Best Supporting Actor 2001

1998 through 2007

Best Supporting Actor 2001

Jim Broadbent - Iris
Ethan Hawke - Training Day
Ben Kingsley - Sexy Beast
Ian McKellen - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Jon Voight - Ali
No votes
Total votes: 35

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2001

Postby Sabin » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:12 am

It’s been eleven years, but I still haven’t brought myself to endure Life as a House. I’ll likely never do that, but I can think of very few instances of critic’s jumping the gun to applaud a new talent than Hayden Christensen’s Best Supporting Actor nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actor’s Guild. Imagine having to muster the courage to describe him a “Oscar-nominated Hayden Christensen”? I recall being dubious at the time that such a thing would happen, but it really never crossed my mind that the true crime of the category would end up being Steve Buscemi’s omission for Ghost World. Especially after he put on his old firemen’s uniform and selflessly helped his former colleagues clear rubble after 9/11 to very, very little attention. He and Jim Broadbent cleared house at the critic’s table that year, and his was the kind of beautiful change of pace role that you really only get to pull off once or twice if you’re lucky, like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. Such a shame!

I love that Jim Broadbent has an Oscar. I don’t love that it’s for his work in Iris. The only kind word I can say is that it’s better for that film than Moulin Rouge!. It’s not a bad performance. He’s pretty good, and I can’t say as though I could probably pick out another opportunity for him to win an Oscar. But the film and he aren’t anything special. It’s not difficult to see how he pulled off the victory. I was pretty surprised that Ben Kingsley didn’t land a stronger showing in the precursors, but Broadbent was just in too many films that year to be ignored. I think I remember predicting him for two nominations at the Golden Globes. Hawke and Voight didn’t factor in. Kingsley clearly didn’t have a strong enough showing. And then the question was asked of Sir Ian McKellan: “Was he really acting?” Broadbent played beneficiary of a film and a performance that must have played like gangbusters in the retirement houses.

Does Sir Ian McKellan deserve to win for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring? No, he deserved to win for Gods and Monsters. But there is a total loveliness to his work in Fellowship that points to specifically what doesn’t work about another recent fantasy work: Hugo. You look at Ben Kingsley in that film and how much of an asshole he is throughout. Then you look at McKellan and the shades of grey that he paints through qualities of doddering, of humor, of urgency. He’s very good. I can’t say as though he deserves an Oscar for this role, or that his is the best performance of the series, but it certainly would have been nice to see him up there.

I was pretty sure that Ben Kingsley would win the Golden Globe. I was also pretty sure that he would pick up a few critic’s awards. It never crossed my mind that he would go into Oscar night an also-ran. Ben Kingsley is such a strange actor. He’s capable of complex humanity in a film like House of Sand and Fog, but not kindness like in Hugo. His work in Sexy Beast shouldn’t be stunning because he’d demonstrated quite a bit of range prior, but it was at the time. As written, Don Logan is something of a joke. But what Kingsley does that’s so interesting is that he shows us the train of logic leading up to his outbursts very subtlely. I think there’s a small brigage on this Board that finds his work intolerable. I certainly don’t.

Again, I prostitute my standards by lauding Ethan Hawke where really you could make the case that Denzel Washington is more the supporting character in Training Day. And were he to be played by anyone else of a lesser stature, he would be nominated in this category. Denzel is very good, and Ethan Hawke might be even better. It’s not just his scene opposite shotgun in the bathroom, it’s everything leading up to it. His nomination was a huge surprise. Before the Screen Actor’s Guild nods came out, I don’t think anybody even considered him a possibility. But I’m glad he has a nomination in his career, and if Damien doesn’t get the chance to vote for him, then by Jove, I will!

There really isn’t anything worth saying about Voight.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Steve Buscemi, Ghost World
2. Owen Wilson, Zoolander
3. Joe Pantoliano, Memento
4. Tony Shalhoub, The Man Who Wasn’t There
5. Jude Law, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Last edited by Sabin on Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2001

Postby bizarre » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:05 am

Jim Broadbent strained to hit his dramatic marks in Iris and was simply an annoyance in Moulin Rouge!. He didn't deserve nominations for either.

Ian McKellen is a stately and warm presence as Gandalf. He makes this seem like the only way this character could be played, but I wonder - is it? I prefer a bit more dynamism in a performance - this one lacks the tension to make it truly interesting.

Ben Kingsley does a sort of character that has been attracting a lot of attention in this category since the 90s and therefore runs the risk of making it banal. He doesn't - he crackles with a devilish energy that I don't think he's shown anywhere else. The film is great, too.

I haven't seen Hawke or Voight but can't imagine either topping Kingsley.

However, I have Kingsley in my 2000 lineup - so my 2001 lineup is pretty bleak. A strong year for movies, maybe not for acting (at least not in this category):

1. Clive Owen ... Gosford Park
2. Hassan Tantai ... Kandahar
3. Jang Hyun-sung ... Nabi
4. Vince Colosimo ... Lantana
5. James Gandolini ... The Mexican

These five guys would be struggling for a nomination in another year. Other ballyhooed performances such as Buscemi in Ghost World, Law in A.I., Shalhoub in The Man Who Wasn't There etc failed to impress me.

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Best Supporting Actor 2001

Postby ksrymy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:34 am

Iris Murdoch is a wonderful figure and deserves a movie to be made about her. This movie was not the one I had in mind. A wonderful main three, but the film's an absolute snorefest and Jim Broadbent is no exception. He does, indeed, capture the gentle soul of John Bayley, but the four other nominees were all far more interesting.

But Jim Broadbent does deserve an Oscar nomination this year, but it should be, as we all agree, for Moulin Rouge!'s Harold Zidler. He's an absolute riot especially during "Like a Virgin" and "Spectacular Spectacular." He's all the fun in the film and makes the most of all the scene-stealing opportunities. His energy reflects that Montmartre quarter's nightlife so well.

As young as I am, I cannot attest to how accurately Jon Voight played Howard Cosell apart from the similar voice. I thought he was swell in Ali, but I wouldn't consider him top five or runner-up this year.

I have never really been a fan of fantasy films so it took me, if I recall correctly, eight years after the third film came out to finally start enjoying Tolkien's series and Jackson's trilogy. I now enjoy the films very much, but find them useless to watch unless in quick succession. That all put aside, I think Ian McKellen is perfectly-cast as Gandalf and he imbues the part with such wisdom. Gandalf may also be the only role in The Fellowship that needs a true actor behind the role. The rest can be filled in by action stars and no-names. McKellen's dominating presence looms over the whole trilogy and, if it weren't for Sméagol/Gollum, I'd say he's the most memorable character of the film series.

I find most of Ethan Hawke's work to be quite moot. His Before movies with Julie Delpy are pretty special and I've liked Gattaca since I was shown it in high school. As I said in the Best Actor 2001 poll though, the only good thing about Training Day is Ethan Hawke. He provides the humanity to the film. I was surprised he was nominated since, come Oscar time, it was pretty much seen as Denzel Washington: The Movie - Starring Denzel Washington vs. The Man. A Denzel Washington Picture featuring Denzel Washington as someone you never think Denzel Washington would play. A pleasant and well-deserved nomination.

But, I'll vote for Ben Kingsley because, quite frankly, it may be one of the best performances of the 2000s. He is a complete sociopath, and it is honestly terrifying to watch Don Logan on screen. I frequently object to the use of yelling to express everything in a performance, but what Kingsley does here is what the cast of Virginia Woolf does: shouts with eloquence (okay, maybe a bit moreso than the drunken party in Burton and Taylor's film). You realize that he yells because he's a self-righteous asshole who loves his own voice. He needs to talk over everyone else only to make sure that he himself is being heard. And, you know, he's a criminal mastermind sociopath lunatic. In regards to James Coburn and what I said a few polls back: could Kingsley have done as effective a job being more sinister and quiet? I'm not sure. The in-your-face persona he creates in Sexy Beast leaves me with a candidate for one of my twenty favorite movie villains.

My picks
1) Steve Buscemi - Ghost World
2) Ben Kingsley - Sexy Beast
3) Ethan Hawke - Training Day
4) Jim Broadbent - Moulin Rouge!
5) Tony Shalhoub - The Man Who Wasn't There

6) Jude Law - AI: Artificial Intelligence
Last edited by ksrymy on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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