So, continuing my on my retrospective look at the relationship I’ve had with the Academy’s acting decisions over the last decade or so, I turn to the least celebrated of categories – the supporting men. I’ll credit the supporting actor category with being the one where the oddest of nominees turn up (for good or bad) – nominees like Matt Damon in Invictus or Jon Voight in Ali have that air of dubiousness shrouding them....even some of the winners seem a little more than a little circumspect.
Here’s what my own winners would look like:
2009: Paul Schneider in Bright Star
2008: Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading
2007: Ethan Hawke in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2006: Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine
2005: Paul Giamati in Cinderella Man (Oscar Nominated)
2004: Clive Owen in Closer (Oscar Nominated)
2003: Tim Robbins in Mystic River (Won Oscar)
2002: Ed Harris in The Hours (Oscar Nominated)
2001: Ian McKellen in The Lord of the Rings I (Oscar Nominated)
2000: Willem Defoe in Shadow of a Vampire (Oscar Nominated)
So, Robbins is the only time I’ve actually agreed with the Academy’s winner here and looking back through the nineties, I’m not especially thrilled with any of their winners other Joe Pesci in 1990 (what with clunkers like Michael Caine in Cider House Rules Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive). I notice that my picks in the latter half of the decade are less Oscar-ish than the first half, which makes me wonder if I haven’t seen as many from 2000-2004 as I’d like. Three comedic performances turn up, so that’s nice. On to Oscar and their choices...
2010: Christian Bale in The Fighter (top 5)
2009: Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds (top ten)
2008: Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (top 5)
2007: Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men (top 5)
2006: Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine (top 10)
2005: George Clooney in Syriana
2004: Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby
2003: Tim Robbins in Mystic River (favourite)
2002: Chris Cooper in Adaptation
2001: Jim Broadbent in Iris (runner up)
2000: Benicio Del Toro in Traffic (runner up)
Oddly, this is the category where I’ve got the best batting average. Only three of the actual winners didn’t show up anywhere in my own top ten. I still can’t express appreciation for Clooney’s work in Syriana (he’s my least favourite winner of this and the last decade). I don’t care for Cooper in Adaptation, but there’s little I care for in it – and Freeman theoretically gets a free-pass because he’s a fine actor, but I still can’t fathom the possibility of voters earnestly believing his performance was the best of the year – though anything is a possibility.
How do you and Oscar measure up with the Supporting Males?