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« Farewell, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend | Main | April Foolish Predictions #3: Foreign Language Film »
Saturday
Apr062019

April Foolish Predictions #4: Best Supporting Actor

Previously: Animated Features, Foreign Films, Sound & Music, Prediction Index

What will the Supporting Actor race look like this year? Will it be awash in "comebacks" (Al Pacino, John Lithgow, Tim Robbins, David Straithairn)? Perhaps it'll lean into fresh cinematic faces (Aldis Hodge, Jonathan Majors, Kristoffer Hivju, Taika Waititi)? Maybe it'll be a year of long-awaited first nominations for thespians who've had rich careers (Ben Mendelsohn, Bruce Willis, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Tracy Letts)? Most likely, as with each Oscar year before it, it'll be some random combo of all three but determining who the five men will be this early is nigh impossible. Why is that? Well, there are a few reasons...

First, the acting branch notoriously doesn't look that deep into a film year and generally just chooses actors from the Best Picture buzzing films at year's end, as if they've watched nothing before December when their screener arrived.

Second, many films haven't yet revealed which actors are playing which roles (Harriet and that Untitled Todd Haynes Film being chief culprits in that regard)

Third, there are ensembles that are enormous and starry (Once upon a Time in Hollywood, The Laundromat, and The Irishman) enough that  even if you do know which characters everybody is playing, it's still difficult to guess which characters will leap to the front, either from narrative attention, great writing, or an inspired performance. All ensemble pictures are essentially super crowded until a film screens and then audiences and awards voters proceed to fall madly in love with only one or two players, the rest fading into one giant blur in the background, however brilliant they individually might be.

There is a TON of information and speculation on the new Best Supporting Actor Chart so we hope you'll devour it with the 'love of possibility' its written with and report back for a robust comment party. While it's true that Oscar's acting branch often completely biffs this category (which could, theoretically, be such a rich one each year) as if they have a total blindspot when it comes to the non alpha male actors, it's always worth hoping that each new year will prove an exception to the rule.

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Reader Comments (31)

It’s always a bit surprising that Jonathan Pryce hasn’t recurved an Oscar nomination. He’s done good work and seems to be the type of actor who should have a supporting nom. Does anyone know why he didn’t get in for Carrington in the 90s?

It’s interesting to think about his role in the Wife last year. That film was really pushed as a best actress film, but I can’t help but think that if Sony has pushed him harder, he may have been nominated in a few places (which probably would have helped Glenn in the long run).

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Brad Pitt is a likely supporting push for Tarantino's movie.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Two leads, mostly old men... sounds about right. For now, go Jeffrey Wright!

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Based on The Goldfinch on paper, I don't see how you can predict anyone but
Aneurin Barnard for the film. I was thinking as I was reading that every young actor in Hollywood would be lusting for the role.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Q

After what happened to Glenn, I just can't get excited about an acting race again...

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeter A.

I, too, am having trouble getting excited about the Oscars after the train wreck that was 2019.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErik

If the Roger Ailes movie is any good, Lithgow will sweep.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

Pryce is likely going to lead, considering there's another actor playing Pope Francis in his younger years.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Lithgow is the only one I can clearly see happening a la Richard E Grant this year,a sturdy well respected veteran in a buzzy film with a great Lead Actress Theron.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Leon -- descriptions of the plot indicate that Hopkins is the main character. But i'm guessing they're both really leads but Pryce goes supporting.

Joe -- yeah, that probably would have helped Close. At least Close tried, mentioning Pryce as often as Cuaron raved about de Tavira

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Not according to the official production team, Nathaniel. Even 02 remarked Pryce as the lead, with connotations of the young Pope Francis. The plots tend to go with the famous actors. Not surprising, considering at this stage, people believed Gyllenhaal as lead for "Wildlife" and so on.

Just in consideration: http://o2filmes.com/noticias/en/11224/the-popefernando-meirelles-teaser-1/

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterleon

With actresses there are always some ingenues. These guys are all 40 or over with very few exceptions. It's the nature of the business, and shows a very different emphasis in terms of availability of roles and types of scripts.
But it makes for some very boring choices. Same old faces. Lithgow, Pacino, Defore, Robbins, this is like a trip back to the eighties. zzzzzzz.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I think you're kind overestimating Tracy Letts for the role. Henry Ford II was ambitious but also kind of a bumbling fool. If they don't category fraud Damon, I'd peg Bernthal as the likelier supporting push.
LadyEdith: Yeah.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I’m looking forward to Rian Johnson’s new movie, “Knives Out”.

That supporting cast looks great.
Michael Shannon (love him in everything), LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans.

Supporting actresses are Toni Collette and Jamie Lee Curtis.

The only cast member I find a little dull is the lead, Daniel Craig.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I'm with Peter A. I feel like a broken record with the Glenn Close loss, and I'm sorry for that, truly. But, I cannot let it go. I couldn't give two shits about next year's possible nominees, and I've lived for this since I was 13 years-old (I'm turning 50 next year). It makes me sad. Something has changed - I cannot explain it. Again, my apologies for sounding like a broken record.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBillyHeldAnOscar

Pryce is a lead in The Wife, so it's unbelievable he wasn't an absolute lovk as a supporting actor. One of last year's best performances.

People like to pretend that the Oscars are better now, but put that in the 90's and he's in. Pure acting.

April 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

I’m so crestfallen you guys. Why couldn’t Colman’s leagues better lead performance had frauded to a supporting statue to give Glenn her Oscar. Acting Oscars shouldn’t be about the performance only compared to the other performances of the year. Sorry, record still broken like my spirit.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBillyHeldAnOscar

Yes the constant Pryce snubs were surprising last year. He could have siphoned his own votes getting some in Lead and some in Supporting. Also it was perceived by many to be The Glenn Close Show and when that happens everything else gets ignored.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

What about Downtown Abbey? Jim Carter carrying a tray is better than anyone listed here.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I'm betting the Roger Ailes movie is something that everyone predicts all year and then makes no waves with the Academy. It's directed by Jay Roach, whose only Oscar history is a Best Actor nomination for Cranston for Trumbo (and that was about Cranston, who somehow gets nominated for everything, not the movie).

I also think The Goldfinch is a nonstarter, given they moved the release date from October to September. I know you say that movies can be nominated with any release date, and that's true, but when a studio moves a release date to September, it typically indicates it doesn't have any faith in the film.

I would love to see Matthew Rhys, Tracy Letts or Bryan Tyree Henry nominated. If just one of those happen, it would be a banner year for this category for me.

The title "Jojo Rabbit" is going to drive me insane all year.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

We should look into...

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
THE IRISHMAN
AD ASTRA
FERRARI VS FORD
THE LAUNDROMAT
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
FAIR AND BALANCED (LITHGOW MOVIE)
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS (Ciro Guerra directing, Mark rylance + J. Depp + robert Pattinson)

for the male supporting acting categorie and even the leading category

I have to say that the The Irishman, Ad Astra and Waiting for the Barbarians are the most 'looking for' for me. the other look like 'academy awards products', besides the good people envolved.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSoshua

@Suzanne

Jay Roach has directed a couple of great HBO movies about politics. Now he's doing the same for the big screen...there's a good chance it pulls a Big Short.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTr

Tr: Adam McKay directorial career before prestige: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Anchorman 2 (ow). Jay Roach before theatrical prestige: All Three Austin Powers movies (collectively, that's a single "w" ow, but note that Austin Powers 3 would rate 6 or 7 "ws"), Mystery, Alaska (owwwww!), Meet the Parents franchise 1&2 (owww!), Dinner for Schmucks (owwwwwwwwwwww!) and The Campaign. I mean, can't exactly rule it out, but I'd also argue that, especially after Green Book, that the Academy should tread lightly before they wildly embrace anything that came out of an overall career that bad. I'm talking "At least 90-95% on Rotten Tomatoes" lightly.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I kind of love Aldis Hodge. He has been a great supporting player in TV shows for years, and I like seeing him get some recognition.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

John Lithgow seems like a story waiting to happen, for sure. He's gained so much industry momentum since his nominations in the 80s.

I personally thought Jonathan Pryce was full-on bad in THE WIFE. The big scene...where you should sense his absolute terror at the possibility of her exposing him publicly...had zero power from him. I wasn't sure what he was playing most of the time. I think he's a good actor, and of course he was thrilling in Miss Saigon onstage...but I think on film he doesn't translate particularly well.

April 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

Re: Jay Roach... "The Campaign" is a so underrated film. Not Oscar-worthy, but a really good, fun film.

Re: Supporting Actor...

· Excited for the (longshot) chance of a double nom at lead and supporting for Antonio Banderas. He isn't by any means the best spanish actor (that honor goes to Javier Bardem, Javier Cámara and Antonio de la Torre, as a triumvirate) at work today, but he certainly has been Oscar-worthy in several films (Law of Desire, Tie me up tie me down, Philadelphia - if we believe that his role was the one that suffered the most due to the cut scenes because homophobic studio decissions -, Evita, The Skin that I live in, and of course the charming Zorro version he made for The Mask of Zorro, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination). He's certainly due for some recognition, question is, if he'll earn a nom and probably a win or he will have his Honorary Oscar in the following years.

- Super-mega-excited by the chance of Taika Waititi earning multiple noms this year for his "Jojo Rabbitt". He's really great, and has made three amazing films in a row, that wouldn't have feel out of place at Best Picture (they were worthy: What we do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok were all easily in the top films of their years, and certainly all of them deserved Screenplay consideration at the very least). If he earns Producer-Director-Supporitng Actor-Original Screenplay combo, at the noms, I'll be genuinely excited.

Which leads to a powerhouse clash at Original Screenplay, by the way, of directors: Almodovar, Peele and Waititi... wow. I've seen two of them already and they would be winners on any given year.

April 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

EricB: He's translated genuinely great at least a couple times. Brazil? Governor Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean? Maybe even Glengarry Glen Ross at the outside. And he's been awesomely bad once (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, as President Angry Birds). But as far as The Wife as his career worst performance? Yeah, pretty much agreed.

April 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

John Lithgow would be high on my list of worthy "career honors." A competitive Oscar would be wonderful to see happen for him.

April 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

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April 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterraj mahat

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April 8, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermahat munna

Lithgow, like Linney and Bening, has Inevitable Competitive Winner Syndrome. Will Lithgow go on a Plummer late in life streak is the only question.

April 8, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBradley

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