Predicting the Oscars: Best Supporting Actor

It’s Oscars Week! (Yes, it deserves a week.)  It’s Missing Peace, Ms. Anthropy and Dancing Queen here with our amateur’s guide to the Oscars.  We’re not film industry insiders – we’re avid movie and fashion fans with opinions. Hey! Just like you!  Join us on Sunday, February 27th, for a liveblog of Oscar night, starting with the red carpet arrivals on E! (6 ET/3 PT) and switching over to ABC when the Academy Awards ceremony begins (8 ET/5 PT). We will be talking fashion, surprise wins, loser reactions and speeches that went on too long. E! has nothing on us!

Each day this week, we’ll make our picks for the winners in the “big” categories – the ones that make the careers of relative unknowns and reward those who have patiently waited, year after year, for recognition: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture.  To make our picks, we’re taking a realistic approach, considering performances worthy of winning and factors that may help or hurt a nominee.

Also, you may have noticed that we listed only five categories and there are six days between today and the Oscars. That’s because on Saturday, we will be previewing red carpet fashion: the trends, do’s, don’ts and who will be on the receiving end of the coveted Ryan Seacrest “Cop a Feel” Award. Sharpen your claws, kittens!

Today’s category: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Last year’s winner was Christoph Waltz for his wickedly terrifying and brilliant performance in Inglourious Basterds. Who will take it home this year?

Nominee: Christian Bale for The Fighter

Christian Bale in The Fighter

Advantage: Seriously dedicated himself to the role – do you see the weight loss and physical transformation?  Although Bale’s currently not working (hence the hot Golden Globes beard and the not so hot Farrah Fawcett do), he has an extremely successful acting career going back to 1987’s Empire of the Sun.  He can carry a money-making franchise like Batman but he also translates well in smaller projects. Bale is a compelling on-screen presence with a serious dedication to his craft.  Sometimes that dedication results in…

Disadvantage:  His Terminator meltdown.  Sure, everyone’s heard the tape and most people still think he’s an asshole, but Hollywood is the capital of assholery.  It would be a bit hypocritical to hold that against him.  It hasn’t stopped Julia Roberts or Russell Crowe or Mel Gibson or…

Nominee: Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech

Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

Advantage: Rush won an Oscar for 1997’s Shine, so clearly he has some fans in the Academy.  Who doesn’t love a guy who can go from an undead, morally bankrupt pirate to a gentleman spoofing the craft of acting as a royal speech coach?  Rush’s crazy-but-lovable uncle thing makes him an endearing favorite.

Disadvantage: Rush is so solid that he is easy to overlook. In some ways, being a consistently great actor can be a disadvantage at the Oscars. The Academy likes to reward “surprisingly strong” performances. Right, Julia Roberts? This year, is Rush too good to win? Will our imaginary uncle be overlooked for a scruffy ruffian? Will the Academy voters be too focused on Colin Firth’s performance to have checked the box for Rush?

Nominee: Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right

Mark Ruffalo in The Kids are All Right

Advantage: Dreamboat Ruffalo is a dreamboat (DQ begs to differ but that’s a different story for another day). Also, he comes from a film that was in limited release, which the Academy loves, and has a working actor’s humility and grace.

Disadvantage: To this day, we see Mark Ruffalo as the love interest in 13 Going on 30. And if we see it that way, everyone does, right? Ruffalo’s biggest disadvantage is that The Kids Are All Right is just all right: it isn’t a particularly important film and his performance as a sperm donor with a (misguided) heart doesn’t show the emotional depth worthy of an Oscar.

Nominee: Jeremy Renner for The Town

Jeremy Renner in The Town

Advantage: Renner was a front-runner last year for his performance in 2010’s Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, but lost to Hollywood favorite Jeff Bridges for his amazing performance in Crazy Heart. In a mere eight years, Renner has ascended quickly, from playing Jeffrey Dahmer to being a two-time Oscar nominee. The Academy likes to reward young talent in the Supporting Actor category, so Renner may be due for a reach-around after last year’s snub.

Disadvantage: AnotherBostonStreetTough. This character is quickly becoming the new ManicPixieDreamGirl and is equally as tiresome. Renner’s performance in The Hurt Locker was far superior to this turn in Ben Affleck’s second homecoming vanity project.

Nominee: John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone

John Hawkes in Winter's Bone

Advantage: Hawkes plays an incredibly convincing scary dude here, with a buzz-worthy performance. The Academy loves drug addicts and dirt bags: Hawkes covers both.  Winter’s Bone may be the best least-seen movie of the year.  And Hawkes is a natural character actor who blends so seamlessly into roles that he can get LOST in them.

Disadvantage: Winter’s Bone made $6.4 million at the box office and, compared to Black Swan, with a box office draw of over $101 million, it’s pretty small potatoes. Have enough hoity-toity Academy members gotten around to seeing this movie yet?

Our pick for Best Supporting Actor:  Christian Bale. Talented assholes finish first. Plus, he sure is pretty. Bale’s strongest competition is Geoffrey Rush – the two have been neck-and-neck through this awards season, making Oscar night a nail-biter in this category.

Your turn.  Who’s your pick for Best Actor in a Supporting Role?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

91 thoughts on “Predicting the Oscars: Best Supporting Actor”