Wednesday, 16 March 2011

More Random (Vaguely) Oscar Related Trivia: The Supporting Actor & Me

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:

2010: Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right (Oscar nominated)
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?


Luke said...

I'm totally with you on Syriana - thought it was a below-average film, so for it to sweep all those awards, to me, was a little ridiculous. (Though I can't disagree with you more on Cooper/Adapation...) Your own list has a host of fun entries, though! I'm loving recognition for Pitt in Burn After Reading (hysterical), Dano in LMS (deadpan underappreciated), and Owen in Closer (devastating).

As far as my Supporting Actor choices, altered through subsequent years of watching additional films, I'd have to say...

2000: Benicio del Toro (Traffic)
2001: Jude Law (A.I.: Artificial Intelligence)
2002: Chris Cooper (Adaptation.)
2003: Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass)
2004: Clive Owen (Closer)
2005: Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain)
2006: Michael Sheen (The Queen)
2007: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
2008: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
2009: Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia)
2010: Sam Rockwell (Conviction)

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

Tim Robbins was robbed in 2003 -- completely robbed! It's hard to compete with Sean Penn in any film, but Robbins was the bruised and battered heart of "Mystic River."

Jose said...

It seems you have a thing for Pauls.

Alex in Movieland said...

oh, I love Before the Devil... such an underrated film, unfortunately.

ps: u were right. Tangled sucks :D

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

luke the lack of appreciation for dano never fails to surprise. what's so surprising though is that 06 had such a huge run of supporting men (three from LMS) and then jackie earle haley and yet a specific james thunder early ALMOST made off with the prize.

meredith no need to lament. robbins won his supporting actor oscar.

jose ummm, apparently so. which is weird, because the one paul i know i actively loathe.

alex arguably the biggest collective awards' snub from 07-10. it turned up at nary a precursor for ANY odd.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

A certain James Thunder Early *should've* won that prize :)

I've still got a lot of catching up to do, especially regarding 2000 - 2004. Never been a fan of Tim Robbins in Mystic River, he was all ham in that movie. I prefer Kevin Bacon's quieter, subtler performance; my pick, and let us remember my knowledge is limited of that year, would be Bill Nighy for Love Actually.

2005: Giamatti is solid in the underappreciated Cinderella Man, a movie that should have done much better than it did; though I like Syriana, that Clooney win is bizarre. Jeffrey Wright should've been the nominee from that film. I would personally have nom'd Clifton Collins, Jr. (Capote), Ciaran Hinds (Munich), Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice), Roger Bart (The Producers), and Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), giving Sutherland the win.
2006: Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls and Jack Nicholson in The Departed (that's right -- a tie, though in retrospect it would be Eddie's alone). Little Miss Sunshine is fine, but I'm on Team Carell re: supp actors from that film.
2007: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is ok, No Country for Old Men is great, but I've never been able to get Bruce Greenwood in I'm Not There out of my head.
2008: Oscar and I agree on Ledger. Pitt was my Number 6.
2009: You picked my Number 7, Oscar picked my Number 8, but my Number 1 was Peter Capaldi in In the Loop.
2010: MICHAEL SHANNON in THE RUNAWAYS. Bale in second, Ruffalo an honorable mention for lead actor.

I'm glad that someone recognizes the genius of Schneider, McKellen, Giamatti and Pitt in their films, and it would be you. Good taste, friend-o.

Candice Frederick said...

i thought burn after reading was a bit overrated (not the Coen's funniest, but an ok movie). Brad wasn't anything special in it to me. I love ethan hawke in both training day AND before the devil knows you're dead (he's such an underrated actor). I loved everything about and everyone in Closer (what a gem that was). Ed Harris was great in The Hours (as per usual). But I thought that was the worst I've seen from Rockwell in Conviction. I thought he was good but definitely not good for him.

Robert said...

2006 was such a strong year! I adored Jacki Earle Haley, but my personal favorite was probably Steve Carell in LMS. And of course Paul Dano is brilliant - I'm always astonished at how he managed to get absolutely NO awards traction for "There Will Be Blood" either, which I think is really a phenomenal performance from him.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

walter it's not that i dislike murphy in dreamgirls, but i never saw what all the fuss was. true, i never saw what the fuss for j-hud was (but i understood it, at least). ha, capaldi is great in in the loop (but it was all about schneider and molina for me)...friend-o. ha.

candice YES, ethan hawke is so terribly underrated, which sucks because he's so good.

robert i felt like such a judas loving cera so much in scott pilgrim because i always used to think that he was the lesser version of dano. i can't say why dano never seems to pick up traction for anything, he's a good actor.