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Oscar contenders for best supporting look familiar

Tommy Lee Jones in a scene from

Tommy Lee Jones in a scene from "Lincoln." Jones was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor on Jan. 10, 2013 for his role in "Lincoln." Credit: AP

Why do this year's Oscar nominees for best supporting actor look so familiar? Maybe it's because every single one of them already owns at least one Academy Award. That means no gushy, first-time acceptance speeches in this category -- especially considering the famously stone-faced actor who's likely to win.

Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln." Jones, the likely winner for his performance as the abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, looked so impassive in the crowd during the Golden Globes that he got mocked for it on "SNL." If he wins here, let's hope he livens up.

Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained." He was so great in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" that he won this Oscar in 2010. A repeat win seems unlikely.

Alan Arkin, "Argo." He plays a hard-charging Hollywood producer, and he clearly struck a chord with Oscar voters. The nomination, if not the win, was inevitable.

Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook." He's touching as Bradley Cooper's flawed father, but De Niro probably will have to make do with the statues he already has, for "The Godfather Part II" and "Raging Bull."

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master." As a fictionalized version of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Hoffman surpasses his Oscar-winning performance in "Capote." But his movie is lagging in the race, with only three nominations in all.

There's fierce competition among this year's Oscar nominees for supporting actress, and all of them worked hard to stand out in their respective films. Some succeeded, some didn't, but the one who raised her voice the loudest is probably the one who'll win.

Sally Field, "Lincoln." Her portrayal of Mary Todd could have been the year's big comeback story, but Field never managed to shine in the shadow of Daniel Day-Lewis' Lincoln.

Helen Hunt, "The Sessions." Another fine performance from Hunt, this time as a sex surrogate to an immobilized poet (John Hawkes).

Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables." She sings, she cries, she shaves her head! And she'll probably win the statue for her role as the wretched Fantine.

Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook." She and De Niro make a fine comic team as a bickering married couple. She's been nominated in this category before, for 2010's "Animal Kingdom."

Amy Adams, "The Master." In a movie packed with bravura performances, Adams took a subtle approach as the quiet, creepy wife of a cult leader.

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