I must admit a general disinterest in both actor categories even though they seem to be polar opposites in predicting. Best Actor is all but wrapped up whereas Supporting Actor seems significantly undecided. Let’s observe.
Supporting Actor Nominees: Alan Arkin in Argo; Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook; Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master; Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln; Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained
Actor Nominees: Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook; Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln; Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables; Denzel Washington in Flight
Denzel Washington and Alan Arkin
Both former winners, I’d wager that both these gents are #5 in their respective categories. Critical support and word-of-mouth secured Denzel’s nomination early on and Arkin easily turned into the acting representative of probable Best Picture winner Argo. What’s interesting, though, is that even as my #5 prediction there’s always a possibility for Arkin to surprise on Oscar night. A possibility, regardless of how small, which is seems impossible in the case of Washington.
Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Conceivably, either of the Master men earning a trophy would not be outlandish. The film is kindest to its actors and both give impressive performances. In another year, one look at Joaquin’s uncomfortable deportment or Hoffman’s oily charm might be able to seduce voters. It seems like that Hoffman will win a second Oscar one day, perhaps if his film had earned more love but it does not seem likely to be this year. Lucidly, I do not consider Phoenix a threat and yet I wonder if some surprise must occur in this category a win for him would make sense in the oddest of ways. And, Freddie is such a striking role and performance.
Hugh Jackman and Christoph Waltz
Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro
Father and son. I’d imagine that Cooper could be a spoiler if there was a kinder history of awarding men in romantic comedies with Oscars. And, on one hand, the mental health angle suggests an aspect of the performance awards voters seem to be fond of. Still, I’m doubting of predicting awards on role check-points. The definitive lead of a film much loved by actors and securing a place as a “real” actor transitioning from commercial fare there’s a nice story. Strong, but I suspect not strong enough for the win. De Niro’s story is strong, too, and I vacillate on whether I think he will win. Welcoming him back to the fold is an opportunity I suspect many voters might endorse.
Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones
Best Actor, Prediction: Daniel Day Lewis
Alternate: Bradley Cooper, unlikely though. They tend to be kinder to their female actors moving from commercial to awards fare.
Best Supporting Actor, Prediction: I’m wary of predicting De Niro with no precursor support and yet that’s where my gut is now.
Alternate: I could very well exchange him from Jones or Waltz. I’ll decide within the next two weeks
Am I over thinking supporting actor? Is De Niro still a contender? Is Best Actor Daniel’s to lose?