Saturday, 26 November 2011

Incoherent Oscar: The Supporting Actor Race

I’ve long been planning on writing something about the Oscar race for months now, to no fruition. Yesterday I was sitting down at work and realised that I was a week away from December and I realised that I am in the middle of Oscar season, as it were, and I haven’t even assessed the situation adequately. Not that I’m an Oscar prognosticator in any capacity. Just see the title of this post for the focus of this post.
Projected Nominees:
Kenneth Branagh in M Week with Marilyn
John Hawkes in Martha Marcy May Marlene
Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Ides of March
Nick Nolte in Warrior
Christopher Plummer in Beginners

Projected Alternates: Alfred Brooks in Drive; George Clooney in The Ides of March; Viggo Mortensen in A Dangerous Method; Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Interject if you feel otherwise, but I’m almost completely convinced that Albert Brooks is on the way to a second Oscar nomination for his work in Drive. Nonetheless, if there’s anything I’ve learned from fauxScar predictions it’s that what you think usually has no business in forecasts. In my own estimations, I’m pleased with the way my personal ballot is shaping up – but despite the wide scope of potential nominees I anticipate a very dry race this season for the Supporting Actor, something akin to the dreadful 2009 nominees which avoided gems like Alfred Molina, Paul Schneider and Anthony Mackie for the likes of Stanley Tucci and Matt Damon.
The only post I did that stood for actual predictions was a random list of speculation in July, and I had George Clooney poised to win the race. The thing is, I sort of think it might be silly to put Hoffman in in his stead, but with the recent surge of backlash (or something akin) for The Descendants I’m not really that certain of him getting lucky with a double nod. And, on the note of double nods – I don’t even have Pitt as an alternate for The Tree of Life because, unless there’s a voluminous surge of support for it at the, say, Golden Globes, I don’t see that becoming a major contender.

Points to Consider
  • Beginners is a lovely film (reviewed here), but it’s endured this year not for any of its good attributes but for the sole fact that everyone seems to love Plummer in it.
  • Nolte is a two time Oscar nominee and although he’s been vaguely off his mark recently this is the type of actor who gets honoured here (see Tim Robbins).
  • Actors playing actors is wonderful, actors playing actors they’ve been compared to for decades is lightning in a bottle. Actors playing actors notoriously for being hams? If that doesn’t sound Oscar like, then I’m very wrong – otherwise, Kenneth is in.
  • I feel as if Hawkes is poised to become the Jeremy Renner of this year. A sure-fire second consecutive nominee with no chance of a win.
  • Hoffman has become something of a “default” nominee. It could hurt him, and then again it could not. He was nominated for Charlie Wilson’s War after all?

Coming Soon: Artistic Awards (Costume, Make-Up, Art Direction)

I’m not indomitably keen, but I’m fairly pleased with the quintet I’ve predicted. Who do you expect to rule the race?


Alex in Movieland said...

NYFCC might've just proved you wrong today :)

right now I'm feelin Plummer, Brooks, Branagh, Hoffman &... maybe Brad.

TomS said...

A lot has happened in the last couple of days. I still am reluctant to offer any predictions, or evaluate others' clairvoyance, before many of the big films are released. I think you're safe with Plummer; the only way he could lose the award is if Academy members find him personally abrasive. Beginners as a film has received some surprise recognition this week, as has Tree of Life. And Brad Pitt! Brooks seems like a sure nom, although I would hate to see this particular performance preserved for posterity. Ides of March is looking more like a well-made programmer that will go unrecognized. I was PSYCHED to see Cory Stoll cited in the Indie Spirit noms, as Midight in Paris' Hemingway. After seeing M-4, I think Hawkes' chances are just outside of outside, it's too small and undramatic of a role. Nice job advocating for your choices, Andrew.

Ryan T. said...

Didn't know he had a chance until yesterday's announcements, but man COREY STOLL for his Midnight in Paris performance would be fantastic.

Plummer and Branagh looks like the safest bets this far out. Can't lock anyone in though yet. But Oscars have been trending bad/unpleasant characters of late in this category so good news for Brooks and Hawkes, right?