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Oscars winners 2013: Anne Hathaway did it her way

The supporting actress winner was totally committed to her 'Les Miserables' character, and her risk was rewarded.

February 25, 2013|By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
  • Anne Hathaway after winning the supporting actress Oscar.
Anne Hathaway after winning the supporting actress Oscar. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

This one gives me pause. Anne Hathaway is a fine young actress. The dignity and humility with which she comports herself off-screen is admirable and has made her an academy favorite.

There is no doubt the actress pushes herself to take risks. She is fearless in virtually any role, which you know if you saw her suited up as Catwoman — seriously, she brought a wickedly delicious gravitas to "The Dark Knight Rises."

And no question, Hathaway put everything on the line to play the dying Fantine in "Les Misérables." She wasted away some 25 pounds to better portray the poverty-entrenched factory worker-turned-prostitute. She shaved off those gorgeous Pantene locks. She braved ruthless close-ups. Tears streaming, throat constricting, you could hear Fantine's pain in every note.

Oscars 2013: Nominee list | Red carpet | Highlights

Was this the year's best performance in a formidable group that included a standout turn by Sally Field in "Lincoln" and the self-righteous obsession of Amy Adams' believer in "The Master"? I'm not completely convinced.

But then I thought of the category itself. Supporting — as in what would Tom Hooper's vision for "Les Misérables" have been without Hathaway's interpretation. I can't imagine the movie/musical without her.

For making the performance her own, for giving Fantine such a memorable voice, Hathaway earned every ounce of that gold. I only hope one day the actress wins for a role that is more deserving.

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betsy.sharkey@latimes.com

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