Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016 Final Best Supporting Actor Predictions

Supporting Actor is probably the weakest category.  As usual there is one strong frontrunner (Mahershala Ali for Moonlight) that kind of overshadows the rest which don't seem as notable.  Hugh Grant will get a career nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins and Jeff Bridges will represent his ensemble for Hell or High Water.  But neither represents the strongest work of the year.  Dev Patel should get his first nomination for Lion, but he is a more vulnerable nominee than the other aforementioned three.

Which leaves a fifth slot that could go several ways, none of them all that strong of contenders.  Going with my gut with Michael Shannon representing the cast of Nocturnal Animals.  But if Manchester by the Sea becomes the favorite we could see Lucas Hedges, if Hell or High Water does incredibly we could see Ben Foster alongside Bridges, Aaron Taylor-Johnson may end up as the representative for Nocturnal Animals instead of Shannon.  But it could also be a less likely contender.  Moonlight, Fences and Silence all have strong male heavy ensembles.  This is the category with room for a surprise nominee this year.

Here are my predictions and analysis for Best Supporting Actor: 

Mahershala Ali,
Hugh Grant,
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jeff Bridges,
Hell or High Water
Dev Patel,
Michael Shannon,
Nocturnal Animals
The clear frontrunner who has been cleaning up every precursor, except the Globes.  Nobody is strong enough to beat him at this point without a SAG win.
This will be his career nomination.  Meryl Streep will carry him to the Oscars for the first-time.  But doesn’t seem strong enough for a win.
Bridges has been representing his ensemble on this surprisingly strong sleeper.  He won recently enough for a similar performance that this won’t get him a second Oscar, but he will get a nomination.
Missed out for Slumdog Millionaire, but this category is open enough for him to finally get a nomination.  He is not quite strong enough to be considered a lock, but has better chances than others.
One of the hardest working supporting players who got his second Oscar last year.  May be too soon for another, but he is the most likely representative of his ensemble.  Although missing out at the Globes (to Taylor-Johnson who won) makes his chances unsure.
Lucas Hedges,
Manchester by the Sea
Ben Foster,
Hell or High Water
Aaron Taylor-Johnson,
Nocturnal Animals
Mykelti Williamson,
Adam Driver,
If Hedges is nominated, you can officially consider Manchester by the Sea as the Oscar frontrunner.  But he is an unknown name that hasn’t been up for many precursors.  This is a weak enough category where it could happen, but betting on not.
Hell or High Water has been doing amazing with precursors and Foster has received some mentions.  He has the flashiest role in the movie and could get in along with Bridges.  If Hell or High Water really resonates with voters then Foster could sneak in here.  He is bound to get a nomination eventually.
Taylor-Johnson not only was nominated for a Golden Globe, he won over Ali, Bridges and Patel.  He was also just nominated for a BAFTA, he may be stronger than expected.  But Globes can often fluke in this category and it is weak enough for a fluke precursor to happen.  Nocturnal Animals isn’t an incredibly strong contender, but Taylor-Johnson could still surprise.
Fences has an amazing ensemble, but only Denzel and Viola seem to be up for any awards.  Out of the four men, Mykelti is the best known name and has the most Oscar friendly role.  The four could cancel each other out.  Fences isn’t a strong enough contender to necessarily carry many surprise acting nominations.
Another ensemble with plenty of great actors that haven’t been in contention.  Driver’s career is getting to the right place for an Oscar nomination, but he isn’t strong enough yet.  Could cancel out votes with Liam Neeson, Issey Ogata and Tadanobu Asano.  None of whom haven’t received precursor notice.
Andre Holland,
Stephen McKinley Henderson,
Aaron Eckhart,
Peter Sarsgaard,
Alan Rickman,
Eye in the Sky
Andre Holland and Trevante Rhodes are an important part of Moonlight’s success, along with the younger versions of Chiron and Kevin.  But Ali and Harris are the only members of the ensemble getting awards attention.  Holland has the edge on the rest with name recognition, but they should have appeared before now.
Last year, Mark Rylance, a stage veteran won in this category despite not having notable screen credits.  Henderson is similar, but should have been in the conversation before now.  Category is weak enough for surprises, but Fences doesn’t seem to be producing them.
Seemed likely earlier in the season when Sully opened great.  But the film has fallen out of serious awards contention and Eckhart will have to wait longer for his Oscar nomination.
Like Eckhart, Sarsgaard’s first nomination seemed possible earlier.  But Jackie is not up for much.  Natalie Portman will be getting a nomination, but she isn’t strong enough to bring other actors with her.
Oscars don’t always give a sentimental nomination, but it has happened.  Rickman’s final screen appearance was in a well-received film, albeit one that was released earlier and isn’t up for serious consideration.  Rickman unfortunately has not been nominated for any Oscars, but doubtful he will get his career nomination.

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