Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Best Supporting Actor 7/3/13

Top 5
Josh Brolin, Labor Day
Pros: A previous nominee that excels in making bad characters captivating and almost likable.  The role of a man who endangers a mother and her son is right up Brolin's alley and villains often do well in supporting.  Even though Brolin can play very evil he can also play it lightly, making him a good fit for Reitman.
Cons: A lot is still unknown about this movie.  He could go lead, Kate Winslet could take all of the attention or it just might not work out.

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Pros: The prolific character actor now has an Oscar nomination and Avengers cred under his belt.  Ruffalo has undergone a physical change for the role and should be able to play up the tragic side of the story.  He and Carell have chemistry (as evidenced by Date Night of all things) and Bennett Miller works great with actors.
Cons: He is competing with co-star, Channing Tatum.  Still need to find out more about the movie.

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Pros: Fassbender is Steve McQueen's good luck charm.  He is playing the role of a cruel slave owner, which while it may be uncomfortable is the type of role that does well in supporting.  The actor is definitely due and this is the film that could put him as a frontrunner.
Cons: Fassbender and McQueen have not received any prior nominations for their acclaimed collaboration, they may just not be what the Academy is looking for.  Fassbender may end up being campaigned more for The Counselor and it is possible that 12 Years a Slave is too harsh and real of a look at slavery for some voters.

Will Forte, Nebraska

Pros: It is always a great success story when comedic actors prove they can act (because for some reason comedy does not count as acting).  Forte, despite the failure of MacGruber, is very talented and was a stand out on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.  Being directed by Alexander Payne and acting with Bruce Dern should help the talented performer earn some much deserved respect.
Cons: Could go lead, there is a chance that he and Dern compete in the same category in which the veteran would have a considerable edge.

Brad Pitt, The Counselor

Pros: Pitt was the main focus of the movie's teaser trailer.  Despite the occasional box-office or critical hiccup (Killing Them Softly), Pitt remains likable and popular (as evidenced by World War Z's box-office and mid range critical success).  Already has three nominations and is working with a great cast and what I assume is a great script.
Cons: I have read that the role is very small, also competing with Javier Bardem.  There is always a chance that the film may not work, Ridley Scott has not been doing his best work recently.

Benedict Cumberbatch, August: Osage County

Pros: A strong ensemble based on an award winning play.  Cumberbatch is a popular up and coming actor.  Has been in critically acclaimed television, blockbuster movies and indie films.
Cons: Internal competition from the likes of Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney.  Could surprise with a lead campaign for Fifth Estate.

John Goodman, Inside Llewyn Davis

Pros: Not much has been written about the career comeback of John Goodman, but since last year several Oscar pundits have been expecting Goodman to receive a career nomination.  After all he starred in the last two best picture winners.  Here he is re-teaming with the Coen Brothers with whom he has done some great work.
Cons: Role could be too small, split votes with Monuments Men, just not the right role for Goodman's well deserved Oscar

Sam Rockwell, The Way, Way Back

Pros: Extremely likable and dependable star that is shockingly without an Oscar nomination.  Looks to steal the show with his signature energy, charm and good humor.  This role seems tailor made to the talented performer and as evidenced by The Descendants Nat Faxon and Jim Rash write good roles.
Cons: Been seeing mixed responses for the movie that has a very early release date.  Rockwell may just be too unique for what the academy usually rewards.  He may unfortunately have to wait.

Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher

Pros: A popular actor who has been surprising audiences with likable turns in box-office hits 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike.  This the first real Oscar bait to feature Tatum, if the role is good he is bound to get noticed.
Cons: His career shift has not been entirely consistent.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation and White House Down did not receive good reviews and the later did poorly at the box-office.  Take into account that Side Effects is already forgotten and Tatum is not a guaranteed box-office star.  This role features internal competition from the dependable Mark Ruffalo.  The popular actor may have to wait for a bigger role in an Oscar bait film.

Javier Bardem, The Counselor

Pros: Almost earned a fourth nomination last year as a Bond villain.  Bardem has incredible screen presence and is clearly liked by the Academy.  Last time he was in a Cormac McCarthy story it turned out well for him.
Cons: Internal competition and uncertainty about the quality and reception of the film.

Also in Contention:
Matt Damon (Monuments Men), Bill Murray (Monuments Men), Woody Harrelson (Out of the Furnace), Jeremy Renner (American Hustle), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

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