Best Supporting Actor 1998

1998 through 2007

Best Supporting Actor 1998

James Coburn - Affliction
Robert Duvall - A Civil Action
Ed Harris - The Truman Show
Geoffrey Rush - Shakespeare in Love
Billy Bob Thornton - A Simple Plan
Total votes: 32

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby mlrg » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Ed Harris - The Truman Show

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby Sabin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:49 am

Best Supporting Actor
1. Bill Murray, Rushmore
2. Bill Murray, Rushmore
3. Bill Murray, Rushmore
4. Bill Murray, Rushmore
5. Bill Murray, Rushmore

That should tell you where I fall on this race. I’ll concede that his Lost in Translation hurricane of acclaim fell on the hype side, but certainly not his Herman Blume, the recipient of all three major critic’s awards for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe nomination. Everything the actor has done since has pivoted on this ballast of melancholy. I don’t necessarily blame the Academy for overlooking this great performance even though it does not resemble anything they usually nominate, and as judging from his lack of a SAG nom it’s pretty clear that he might have been a bit distant in the running. Buena Vista fudged the release of this film like they had no idea what to do with it. It vanished from the radar for months after its striking festival debut and Los Angeles/New York engagement. His omission renders this category a bit moot in my mind.

Well, perhaps not. Billy Bob Thornton is a very worthy winner. I was never much a fan of Sling Blade, but there is an incredible amount of humanity in this role, which avoids simpleton trappings. He’s capable of startling you and shaking you awake in a great character actor fashion. He also deserves some props for livening up thankless roles in Armaggedon and Primary Colors. Billy Bob has been a bit mum these days, fallen perhaps a bit too much into his much-documented eccentricities. The guy is a loon! But this for me is his great role.

The rest are not an unworthy bunch. First off for me is Ed Harris in The Truman Show. In retrospect, the notion that he might win is as much folly as a Best Picture nomination for the film. I like it quite a bit but expecting retirement home voters to register Jim Carrey as an emotional through-line is absurd, especially considering that the third act distances us from him as narrative necessity. This might have been a fine place to give Ed Harris his due as he’s certainly fine in the role and there isn’t really anybody who desperately needs an award in this lineup (Coburn included), but before we get to hear cries of “The humanity that Ed Harris invests into his few scenes!”, I ask is he really doing anything that special in this film? No. He’s not showing us a new side of himself. He’s not stretching. He is subbing in for Dennis Hopper last minute and delivering a few lines very nicely. Not worthy of an Oscar.

I was dismayed by the nominations for Geoffrey Rush in Shakespeare in Love and thought it was absurd at the time, but watching the film again…he’s pretty hilarious. It’s just strange that he’s being singled out. Perhaps it was his role in Elizabeth in tandem that boosted him along here. This is a very enjoyably goony role, but it’s the kind of role that complements an ensemble and doesn’t standout. He’s great but so is pretty much everybody in Shakespeare in Love. So, I rank him a bit higher these days, but I find his nomination frustrating only because it so indicates Miramax’s stranglehold over this race not because he isn’t very good. What I find incredibly baffling about this race is why on Earth Miramax decided to push Michael Caine as a leading actor in Little Voice when he has less time than Brenda Blethyn or Jane Horracks (I believe, it's been ages since I've seen that film and I don't particularly care to revisit it). They must have already known they had Roberto Benigni as their leading contender, but who were they going to push for Supporting? Geoffrey Rush? That was never going to turn out a win? If they had pushed Caine for Best Supporting Actor, he would have won the Globe, he likely would have gotten a SAG nomination, and he could have won over James Coburn. It's a very flashy performance that voters would have lapped up.

Then we have James Coburn. I haven’t seen Affliction since its release. I recall him being very good and I was completely shocked by his win. I recall consensus being roughly between Ed Harris, long-since due for a win, and Robert Duvall, who was snubbed not twelve months prior for The Apostle. Clearly, Duvall was not amused because he didn’t bother to show up. A Civil Action perhaps suffers from being a bit too procedural and ends up being an admirable film but a bit dull. Robert Duvall’s role is a total gimmee. Were I to make predictions today, I would confidently rally around him as the presumptive winner. And I don’t really know why he didn’t. He’s a wily scene-stealer in a film that made a modest sum. Maybe it’s just that lawyers really don’t have a solid track record of winning, that if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all on film. Were I to watch Affliction again and not find James Coburn excellent (which again, I did ten years ago), I wouldn’t mind ranking him second to Billy Bob – and as old as he was, a second Oscar would be nice to see happen.

But ye Gods! John Goodman for The Big Lebowski, Dylan Baker for Happiness. Jeremy Davies for Saving Private Ryan. Nick Nolte for The Thin Red Line (the likely nominee, but also Elias Koteas’ beautiful performance). Steve Zahn and Don Cheadle for Out of Sight. And my affectionate plea for Matt Dillon in There’s Something About Mary. The Golden Globes nominated Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bill Murray, Geoffrey Rush, Billy Bob Thornton, and Donald Sutherland in Without Limits which I have not seen while the Screen Actor’s Guild cited Duvall, Rush, Thornton, alongside James Coburn and David E. Kelly for Waking Ned Devine, who probably couldn’t have ranked much below the five.

Yeah, Murray didn’t have a chance.

Best Supporting Actor
6. John Goodman, The Big Lebowski
7. Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan
8. Dylan Baker, Happiness
9. Elias Koteas, The Thin Red Line
10. Nick Nolte, The Thin Red Line
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby dws1982 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:25 am

This category had several solid lineups in in 90's, but this is one of the weakest ever. None of the nominees are bad or embarrassing, but it's pretty tough to get excited about anyone. If I voted for anyone, it would have to be Robert Duvall. It's not a performance for the ages, but his big corporate lawyer is more interesting than I would expect from this type of movie: He's totally confident in his power and abilities, but he also knows exactly how to present himself to the world, hiding behind a grandfatherly persona. Is it enough to get my to click the spot beside his name? Not sure. I've already given Duvall at least one Oscar in this game, and I don't know that he absolutely has to have two.

My picks for the year:
1. Jonathan Pryce, Regeneration (released in the States as Behind The Lines--available to Watch Instantly on Netflix)
2. Donald Sutherland, Without Limits
3. Nick Nolte, The Thin Red Line
4. Kris Kristofferson, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries
5. Elias Koteas, The Thin Red Line

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby ksrymy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:56 am

Big Magilla wrote: but my recollection of Ed Harris was that that he yelled a lot.

The only time he yells is during the climax of the film. I'd consider watching it again. It's a wonderful film.
"Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:32 am

I gew up on The Twilight Zone, which in its original incarnation was a half hour black-and-white show that said all it needed to say within thirty minutes. To me, both 1998's The Truman Show and Pleasntville were extended, i.e. bloated, episodes of The Twilight Zone which I didn't much care for. I've since revised my opinion of Pleasantville, but I haven't seen The Truman Show since it came out. Maybe I'd change my mind if I saw it again, but my recollection of Ed Harris was that that he yelled a lot. Still, he was better than Robert Duvall who did nothing special in A Civil Action;; Geoffrey Rush who was aamusing at best in Shakespeare in Love
and James Coburn who was merely mean and nasty in Afflction. The only actual nominee I liked was Billy Bob Thornton as Bill Paxton's slow-witted brother in A Simple Plan so he gets my vote by default, but my pick as the year's best supporting actor was Donald Sutherland as the coach in Without Limits. He was nominated for a Golden Globe, won at the Satellites and came in second to Bill Murray in Rushmore at the National Socity of Film Critics.

Those three, Sutherland, Thornton and Murray were my top three picks this year, with Michael Caine in Little Voice and Brendan Fraser in Gods and Monsters rounding out the list. Dylan Baker in Happiness is the only other one I would consider this year.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby Reza » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:24 am

My picks for 1998:

1. James Coburn, Affliction
2. Ed Harris, The Truman Show
3. Michael Caine, Little Voice
4. Tom Wilkinson, Shakespeare in Love
5. Geoffrey Rush, Shakespeare in Love

The 6th Spot: Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan

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Best Supporting Actor 1998

Postby ksrymy » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:39 pm

This is a very "meh" year much like 1995 in this category.

The only two I would nominate from this category would be Harris and Thornton both of whom give a-one performances.

I'll give the edge to Harris who I feel (yes, I'm one of those people) was robbed here. Christof is a wonderful character and this is the Oscar Harris missed out on. I think this is right on par with his work in The Hours (I seem to be the only person who appreciates that film around here).

Geoffrey Rush was kind of swept up with the rest of his film's nominations although he is quite funny.

I found Robert Duvall surprisingly weak here just as I did in Tender Mercies.

James Coburn won for yelling a lot.

My picks
1) Ed Harris - The Truman Show
2) Bill Murray - Rushmore
3) Dylan Baker - Happiness
4) Billy Bob Thornton - A Simple Plan
5) Michael Caine - Little Voice

6) Elias Koteas - The Thin Red Line
Last edited by ksrymy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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