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Wednesday
Feb132013

Best Supporting Actor: Oscar's Ballot & Mine.

I haven't been shy about my disappointment with this year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar Ballot, a lineup lacking in narrative oomph (which shouldn't be a factor in judging "best" but still makes Oscar way less fun to follow when he eschews it for old favorites) and missing several electric, fresh, film elevating and moving performances in favor of merely solid work from Oscar winners in popular films. I'm all in for Tommy Lee Jones winning since he's the only nominee Oscar & I agree is worthy to hold a place in this particular shortlist. [While we're on the subject of votes, you should cast yours in the poll]

Will he win? That's another matter entirely. I'd wager he still has the lead by virtue of a very long one (since November when he took it from Matthew McConaughey... who never really had it *sniffle* in the first place) even if the precursors have never quite settled on a frontrunner and even if his no-show at SAG didn't exactly help his cause. Christoph Waltz's BAFTA win for his leading role in Django Unchained (which might more accurately be called Schultz Unchains Django Who Only Takes Over the Film-Carrying Duties For the Final ½ Hour of a 2½ hour Film) suggest that the tide has shifted but in the end with Argo and Silver Linings Playbook campaigns both fighting so hard in the final weeks for wins, I'm not so sure that votes won't still be all over the place in this category, letting Tommy take turn two at the podium.

More after the jump...

So herewith my choices for Best Supporting Actor and lineups from year's past.

A Note on Category Fraud: My saddest exclusion this year is Garrett Hedlund in On the Road who deserved a much stronger film around him for what could have been a star-making performance. I had initially deemed him supporting (as the campaign did) but the more I thought over the film the less I could see him as such we begin an end with the narrator obsessing over him and the camera even switches POV occassionally to make sure we're also tracking his feelings, too.  I can see the arguments either way (as with Helen Hunt in The Sessions) but in the end I only have myself to answer to so I had to go with lead. I also view two of the Oscar nominees Waltz & Hoffman as leading players this year. As for the lineups below, if you don't see a major character somewhere don't freak. They might have been in *lead* since I'm stricter about those designations. Sometimes to the point of silliness, I'm aware. I went a little crazy for a few years in reaction to Oscar's flagrant disregard for narrative truth... the Casey Affleck Jesse James & Jamie Foxx Collateral & Cate Blanchett Notes on a Scandal years sent me over the edge and trapped me in a self-built barricade against Category Fraud. For example: I would no longer be so adamant about deeming Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight or Christian Bale in The Fighter leads... I'd probably go with the flow in retrospect even if both are borderline cases. Next year I will attempt to turn over a new leaf and not be so freaked out about it ....unless it's just embarrassingly untruthful.

Film Bitch Award Nominees in Alpha Order
JUST ANNOUNCED
Michael Fassbender, Prometheus
Samuel L Jackson, Django Unchained
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Jude Law, Anna Karenina
Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
*see the chart for the honorable mentions and reasons why

previous years...

Gold: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Silver: Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
Bronze: Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Also Nominated
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris
for more on this field

Gold: Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Silver: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Bronze: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Also Nominated
Michael Fassbender, Fish Tank
Jeremy Renner, The Town
for more on this field 

Gold: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Silver: Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker
Bronze: Paul Scheider, Bright Star
Also Nominated
Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles
Stanley Tucci, Julie & Julia
for more on this field 

 
Gold: Robert Downey Jr, Tropic Thunder
Silver: Bill Irwin, Rachel Getting Married
Bronze: Josh Brolin, Milk
Also Nominated
Benoît Magimel, A Girl Cut in Two
Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading


Gold: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Silver: Max von Sydow, The Diving Bell and Butterfly
Bronze: Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Also Nominated
Irfan Khan, A Mighty Heart
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Gold: Steve Carell, Little Miss Sunshine
Silver: Greg Kinnear, Little Miss Sunshine
Bronze: Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Also Nominated
Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls

Gold: Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale
Silver: Donald Sutherland, Pride & Prejudice
Bronze: Mickey Rourke, Sin City
Also Nominated
Kevin Costner, The Upside of Anger
Frank Langella, Good Night, and Good Luck.

Gold: Jude Law, I ♥ Huckabees
Silver: Mark Wahlberg,  I ♥ Huckabees
Bronze: Thomas Hayden Church, Sideways
Also Nominated
Paul Bettany, Dogville
David Carradine, Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Gold: Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass
Silver: Paul Bettany, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World
Bronze: Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams
Also Nominated
Geoffrey Rush, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai

Gold: Chris Cooper, Adaptation
Silver: Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven
Bronze: Barry Pepper, 25th Hour
Also Nominated
Andy Serkis, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Naseeruddin Shah, Monsoon Wedding

Gold: Jim Broadbent, Moulin Rouge!
Silver: Sir Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Bronze: Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast
Also Nominated
Jude Law, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Owen Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums/Zoolander

Gold: Willem Dafoe, Shadow of the Vampire
Silver: Mark Ruffalo, You Can Count on Me
Bronze: Benicio Del Toro, Traffic
Also Nominated
Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich
Ian Holm, Joe Gould's Secret


 

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Reader Comments (69)

@carolyn. I agree about Guy Pearce in Lawless but he creeps me out so much that I wonder if it's him or the characters he portrays. I barely made it through Mildred Pierce because of him. However, is it good acting or the former? Javier Bardem can be creepy but I don't get the sense he's really "off".

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Denny: Unless that woman was just a girl, and played by Hailee Steinfeld. :)

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Mike in Canada - HA! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Thank you for that.

The idea that Hailee Steinfeld was supporting in True Grit was ridiculous, especially since if you asked that character, she would have been VERY firm about the fact that she wasn't supporting NOBODY.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I still haven't seen Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall or Perks. But here is my list the way it is now:

1. Tommy Lee Jones -- Lincoln

2. Christoph Waltz -- Django Unchained

3. Jason Clarke -- Zero Dark Thirty

4. Tom Hardy -- The Dark Knight Rises

5. Samuel L. Jackson -- Django Unchained

Honorable Mentions: Tom Wilkinson -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Robert De Niro -- Silver Linings Playbook; Edgar Ramirez -- Zero Dark Thirty; Tom Holland -- The Impossible

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I still haven't seen Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall or Perks. But here is my list the way it is now:

1. Tommy Lee Jones -- Lincoln

2. Christoph Waltz -- Django Unchained

3. Jason Clarke -- Zero Dark Thirty

4. Tom Hardy -- The Dark Knight Rises

5. Samuel L. Jackson -- Django Unchained

Honorable Mentions: Tom Wilkinson -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Robert De Niro -- Silver Linings Playbook; Edgar Ramirez -- Zero Dark Thirty; Tom Holland -- The Impossible

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I still haven't seen Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall or Perks. But here is my list the way it is now:

1. Tommy Lee Jones -- Lincoln

2. Christoph Waltz -- Django Unchained

3. Jason Clarke -- Zero Dark Thirty

4. Tom Hardy -- The Dark Knight Rises

5. Samuel L. Jackson -- Django Unchained

Honorable Mentions: Tom Wilkinson -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Robert De Niro -- Silver Linings Playbook; Edgar Ramirez -- Zero Dark Thirty; Tom Holland -- The Impossible

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

@ Steve. It was an exaggeration meant to be a humourous remark. Clearly, it doesn't translate as such in written form ;). It came from the idea that a character which is essential for the existence of the movie itself (Garfield in The Social Network, Dowd in Compliance) should never be considered supporting. Of course, I don't consider supporting performances only the ones that can be taken out from the movie :) Leads can also be left in the cutting room. And anyway, movies without supporting players are not as rich.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Great picks, I would put Ezra Miller in the number one spot for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and include Bruce Willis for "Moonrise Kingdom" somewhere in the mix but can't figure out who he'd nudge out.
Also big shout out to Nicolas Mancuso for acknowledging Reda Kateb: hands down the most overlooked great performance of the year.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

Great list Nathaniel! I myself was partial to Samuel L. Jackson for his deliciously sinister turn, Leo DiCaprio for his lively fun work, Matthew McConaghey was perfect in Magic Mike turning on his image and charm to give us an interesting role. Outside of those three Ezra Miller was impressive in Perks, Bruce Willis was fantastic in Looper and you can tell he cared unlike most of his recent work.
I'm squarely on the fence when it comes to the big category fraud nominees. I personally do find The Master to be about Joaquin Phoenix's journey and Hoffman, while playing a HUGE role, was definitely supporting Joaquin here. Regardless, his turn was phenomenal and out of the nominees I think he'd be a derserving victor. Waltz on the other hand, who I think will win the Oscar this year as strange as it sounds, is a clear case of being a co-lead plain and simple.
If you or anyone else here is interested in checking out my blog, I have alot more thoughts on this awards season as well as analysis and criticism on film, awards and history. I'd appreciate it. http://sonoftheoscarhut.blogspot.com/

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWes Freeman

caroline- I really liked him in that role.

He had two roles this past year where he underplayed (yes there are affectations and loud scenes but does not go fully animated despite the looks that say otherwise) it to a certain degree and let his makeup do the talking. One was to spectacularly bad effect in Prometheus (in all honesty, nothing could ever top the Weyland TED talk scene-- not in the film-- and the film would have been better served if he was never on the ship or had a 'relative' on that ship like it had been in the original draft). But this just worked. Then again, I feel like I liked the film more than most (and I say that as a Shia LaBeouf hater). The whole cast was great, it was well-made, and a pretty simple, straight-forward, if a little too deus ex machina at the end, story. I mean that close-up of Jessica Chastain's character refusing to break when Tom Hardy insists he tell her what happened to her that night when she saved him? Fantastic.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I love your write-ups (almost made me like the Tommy Lee Jones performance....almost.) Mine would be:

Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained
Michael Fassbender - Prometheus
Garrett Hedlund - On the Road
Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike
Ezra Miller - The Perks of Being a Wallflower (WINNER)

Honorable mentions: Dwight Henry, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law

Can't wait for the lead categories!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeelay!

2000
1. Christopher Guest, Best in Show
2. Marlon Wayans, Requiem for a Dream
3. John Tormey, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
4. Grégoire Colin, Beau Travail
5. David Morse, Dancer in the Dark

2001
1. Brian Cox, L.I.E.
2. James Gandolfini, The Mexican
3. Luke Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Heath Ledger, Monster's Ball
5. Lafayette Montgomery, Mulholland Dr.

2002
1. Alan Arkin, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing
2. Ian Somerhalder, The Rules of Attraction
3. Christopher Walken, Catch Me if You Can
4. Jack Kehler, Love Liza
5. John Neville, Spider

2003
1. Seth Green, Party Monster
2. Tom Guiry, Mystic River
3. Alec Baldwin, The Cooler
4. Jeremy Sisto, May
5. Bobby Cannavale, The Station Agent

2004
1. Mark McKinney, The Saddest Music in the World
2. Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
3. Eddie Marsan, Vera Drake
4. Danny Huston, Birth
5. Mos Def, The Woodsman

2005
1. Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale
2. Ray Wise, Good Night, and Good Luck
3. Hippolyte Girardot, Kings and Queen
4. Christian Bale, The New World
5. Vincent D'Onofrio, Thumbsucker

2006
1. David Morse, Down in the Valley
2. Robert Downey Jr., A Scanner Darkly
3. Boubker Ait El Caid, Babel
4. Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
5. Alain Chabat, The Science of Sleep

2007
1. Mark Ruffalo, Zodiac
2. Garret Dillahunt, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
3. Titus Welliver, Gone Baby Gone
4. Martin Compston, Red Road
5. Jeff Fahey, Planet Terror

2008
1. Russell Brand, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
2. Brad Pitt, Burn After Reading
3. Roger Allam, Speed Racer
4. Haaz Sleiman, The Visitor
5. J.K. Simmons, Burn After Reading

2009
1. Saul Rubinek, Julia
2. Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
3. Timothy Olyphant, A Perfect Getaway
4. Jérémie Renier, Summer Hours (and Lorna's Silence)
5. Hanns Zischler, Flame & Citron

2010
1. Michael Fassbender, Fish Tank
2. Rhys Ifans, Greenberg
3. Filippo Timi, Vincere
4. Kieran Culkin, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
5. Hans-Jochen Wagner, Everyone Else

2011
1. Shahab Hosseini, A Separation
2. John C. Reilly, Terri
3. Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. Albert Brooks, Drive
5. Chris O'Dowd, Bridesmaids

2012 (of the little I've seen)
1. Daniel Giménez Cacho, Get the Gringo
2. Jérémie Renier, The Kid with a Bike
3. Bill Paxton, Haywire
4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
5. Tom Hiddleston, The Avengers

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterm83

Just caught Django.

What kind of person could claim to know good acting and vote Waltz or DiCaprio over Jackson in any category?

Screw that whole Ben Affleck write-in campaign. I say, write in SLJ!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I still haven't seen Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall or Perks. But here is my list the way it is now:

1. Tommy Lee Jones -- Lincoln

2. Christoph Waltz -- Django Unchained

3. Jason Clarke -- Zero Dark Thirty

4. Tom Hardy -- The Dark Knight Rises

5. Samuel L. Jackson -- Django Unchained

Honorable Mentions: Tom Wilkinson -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Robert De Niro -- Silver Linings Playbook; Edgar Ramirez -- Zero Dark Thirty; Tom Holland -- The Impossible

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Sadly, I've yet to see any of your nominees, but I love my ballot so I'm cool with that.

Beale/The Deep Blue Sea
Henshall/The Snowtown Murders
Rauchenberger/Michael
Redmayne/Les Miserables
Willis/Moonrise Kingdom

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

P.S. Although I agree that Waltz is a co-lead, I begrudgingly consent to the Academy's categorization since I'm happy he made the cut in either acting category. In the very loosest sense, he's supporting in the sense that he's complementing the title hero. I think he's a very good favorite to win.

Also, is there any more grievous example of category malfeasance than Hutton winning Supporting Actor for Ordinary People?

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I think my five would be:

Leonardo DiCaprio for Django Unchained
James Gandolfini for Not Fade Away
Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Matthew McConaughey for Killer Joe
Eddie Redmayne, Les Miserables

Lots of very strong possibilities in this category - I'm sorry to leave Walken (7 Psychopaths) , Fassbender, Jones, Jackson, Josh Brolin (he's hilarious in Men in Black 3), Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly), Jude Law, Dwight Henry and Kevin Durand (for Cosmopolis) off the list, but it has to be done.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

So happy to see Ewan McGregor (The Impossible) and Jeroen Perceval (Bullhead) in your mentions.

The former because after watching the film last week. I completely don't understand the traction of Naomi Watts vs the one for Ewan. Don't get me wrong: she is expressing pain very professionnally but to receive a nomination for this??? Meanwhile, Ewan completly killed me with the scene on the phone. No tractions at all? Argh, this man makes it look to easy. Same thing for Beginners, all the attention for Christopher Plummer. For me, Ewan was MVP.

For the latter, Perceval's transformation makes the performance even more incredible. He is one sexy dude and is barely recognizable in the role. I'm not one who goes usually for deglamorization but the fact that he made this character so real and so vibrant in his misery and neediness while he usually looks like this: http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2905261
Wow.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDominic

So where can i see the other FB Awards?? All the categories i mean not the just supporting actor..Because it is so exciting to see your choices..

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYaxley

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