Remember my Supporting Actor project which was begun last year simply because the supporting actors are uniformly the most forgotten of the six major Oscar categories and I was interested in delving into the field? I produced my personal ballot for the year in February and meant to get on with posting my thoughts on the actual Oscar ballot, but whoops. That didn’t happen. So, eight months later here goes… Still, spending the last two weeks rewatching the performances intermittently I was reminded that my lateness in posting this was as much a case of irresponsibility on my part as it was a reluctance to even consider this slate of nominees after the ceremony. Because, boy was 2012 a bleak year for this category.
Winner: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained
The Nominees: Alan Arkin Argo
Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln
Evaluating the Field: Even as I found the slate of nominees impressive, with the exception of Arkin who most people seemed reluctant to bat for, each of the nominees had their champions and the race seemed like surefire bet for Jones and then a two-horse race between Jones and Waltz with De Niro as a likely spoiler. Waltz sailing across too win both the Golden Globe and BAFTA seemed to spell out his triumph, though; an oddity, somewhat, considering that he was still not a certain predicted nominee in November. Aaah, November 2012, a more peaceable time when young (relative to the nominees at least) potential spoilers like Leonardo DiCaprio (Golden Globe nominated) or Matthew McConaughey were being touted, or later curveballs like SAG nominated Javier Bardem seemed likely. But what we were left with was a slate of nominees where the average age was 62 and a total of 66 Oscars among them with 12 additional nominations. The tally makes the fact that this is the field we got that much less exciting when you consider with the exception of one, the actors are all playing variations on types they've played before and better. It's a real shame considering the types of performances that were passed up from some game actors offering sides of themselves we rarely see (DiCaprio, Law) or offering up profound takes on personalities we've seen them play before (McConaughey, McGregor, Jackson.)
My ballot: HERE
The Field: D+
(How'd I'd rank them, links takes you to "reviews")
Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master ★ ★ ★ ★
From Hoffman at the top, here's how I'd rank the rest...
Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained ★ ★
Alan Arkin in Argo ★ ★
Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln ★
Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook ★
PREVIOUSLY: 2011, 2010
Up next: 1961, and 1993
I know, though, each of these men - except Arkin, perhaps, - has a staunch defender in my blogging buddies but I'm curious if the entire field registers as uninspired for everyone else as it does for me.
We're heading into the 2013 race at full speed but think back to 2012. How did the Supporting Actors measure up for you?