Best Supporting Actor 1999

1998 through 2007

Best Supporting Actor 1999

Michael Caine - The Cider House Rules
1
3%
Michael Clarke Duncan - The Green Mile
2
5%
Tom Cruise - Magnolia
6
16%
Jude Law - The Talented Mr. Ripley
17
46%
Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense
11
30%
 
Total votes: 37

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:03 pm

I SO didn't want to vote for this one. I took my time. I valued all the other possibilities (two, actually). But then I had to pick an actor who should never have an Oscar, who's not the best even in the cast of his own movie, and who's certainly so impressive in his movie because of the way he's used by his brilliant director rather than because of his (till now limited) talent.

But what else could I do? Magnolia is by far the best of these five movies, and that interview scene is just so unique, so perceptively written (I know - I've been there, though obviously not as the Cruise character but as the one facing him), that for me, personally, any alternative from these nominees is unthinkable.

Still, I realize that Michael Caine is at least slightly better than the so-so movie he's in, and I'm not indifferent to the golden beauty of the perfectly cast Jude Law (honestly, who wouldn't envy him?), so resplendent under my Italian sun in The Talented Mr Ripley. But neither is really an Oscar-caliber performance - which of course makes my guilty feeling less biting.

Haley Joel Osment was of those child monster that every five or ten years America falls in love with (and soon cruelly forgets). Now, seriously, was THAT a child - a real child, I mean? I don't know... Italian children don't act like that, if American children do, well, I'm sorry for you. But the twist was nice.

I don't even consider the one from The Green Mile.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Reza » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:37 am

My picks for 1999:

1. Jude Law, The Talented Mr Ripley
2. Tom Cruise, Magnolia
3. Chris Cooper, American Beauty
4. Wes Bentley, American Beauty
5. Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense

The 6th Spot: Christopher Plummer, The Insider

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Sabin » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:17 am

Forget it.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby ksrymy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:43 pm

The Original BJ wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Yeah, I remember that earlier discussion. But I guess I'm not seeing how the fact that Chris Cooper probably came the closest to a supporting nomination out of a group that included him and three younger performers qualifies as "irony".


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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:32 pm

flipp525 wrote:Yeah, I remember that earlier discussion. But I guess I'm not seeing how the fact that Chris Cooper probably came the closest to a supporting nomination out of a group that included him and three younger performers qualifies as "irony".


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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:23 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
flipp525 wrote:
Sabin wrote:Ironically, the supporting performer from American Beauty who probably came the closest was Chris Cooper.

What's ironic about that?


Because the discussion was about the teen-aged supporting players in American Beauty (and, by extension, young adults in general vying for supporting nominations).

Yeah, I remember that earlier discussion. But I guess I'm not seeing how the fact that Chris Cooper probably came the closest to a supporting nomination out of a group that included him and three younger performers qualifies as "irony".
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:44 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Sabin wrote:Ironically, the supporting performer from American Beauty who probably came the closest was Chris Cooper.

What's ironic about that?


Because the discussion was about the teen-aged supporting players in American Beauty (and, by extension, young adults in general vying for supporting nominations).

Which answers your question, Greg: Eisenberg was a heavily promoted critical favorite in the lead category, where voters are far more influenced by common wisdom. Supporting folk can slip through the cracks.

And just to amplify the argument, I offer the following young adults, who were either considered for supporting nods or should have been, based on the prominence of their roles or films:

Chris O'Donnell in Scent of a Woman (given the film's overall performance)
Eric Stolz in Mask
Joaquin Phoenix in To Die For
Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm
Winona Ryder's NBR-winning Mermaids performance (she had to wait for a "grown-up" role three years later in The Age of Innocence)

The argument isn't perfect. River Phoenix in Running on Empty would be the primary exception in modern years. Some might contend for DiCaprio in Gilbert Grape (though I'd say his mental age led voters to view him as child rather than young adult), or Juliette Lewis in Cape Fear (though that's iffy: she may have been 17 when she filmed it, but my recollection is of her as being more in early-teen range, closer to child -- and, as I said, child performers have had a far easier time clearing the hurdle).

If you go back 30 years in time, you'll find more instances: both Hutton and O'Keefe in 1980, Mariel Hemingway in '79, Firth in '77. Recently, though, it hasn't gone very well for folks in that age group; I'd say they constitute a significant number of failed candidacies, and I think it's worth looking at the age as the determining factor.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby ksrymy » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:48 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Sabin wrote:5. Philip Baker Hall, Magnolia

Is Magnolia the one where Philip Baker Hall is about to shoot himself in the head from guilt over having molested his daughter, but then, at the last second, a frog flies through the skylight and knocks it out of his hand?

Also, remember when it was all but declared that Julianne would not only be nominated for her work in the same film, but win?


That's the one. Frog makes an ambulance flip over as well.

Also, Moore should have won.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Greg » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:35 pm

Mister Tee wrote: Voters are quite willing to go for child performances (always in support, whatever the size of the role), as we see with Osment here, Ronan, Breslin and Steinfeld to follow. But adolescents/young adults...not so much. Rinko Kikuchi is the only one I can come up with, offhand...Kate Hudson if you stretch, and she had a big push, including the Golden Globe. Maybe the voters don't consider these people fully actors yet.


What about Jesse Eisenberg?

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:01 pm

Sabin wrote:Ironically, the supporting performer from American Beauty who probably came the closest was Chris Cooper.

What's ironic about that?

Sabin wrote:5. Philip Baker Hall, Magnolia

Is Magnolia the one where Philip Baker Hall is about to shoot himself in the head from guilt over having molested his daughter, but then, at the last second, a frog flies through the skylight and knocks it out of his hand?

Also, remember when it was all but declared that Julianne would not only be nominated for her work in the same film, but win?
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:51 am

Has such a strong year for supporting actors ever failed so completely to register at the Oscars? Malkovich and Plummer are the most-discussed snubs, and are my top 2, but I'd say John C. Reilly (for Magnolia) and Stephen Rea (for The End of the Affair) are on the same level. Jeffrey Wright (Ride with the Devil), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Magnolia and The Talented Mr. Ripley), Charles S. Dutton (Cookie's Fortune), and Spike Jonze (Three Kings) aren't much further behind.

Strong arguments could, and have, also be made for Chris Cooper (even better in October Sky than in American Beauty), Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday), Jason Robards (Magnolia), and Philip Baker Hall (Magnolia). Timothy Spall was a standout in Topsy-Turvy, but the movie (which I love) seemed confined to the tech categories. Max Von Sydow was as good in Snow Falling on Cedars as any of the nominees were in their movies, but probably suffered from the movie's being considered an underperforming white elephant. Michael Jeter was as good as Duncan in The Green Mile, if not better, and in a less problematic role.

Performances that I loved, but never seemed to build up much traction with anyone else, Oscar voters or otherwise, were Ian Hart (The End of the Affair), William H. Macy (Magnolia and Happy, Texas), Terrence Howard (The Best Man), Nigel Hawthorne (The Winslow Boy), and Alec Baldwin (Outside Providence). Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) and Gary Cole (Office Space) may not be especially "great," but their performances have gone on to become as iconic in their own ways as Osment's.

So take all that, and add to it the fact that I think all of the nominees are very good to one degree or another, and you've got an embarrassment of riches for this category, one that isn't reflected in the nominations as strongly as I think it could have been.

First off the ballot, for me, is Osment. I'll echo the sentiment that he delivers the best performance of the nominees -- one that's been unfairly devalued over the years, I think -- but I can't vote for him. Faced with a phenomenal lead performance gerrymandered into the supporting category, and four actively bad supporting performances, I'd still disqualify the lead and vote for one of the supporting guys. With Osment not quite phenomenal, and none of the other nominees actively bad, I'm not faced with anywhere near as big a conundrum here.

Next to go is Duncan. At the time, when I was in high school, I thought he was by far the best of the category, but I've seen a lot more of what '99 had to offer since then, and the troubling nature of the role is a lot more obvious to me now than it was then. I still think he's quite a bit better than he often gets credit for, but I wouldn't nominate him on my own ballot, and I can't vote for him here.

Any damage Cruise does to his overall Magnolia performance by not quite being up to the task of his bedside breakdown is mitigated, for me, by the extraordinary way he handles his other breakdown. The interview scene is one of my favorite-acted scenes in any movie, possibly ever. You can say that Anderson is simply using Cruise's insincerity to its best effect in his big speeches, but as the interviewer confronts him with uncomfortable truths, both character and actor lose their ability to be insincere, and what we're left with is a carefully-constructed man completely falling apart, and bringing it to the surface in increments you can measure in microns. I'm not one to draw an overly important distinction between "effective" acting and "good" acting, since effectiveness is such a big part of goodness (in acting, and in most things). But in this scene, at least for me, any distinction is obliterated. Is it enough to make me vote for the performance as a whole? No. But it's enough to keep me from casually dismissing it.

So for me, it's between Caine and Law, the two performances about which I have the least to say. Both are very good in their nominated roles, both are nomination-worthy, if in both cases less so than many who were left off the ballot (and a few who were left out of the conversation). I don't know that either performance clearly stands out to me over the other, but The Talented Mr. Ripley is a better movie than The Cider House Rules, IMO, which tilts it in Law's favor.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:52 am

1999 is a great year for the cinema, but looking at the Academy's lists for the year you never would have guessed that. I had forgotten how dismal this list was until I just looked back at it. None of these would have made my list.

Life is too short to suffer through The Green Mile, so I can't comment on Michael Clarke Duncan here.

John Irving is one of my favorite authors, and The Cider House Rules is one of his best achievements. The movie, though, is too sentimental and too brisk...his work has always been too dense to make a really good movie of, unless you parse it down into only a section of the novel such as The Door in the Floor did. Michael Caine is fine in the movie, but like others here, I find nothing remarkable in it.

Jude Law has never been an actor I have especially warmed to (I always find him too bland or too mannered), and I don't remember him doing anything especially interesting in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I should probably revisit the film at some point, though.

Tom Cruise is not a very good actor, but this may be one of his worst performances. Nothing in the film rang true to me, and in a film filled with lovely supporting turns, it is a shame that this is the one that the Academy singled out.

That leaves me with Hayley Joel Osment, one of the greatest cases of category fraud we've seen. There is no question that this is a lead performance, but you have to be happy that at least he was nominated for something. I don't like to support the fraud, but I can't find any reason to vote for the others. So my vote went to him.

My top 5:

1. Christopher Plummer, The Insider
2. John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich
3. Timothy Spall, Topsy-Turvy
4. Chris Cooper, American Beauty
5. Stephen Rea, The End of the Affair
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby mlrg » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:40 am

Jude Law - The Talented Mr. Ripley

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:19 pm

NOTE: Edited in 2016 to reject category fraud.

Like '98, this is another year where some of the strongest candidates were left on the sidelines. My choice for the win would be John Malkovich's absolutely hilarious work -- the "Malkovich Malkovich" scene is still one of the funniest things I think I've ever seen in a theater -- and I lament that the criticism that he was just playing himself took hold. I also fall on the "pro" side of the Christopher Plummer divide -- his sturdy sense of authority is a perfect balance to Crowe's neuroses. And I agree that it's puzzling that the excellent American Beauty supporting cast never got much consideration, though my supporting player of choice would be the always-reliable Chris Cooper.

But, instead, The Green Mile and The Cider House Rules invaded the Oscars.

The Green Mile is really a BAD movie. I don't think Michael Clarke Duncan is bad, per se -- he's got a very emotional role and he gives it his all. But I find the entire conception of this character, a mystical black man who eventually comes to want to die so that he can escape an unbearable life while healing the suffering of white people, to be almost alarmingly retrograde. It's hard to honor the work of an actor who's being used to such troubling effect.

In retrospect, The Cider House Rules was really the moment when the edge of Miramax's earlier awards efforts became a thing of the past, and warmer, more vanilla fare took over. At the time, I was quite surprised Caine managed to become the late-breaking frontrunner (and eventual winner), simply because I hadn't found his performance notable in any way. He's fine, but I don't view this as one of the actor's more impressive nominations.

It's interesting how often we rate Oscar candidates' careers disappointing around here -- I bet 99% of working actors would kill to have Jude Law's career. And yet, I agree with the sentiment that The Talented Mr. Ripley suggested this hugely charismatic and very good-looking actor would make more of an impact as a leading man than he has. Still, his Ripley work is infectious, and Law makes Dickie Greenleaf a charming, cocky, lovable cad, so that when he disappears from the film half-way through, his aura still hangs over the rest of it. I can see why he's the choice of many.

I know Tom Cruise isn't generally considered to be much of an actor, but I think his Magnolia work is hugely effective. I guess I don't see the wrong notes some have here -- I think Paul Thomas Anderson turned the actor's lack of sincerity into an advantage, and Cruise is a blast of energy in his early showmanship scenes. Then, in his interview segment, the actor complicates this character, so we see the troubled person beneath the bravado. At the end of the day, Cruise is still a limited actor -- but I did think this performance was an exciting surprise.

Haley Joel Osment is amazing in The Sixth Sense. The sheer intensity of his performance, and the way he could command entire scenes with simply a whisper, knocked me out when I first saw the movie at thirteen. On a more recent viewing, I was deeply moved by his work as a troubled little boy struggling to make a connection. Osment's relationship with Toni Collette becomes, by the end of the film, tremendously touching -- that car scene is so beautifully acted by the two of them -- elevating the movie into something richer than the horror film with a neat twist it appears to be on the surface. But I agree with the folks who think Osment is a lead actor -- sure, he's gone from the movie during some of Willis's scenes, but Willis is gone from just as many of his.

So despite the fact that Osment delivers the most sensational performance, I'll swallow hard and say that Cruise -- an A-lister who by no means needed a Supporting Actor trophy -- is the best of the actual supporting batch this year.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1999

Postby Sabin » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:57 pm

Ironically, the supporting performer from American Beauty who probably came the closest was Chris Cooper. I think I like it more than some on this board, as it would likely enter somewhere in the bottom rung of my top ten. I think its visible flaws have begun to overshadow its myriad pleasures in the minds of many. At the time, it felt to me like an incredibly big deal, and its modest awards-juggernaut status has to do just as much to the white elephants of the Fall of 1999 laying to rest one after another (Snow Falling on Cedars? Angela's Ashes? Even The Green Mile?) with the fact that enthusiasm for Sam Mendes' film just stayed so high.

I recall Best Supporting Actor being an absurdly bountiful year with Christopher Plummer and John Malkovich seen as sure things going into the season with their critic's awards early on. Then the Globes cited Michael Clarke Duncan and Michael Caine (who in their Oscar issue, EW listed as a possibility alongside co-star Delroy Lindo) instead with Cruise, Law, and Osment. The Golden Globes picked Chris Cooper instead of Jude Law. Philip Seymour Hoffman won an award from The National Board of Review for his work in Magnolia, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Flawless which went on to grab him an Leading Actor nomination for the Screen Actor's Guild. And there were still likely several bubbling below.

I wasn't as impressed with Christopher Plummer as many going into the season. I've since revisited the film and he's quite good, but I don't have a difficult time seeing how he missed the cut. Like many performers in MIchael Mann films, he is a Capital-M Man who has a Capital-J Job in a world gone wrong and that doesn't lend itself easily to emotional connection in a race full of characters with heartbreaking scenes. Similarly, being in on the joke really only gets you so far in the minds of voters, and the character of "John Horatio Malkovich" was seen as more of an idea than a performance. There's a reason that only Catherine Keener was nominated from the film. Everyone else is playing somebody who is in one way or another helpless. The film presents an almost horrifying turn of fate for John Malkovich when he regains his body only to be re-inhabited likely forever. I will say in defense of Malkovich's performance that I believed he was possessed by John Cusack. He gets every mannerism so right that you barely notice them.

But again, it's hard stay emotionally connected to both these performers when everyone else is given such outpouring of emotion. Save for Jude Law, that is. His character is so uncompromising in his charisma and arrogance that he would barely have time for such a scene. He's gone a bit wayward these days but Jude Law was one of the most exciting character actors of this era, and Dickie was the perfect role for him to breakthrough. I still think it's a pretty great film, and his abrupt exit halfway through haunts the rest of the film in a way that is pretty exceptional and tightens the noose around Tom's neck -- and ours. That's a great supporting actor.

I would have no problem giving Jude Law this award (after all, he's my runner up in this category) except that we also have Haley Joel Osment listed here as a Supporting Actor. I'm sorry, but I fall into the camp that views the actor very much as a lead. Anybody who says that Osment was supporting Willis' arc, I'm sorry, but can't you say the exact opposite as well. After all, it's Willis who plays the psychiatrist and Osment who plays the subject. They have pretty much equal screen-time and they each have independent character arcs in the film. My favorite thing about The Sixth Sense is that (minus the twist) at its heart it's a story about genuinely wanting to make the world a better place. And what we learn about Willis' character only adds to that. That Osment is helped by a ghost only adds to the idea that helping other ghosts is a good thing too. Two years later, Haley Joel Osment would give an even better performance in A.I. Artificial Intelligence and between them a good performance in a truly terrible film that he can't really be blamed for (Pay it Forward) because what else is he capable of doing? He's a truly weird looking person these days, but he has two incredible performances under his belt.

If there has been a time where I didn't vote for somebody because they are listed in the wrong category on this Board, I don't recall it. I'll certainly make a mention of it, but I don't remember actually following through on it. Jude Law is excellent in The Talented Mr. Ripley, but cast anybody else in The Sixth Sense and to say the film doesn't work at all is an understatement.

As for the rest? Tee is right. Tom Cruise blows his bedside scene. He just doesn't have it in him. I'll take it one step farther. While I enjoyed him in Magnolia, he's not even close to being the best supporting actor in that film! Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and (my choice for Best Supporting Actor) John C. Reilly very much have him beat. Michael Caine is pretty lovely in The Cider House Rules, but it strikes me as an example of hype over substance. When faced with an unlikable character (Tom Cruise's T.J. Mackey) and a child actor (Osment), The Weinsteins saw an opening and moved upon it with cries of "Michael Caine has been so good for so long!" and "If I had my way, he would have won last year!" You can just see it now. I love John Irving's The Cider House Rules and the movie completely botches what was so lovely about Irving's book. The only thing noteworthy about the film is Rachel Portman's beautiful score. Michael Caine is perfectly fine in his role even if his accent is a bit shakey. He has a lovely presence, but the whole thing is such a minor affair. The Green Mile acts like it's anything but minor! At three-plus hours, Frank Darabont clearly knew what he was doing by way of assessing the audience's level of engagement, because the film was clearly a box office hit, and I know many people who still love it. And having read Stephen King's series, I completely understand what drew Darabont to the source material. If Darabont cut a lot of the story, I think he would have cut some of the charm out of the book...and maybe that's the problem. With The Shawshank Redemption, Darabont got to expand something into a narrative rather than shrink it down and conform it. Maybe the film just would have made a better miniseries so as to let the hokey little idiosyncrasies build on their own. As a feature, it's a bit much to take in. As it is, Michael Clarke Duncan does what he is asked to do in The Green Mile and he does it well. But you can't give anybody an Oscar for that!


Best Supporting Actor
1. John C. Reilly, Magnolia
2. Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley
3. Brad Pitt, Fight Club
4. John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich
5. Philip Baker Hall, Magnolia
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