Oscar nominee profiles

A look at the best supporting actress nominees at the 85th Academy Awards.

AMY ADAMS

Amy Adams in The Master

Age: 38

Nominated for: The Master

The character: Peggy, pregnant new wife of the charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Oscar record: This is Adams' fourth nomination in this category: she was previously up for Junebug (2005), Doubt (2008) and The Fighter (2010).

The critics said: "Amy Adams is extraordinary. She has supernatural eyes, she is the matriarch who doubts, the pregnant woman who helps birth the ideas, who remains true to the convictions of The Cause. She has the look of a frightened teenager and the smile of a carefree singer from some Muppet film but in an instant manages to convey some of the coldest, most penetrating and least bombastic terror in the film." Jason Gorber, Twitch

SALLY FIELD

Sally Field in Lincoln

Age: 66

Nominated for: Lincoln

The character: Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady

Oscar record: A two-time winner of best actress prize in the 1980s - for the lead role in Norma Rae, and Edna Spalding in Places in the Heart.

The critics said: "Whatever moment of inspiration caused Spielberg to cast her as Mary Todd Lincoln, it was sheer genius, because this is a role that demands bigness." Andrew O'Hehir, Salon

ANNE HATHAWAY

Anne Hathaway as Fantine

Age: 30

Nominated for: Les Miserables

The character: Fantine, a factory worker and mother of an illegitimate child.

Oscar record: Best actress nomination in 2009 for Rachel Getting Married.

The critics said: "Hathaway's turn is brief but galvanic. Her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, captured in a single take, represents the picture's high point, an extraordinary distillation of anguish, defiance and barely flickering hope in which the lyrics seem to choke forth like barely suppressed howls of grief." Justin Chang, Variety

HELEN HUNT

Helen Hunt in The Sessions

Age: 49

Nominated for: The Sessions

The character: Cheryl, a professional sex surrogate, hired by a man in an iron lung who wants to lose his virginity.

Oscar record: Won best actress in 1998 for role of Carol Connelly in As Good as It Gets.

The critics said: "Her performance is a brave one. Hunt truly does turn herself and her body into an instrument for healing. It is the best work the actress has done since her Oscar turn in 1997's As Good as It Gets." Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

JACKI WEAVER

Jacki Weaver with Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook

Age: 65

Nominated for: Silver Linings Playbook

The character: Dolores Solitano, a patient wife to an incorrigible gambler and mother to a manic depressive.

Oscar record: One nomination for playing the matriarch of an Australian crime family in Animal Kingdom (2010).

The critics said: " Weaver, so chilling in the Australian crime saga Animal Kingdom, is sweetly daffy and surprisingly duplicitous as the woman of the madhouse." Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

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