Monday, 2 November 2009

2007: Supporting Actors

This was the weakest category. There were only a few outstanding ones and then there were some valiant efforts. In the third tier here are the five men that tried to elevate their material. [Alphabetical Order]
                      

TIER THREE                   
Joe Anderson in Across the Universe
It was hard for anyone to really come out as a realistic character but at the end of the day, his ‘Hey, Jude’ is the most touching of the numbers. His war sequence too, though a little superfluous was well acted. But is he going to continue in this vein?
                      
Christian Bale in I’m Not There
Univarn tweeted the other day about the apparent demise of his career. He’s done some good work – Little Women, American Psycho, The Prestige but I’m waiting for that one tour-de-force role. I know he has the potential.
                        
James Franco in Spiderman 3
Sure it wasn’t going to win any Oscars and it wasn’t his greatest performance or anything. However it was quite good and those final scenes really were done well. I’m not sure I understand the hate for this movie.
                             
James Marsden in Enchanted
He turned an incredibly silly role into something surprisingly interesting. It’s anyone’s guess when he’s going to take off as a star. He’s in the same boat with James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Collin Farrel.
                      
Timothy Olyphant in Catch & Release
He was given the most underwritten of the roles and he manages to pull it off quite. After his good work on Deadwood shouldn’t he have a better career by now?
                               
TIER TWO
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War
It was good to see him nominated, even though it was his weakest of the year. He does well with these outrageous characters and his line readings were quite effective.
                                      
Paul Rudd in Knocked Up
He brought his somewhat endearing charm to this emasculated character. His chemistry with Leslie Mann is good and he manages to bring some realism to some of Apatow’s more silly shenanigans.
                              
Mark Ruffalo in Reservation Road
The film received quite a lukewarm reception, it’s a bit underrated and his performance at least deserved to turn up at a few of the precursors. He really showcases some good chops in the last part of the film.
                              
Mark Ruffalo in Zodiac
He gave two valiant performances that year and he was ignored. He’s the perfect supporting actor; he’s constantly been turning up here and there with good performances. Hopefully next year Scorsese can work some magic on him in Shutter Island.
                   
Max Von Sydow in The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
It seemed like the ideal way to honour a fading star, like they did with Hal Holbrook in the same category, but apparently they were not as enamoured with the film as the should have been. Or maybe it was just the subtitles.
         
The Nominees

Casey Afleck in The Assassination of Jesse James
Before there was Tom Ripley there was Robert Ford. The parallels between the two stories struck me in retrospect. Casey Afleck really excelled in this performance and gave added some incredible nuances to the role. No one could have done it better.
                     
Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men
What a scary son of a bitch he was. I never found Javier Bardem to be chilling in any way, and I wouldn’t have pegged him to pull this role off with such aplomb. It’s more than just the hair; he’s just terrifying with every word and with every moment. It’s a good performance.
                                    
Albert Finney in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
I am convinced that Award ceremonies don’t like Albert Finney as much as they pretend to. Sure they gave a nomination no one saw coming [but was deserved] for Erin Brockovich; but they ignored him for Big Fish and for this. Well they ignored anything to do with this movie, and that was just wrong.
                      
Ethan Hawke in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Ethan’s Hank was a very complex and tortured character. His last few scenes are so incredibly well acted as the horror he feels is communicated without words. He makes some outstanding acting decisions and gives what is probably his greatest performance.
                         
Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton
It was the performance that I appreciated most in this dodgy film. It’s not as subtle [and perhaps not as good] as his excellent turn in In the Bedroom, but it would have been cool to see him pull off an upset. As far as I’m concerned he saved the film.
                             
So what are your thoughts on my Supporting Actor profile? Who would you have added or excluded from the fifteen? And what are your thoughts on the five nominees?

8 comments:

Univarn said...

I think the Playlist described that year the best for supporting acting oscars. Casey Affleck performed the role he was born to play, he just had the misfortune of doing it the same year Javier Bardem did his. I'm not quite as high up on Before the Devil Knows Your Dead but I shall be revisiting it since it was recommended (by who I wonder...) for my best movie's nobody saw.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Best in supporting Oscars...really? Off the top of my head supporting actors 2001 and supporting actresses 2004.

joe burns said...

I didn't like Bardem's performance at all. Tom Wilkinson is my pick. But where's Hal Hoolbrook for Into The Wild?

Kurtis O said...

Nice to see "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" so well represented. Such an excellent movie that was. I need to watch it again. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Alex in Movieland said...

I LOVED Before the Devil...

I had to look in the archive. This is the top 5 and Casey is clearly my no. 1

1. Casey Affleck – The Assassination of Jesse James
2. Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
3. Ralph Fiennes – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
4. Albert Finney – Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
5. Hal Holbrook – Into the Wild
with PS Hoffman as runner-up.

I admit I have no idea why Ralph Fiennes is there :D i'm innocent.

[I like your top 5 except for Wilkinson. not really his fault, but the screenplay had some dialogue... oh boy]

Jude said...

Javier Bardem? He's in my top 10 worst winners ever for this category. I like him in other things like Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but not here. That movie and its performances are so bleh. I'd go with Casey Affleck over Bardem any day!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Nice to see you representing your favourites. And Alex...I'm laughing at your questionable inclusion of Ralph Fiennes' makeup team.

Joe and Alex: I probably should have had Holbrook in the top 10 at least but I really was not into his performance. But I probably should see that again.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

And by the way...you won't know who's my favourite until Sunday, just so you know.