Monday, 24 January 2011

Oscar Talk (FINAL PREDICTIONS): Supporting Players

Oh yes, the acting categories. I'll submit my own ballot soon, inevitably after Oscar because I am LAZY, but what will Oscar go for?

If there’s one thing I can congratulate the general unoriginality of the current awards’ season for it’s for their good choices in the supporting actor category. I’ve long been less than a fan of this category that’s always smattered with co-leads, life-time achievement awards and downright terrible performances. And even though there’s only a slight crossover between my own list and the potential Oscar shortlist, I’m not too mad at them. I’ll admit, it’s more than a little boring seeing Christian Bale sweep through the entire race when there’s a wide variety of great performances – but it’s difficult to deny the goodness of his performance. More than just being a baity performance, it’s actually a good performance – and it’s difficult to deny the goodwill of the very convivial Fighter family. They always seem so welcoming of awards’ attention. I’ve given up on expecting Ruffalo or Rush to pull an upset, and though the Foreign Press Association stupidly ignored him – along with Bale are the holy trimester of this category.
I just have this weird feeling that there’s going to be a shakeup in this category – it’s the most susceptible to shakeup I think because it’s really the only category that seems ironclad (more so than Best Actor). Sure, Renner and Garfield have turned up places but I can see them both getting snubbed. Garfield, because he’s young as good as he is The Social Network is not his film – and Oscar always has this tendency to make the young supporting actors wait for nomination love (case in point Mortensen and Astin in The Two Towers and The Return of the King). But, then, if love for The Social Network is strong then he could be swept in on the coattails. Renner’s a bigger puzzle for me because I still don’t see what’s propelling this apparent widespread love for The Town. And good as Renner is, there just seems to be something precarious about his nomination pool. What of Hawkins? Hmmm. I know that the SAG nod made him seem like a plausible candidate, and he can be a spoiler but love for the Winter’s Bone seems really tapered – he is still a potential candidate

Predictions (alpha): Christian Bale in The Fighter / Andrew Garfield in The Social Network / Jeremy Renner in The Town / Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right / Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech Alternates (by probability): John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone / Bill Murray in Get Low

So, is Melissa Leo still going to take this thing? I suppose we can be assured that Melissa, Helena and Amy are heading to nominations and – irrespective of actual performances – I’m happy to see those three getting nominated. It’s impossible to not like Amy and it’s nice seeing not-so-old gals like Melissa and Helena enjoying second nominations in Best Picture candidates. I’m just predicting nominees, so I’ll think about potential winners when I actually have a definitive group to pick from. It’s weird, though, but it’s also normal that the supporting actress race has a gamut of performances to choose some and yet they’re not all getting love. In theory, Jacki Weaver is an obvious nominee – sure, Animal Kingdom hasn’t got the widespread love it would have gotten had it been an American piece, but she’s popped up at enough critics’ awards and has even won a few so despite the SAG snub (stupid) and the BAFTA won (even more) I don’t see her getting snubbed at the AMPAs. But then, it makes me wonder – does she have a better chance of a nomination than Mila Kunis who’s riding the wave of Black Swan? Honestly, that’s the biggest scare I’m having right now – the thought that Kunis could get in over such a wide field of deserving ladies is seriously giving me goose bumps (and not in a good way). And the thing is, right there, we could have a slot of nominees – and sure it’s not that bad because even though I don’t love Leo she’s nowhere terrible in The Fighter...but that sounds too easy, no?
I don’t know why something is telling me to not write off Manville (and include her here instead of Leading), I haven’t even seen Another Year and the last lock Leigh seemed to have (paging Sally “Poppy” Hawkins) didn’t come to fruition despite a Golden Globe nomination and win. But, I sort of want to think they’ll push her here... and then, there’s the biggest category fraud this side of the millennium – Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, which is another exasperating possibility that just depresses me. If she doesn’t make it in the lead race – I don’t see her making it anywhere, because I don’t see the voters being silly enough to reward her here, if they pushed Kate in lead, heck they pushed Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada as a lead (which it wasn’t) so I think we’re safe from her here – the Actress category is another story. And, finally, there is the pair of ladies from Made in Dagenham – Rosamund Pike and Miranda Richardson. Rosamund has had a nice year (or so I heard) apparently being a shining light in Barney’s Version and this biopic, and Miranda is the sort of affable screen presence it’s difficult to ignore. Could there be an upset nomination for either? I wouldn’t be against...but I just don’t know. But, here goes.
Predictions (alpha): Amy Adams in The Fighter / Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech / Mila Kunis in Black Swan / Melissa Leo in The Fighter / Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom Alternates (by probability): Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit / Miranda Richardson in Made in Dagenham / Leslie Manville in Another Year
Are you sensing an upset (nomination) for the men – a la Michael Shannon or William Hurt? Am I crazy for ignoring the possibility of the studios lying through their teeth and earning Steinfeld a nomination? Who’d you love to see pop up in either categories?


Nicholas Prigge said...

As you know I'm an unreserved "Black Swan" fan but even I would much prefer seeing Jackie Weaver or Lesley Manville get nods over Mila Kunis. Here's hoping.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

No disagreement here on the men. As for the women, I feel like Weaver is one of those performances critics love but AMPAS ignores. I'm still standing by my hope that Sissy Spacek pulls a Wm Hurt in that category. And, of course, I'd love to see Bill Murray in Supp Actor over Renner.

rtm said...

I'm pulling for Bale to sweep all the awards this year. I understand it's predictable but glad you recognize that it isn't just a batty, over the top performance, but it's a darn good one deserving of recognition. We all know it's overdue for him.

As for the Best Supporting Actress category, I actually would like to see your beloved HBC. Sure it's not as 'loud' as Melissa Leo who's great in her role, but the understated, quieter performances often go under the radar even though to me, that seems a lot more challenging to do.

Luke said...

Though Manville is a questionable category fraud as well - she's quite the presence throughout the duration - I'd love to see her pop here. I just saw Another Year yesterday and it was typically Mike-Leigh-glorious.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

nicholas i would love a surprise nod for hershey - even though she doesn't make my own list, but i'm not bettin on it.

walter the renner love surprises me, not bad by any means but surprising.

ruth awww, love for HBC is always welcome.

luke it's a shame i won't see that (along with the other brit flick made in degenham before i unveil my year end awards.)

Brandon (Twister) said...

I agree that putting Steinfeld in Supporting wouldn't make a bit of sense, but I DO in fact think she was the only great thing about that movie, and does deserve a lead nomination.

And not seeing any Mila love hurts, even though I do understand your reasoning. But we shall see very soon...