Monday, 19 October 2009

2008: The Supporting Men

The Supporting Men were considerably weaker than the Supporting Women. Actually it was the weakest category of the year. There just was not much for the men to do and when there was anything to do, it just wasn’t outstanding. But here’s a look at those who tried. [alphabetical order]
The Semi Finalists
Josh Brolin in Milk
I was glad he got nominated, he wasn’t my favourite supporting player of the film but it’s good to see him getting recognition.
Mos Def in Cadillac Records
Wright was not bad in his role, but I was quite impressed with Mos Def take on hischaracter. He smashes the stereotype of rappers being bad actors and he was also commendable in Be Kind, Rewind.
Emile Hirsch in Milk
I was not backing him for Into the Wild, but shouldn’t his career have taken off by now? What’s keeping him from joining the ranks of the sought after young Hollywood actors?

The Finalists
Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess
Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley are not a couple that I’d expect and this movie is a bit too like a period piece by numbers; but Fiennes does his best in the role. And I must say it felt a bit nice seeing the Globes recognise him.
James Franco in Milk
Oscar loves their men manly and aggressive especially in this category, so there was really no chance of him getting in. But maybe the role will be a stepping stone for him.
John Malkovich in Burn After Reading
Is there any one that can swear like this man? He is just a million types of awesome in this role, and his line readings are just amazing.
Eddie Marsan in Happy Go Lucky
He did the best he could while not having that much to do. And you do feel a bit of something for him, though I’m not quite sure it’s sympathy.
Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder
It was a toughie leaving him off the top 5, but either way he was good. We all know he wasn’t going to be nominated any otherway and going over the top and begging for it seemed to be the just the right way.
The Nominees

Jason Butler Harner in Changeling
It’s one thing when only a few precursors give you recognition, but when not one person takes a look at your work it’s got to hurt. I want to know where he’s been hiding and I do think this one of the best of the year. I stand by my choice.
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
This is easily my favourite performance of the entire film. Other than Along Came Polly, which I have chosen to strike from my memory, I can recall a bad performance from this guy. He just seems to be consistently on fire.
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
He has the voice, the grimace and the mannerisms. He’s not excellent but when he’s good he’s astounding.
Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading
This was a performance and a half and the best in the film for me. It’s also a performance that didn’t catch on in terms of precursor support, undeservedly so. Not only does he look more than ten years younger he acts twenty years younger.
Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road
There isn’t much you can say about this performance. Sure it’s the stock scene stealing role, but it becomes more than a stock role when he actually pulls it off with such aplomb. I, like many, did not see this nomination coming; but it was a pleasant surprise.

See. I would have nominated Ledger. So who do you think is missing?


Danny King said...

I enjoyed Malkovich more than Pitt in Burn After Reading, but they were both excellent it's very tough to choose between the two.

I thought that Bill Irwin's performance in Rachel Getting Married was very underrated, possibly even worthy of a nomination.

Ultimately, I'd give it to Ledger in a heartbeat.

joe burns said...

I'd give it to Ledger as well. Pitt should have gotten a nomination though.

Anonymous said...

Good to see Pitt up there. People don't seem to appreciate how powerful of a comic role that was.

Alex in Movieland said...

hmmmm. I had to check my list for 2008 :D

My top 5 is like this:

1. Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
2. Eddie Marsan – Happy-Go-Lucky
3. Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
4. Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road
5. Bill Irwin – Rachel Getting Married

with PS Hoffman as runner-up.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I still have trouble considering Hoffman a supporting role. He really is co-lead, and I'm weirded out by him not being campaigned as such, though it was a pretty solid year for Best Actor. I'm glad Fiennes and Malkovich were at least finalists -- they were among my nominees.

My Picks: Ledger, Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Fiennes, Malkovich, Bill Nighy (Valkyrie)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Yeah I guess PSH was category fraud...

Irwin seems to be getting much love but for him and Marsan I wished I could like them more. Although I hope Marsan gets more work.