lauren Bacall (“The Mirror Has Two Faces,” 1996) won both prizes, too, then got skunked by Binoche at the Oscars.

Academy voters do like young women in this contest. Tatum O’Neal was 10 when she won for “Paper Moon” (1973); Anna Paquin was 11 when she won for “The Piano” (1993) — in an upset. Steinfeld just turned 14 years old.

Photo: “True Grit”

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