Best Supporting Actor 2003

1998 through 2007

Best Supporting Actor 2003

Alec Baldwin - The Cooler
2
6%
Benicio del Toro - 21 Grams
6
19%
Djimon Hounsou - In America
5
16%
Tim Robbins - Mystic River
18
56%
Ken Watanabe - The Last Samurai
1
3%
 
Total votes: 32

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:22 pm

Mystic River has held up just fine in my book, and whatever flaws 21 Grams has (and it has plenty), all of the three central performances go a long way towards overcoming them. Robbins and especially Del Toro are both excellent in their respective films, for reasons that have already been detailed here, but ultimately I'm disqualifying both of them for being leads. (Of Mystic River's central trio, only Kevin Bacon can make an argument for being a supporting player.)

Hounsou is next off my list. This is probably one of his more effective performances, but still doesn't make enough of an impression to get my vote.

At the time, I was quite taken with Watanabe, rooting hard for him to get the win. On a recent re-visit of The Last Samurai, I was no less impressed. His presence and charisma are perfect for his role, and blast Tom Cruise right off the screen. And the effectiveness of his performance can't just be chalked up to presence; he has a surprisingly interesting role to play, and flawlessly embodies not only the expected courage and honor but also makes sense of the movie's seeming contradictions.

But Baldwin is the clear standout of this lineup, in the best performance of his film career (and one that hasn't been eclipsed by his 30 Rock role to nearly the extent some have claimed). Brute force and icy imperiousness come easy to Baldwin the character actor, but he uses them here to remarkable effect, making his character's mile-wide sentimental streak wholly believable, even as his gestures of kindness and friendship tend to be even more horrifying than his displays of pure violence. This category in this year was hardly the barren wasteland some have claimed, and even though Baldwin would have only been #3 on my ballot had Sean Astin and Peter Sarsgaard been nominated, he's the best of the actual nominees, and easily one of the best of the decade.

My picks for the year:
1. Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
2. Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass)
3. Alec Baldwin (The Cooler
4. Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)
5. Albert Finney (Big Fish)

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Reza » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:20 am

What a dull lineup and year.

Voted for Robbins.

My picks for 2003:

1. Tim Robbins, Mystic River
2. Benicio Del Torro, 21 Grams
3. Alec Baldwin, The Cooler
4. Bill Nighy, Love, Actually
5. Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai

The 6th Spot: William H. Macy, Seabiscuit

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:08 am

Not much love for Baldwin here but he is my easy choice in this lackluster lineup.

My choices:

1. Mark Ruffalo for In the Cut
2. Fabrice Luchini for The Cost of Living
3. Alec Baldwin for The Cooler
4. Peter Sarsgaard for Shattered Glass
5. Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet for Strayed
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:22 pm

ksrymy wrote:
HarryGoldfarb wrote:"Mystic River" is not a bad film, at least not in my memory and Robbins, even though his main job was to look scared and confused throughout the whole film


Can you blame him? He gets stabbed, accused of murder, actually does kill someone, recollects getting raped, has to be confronted twice by the accused victim's father, and witness his marriage going to pieces slowly. Is there a time he isn't scared shitless or confused?

Acting scared to an Oscar is Natalie Portman's thing.


LOL No, I don't blame him. I blame the script! :lol: I was only pointing out that his was a two note performance, but a pretty good one though. The problem is that even though the character "seems" very explored, in the end is reduced to a couple of emotions. Robbins did great considering the part he was given.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby ksrymy » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:54 pm

HarryGoldfarb wrote:"Mystic River" is not a bad film, at least not in my memory and Robbins, even though his main job was to look scared and confused throughout the whole film


Can you blame him? He gets stabbed, accused of murder, actually does kill someone, recollects getting raped, has to be confronted twice by the accused victim's father, and witness his marriage going to pieces slowly. Is there a time he isn't scared shitless or confused?

Acting scared to an Oscar is Natalie Portman's thing.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:39 pm

I don't see anything outstanding about Baldwin's performance. "21 Grams" was quite some unbearable experience (too sordid for my taste) and I remember thinking "why does Del Toro have to be so "intense" in every scene?". A more subtle approach would have been more effective for that role. Watanabe was a nice presence in a completely stupid film but that's the best I can say about him. At first, I wasn't that impressed with Djimon Hounsou in In America (I thought he deserved, to some extent, a nod in 1997), but on a second view of the film I really loved the hints, the aforesaid "presence" of his through the film, his quite almost whispered words, his voice work. Hounsou's character, an out of nowhere device, suddenly becomes not necessary for the narrative but very effective in a strange/unexpected way and that's because of his performance. But in the end I was so sure Robbins was going to win (too many factors: the "we owe you", the "established star", and the "weak competition" to mention some) that it's hard for me to change my view on the race. "Mystic River" is not a bad film, at least not in my memory and Robbins, even though his main job was to look scared and confused throughout the whole film, was quite memorable.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:24 pm

Well, we're into years that many of us lived through together, and I guess it's no surprise opinions vary widely.

I thought 2003 was one of the crappiest years of the decade (only 2005 matched it, though the end years 2008/9 were no prize, either). I thought at the time Mystic River was the year's best by default, and I've seen no cause to change my mind. (In fact, I say this after watching parts of it yesterday afternoon on TNT) I wouldn't confuse "a couple of people here have decided they don't like it" as representing any sea change in opinion.

Suporting actor was a particularly weak category this year, with an unusually high number of nominees from minor films, but the WRONG minor films. Peter Sarsgaard, given his critical push, was the most glaring omission. The utter failure of Shattered Glass (I don't think it managed $3 million in gross) is a complete bafflement to me: have we really lost the ability to sell such an engrossing true life story? Everyone I've ever recommended it to (including my parents) has liked it alot, but in theatres it was dead meat. Sarsgaard clearly suffered as a result. The low grosses on The Station Agent were also a handicap for new-face Bobby Canavale. Perhaps even more puzzling is that Paul Bettany, a rising star in a best picture nominee, couldn't make the cut. I wasn't much a fan of Master and Commander -- I think it's dull as dishwater, straining for drab realism when high-adventure was called for. But I think Bettany is at his best, and rated mention well above the motley crew the Academy actually chose.

It's funny how many people are saying how much they disliked The Cooler; I honestly can't recall it enough to gauge the intensity of my dislike. Baldwin's nomination seemed a clear case of "star power" overwhelming the voters. Similarly with Ken Watanabe -- he was obviously not a star in American terms, but his international standing gave him a spotlight that enabled him to prevail despite Last Samurai's dreariness.

Djimon Hounsou was OK in a problematic role. I was very surprised, on nominations morning, when he and Morton both secured nods, but the film -- my second favorite on the year, and an emotional powerhouse -- was denied for best film and director. Given the lackluster competition, that was a great shame.

Though I loved Mystic River, I can't say Tim Robbins' performance was my favorite element. I thought he had strong moments throughout -- particularly his back-porch talk with Penn -- but that "vampires" speech never rang completely true for me. I wasn't disheartened by his win, but he doesn't get my vote.

I'm going with Benicio del Toro, for the second time in four years. I found 21 Grams an underwhelming film; it always seemed to me that, if you unscrambled the time distortion, what would remain would be a soap opera-ish plot that might have served Joan Crawford c. 1947. But the acting was very strong throughout, and del Toro had some moments here that I thought surpassed even his fine work in Traffic. He gets the nod in a weak field.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:08 pm

Peter Sarsgaard, as everyone is saying, was the big omission -- you'd think a showy role in a fairly accessible movie like Shattered Glass would have made the lineup, especially after Sarsgaard got as far along in the season as he did. But perhaps this snub serves to bolster Mister Tee's theory from a couple posts back: it's hard for Oscar newbies in films unconnected to the main races to get sole supporting nominations for their films.

For a while, Albert Finney was hyped as the one to beat, until Big Fish collapsed as an Oscar vehicle. I liked the movie way more than most, though, and would have liked to have seen the actor place here as well.

I thought Paddy Considine and the Bolger sisters were the standout actors from In America, so it's always struck me as odd that their costars were the ones cited. Djimon Hounsou is fine, but I don't find his mystical black man with AIDS to be all that deep of a role. His work provides more of an imposing presence than a great performance.

I like Alec Baldwin in general, but The Cooler is a BAD movie -- an ersatz indie that's just a totally dreary thing. I found it hard to take Baldwin's silly, over-the-top villain very seriously.

Speaking of dull movies, The Last Samurai is your usual Ed Zwick snoozapalooza, but I do think Ken Watanabe brightens the screen when he appears. He brings a sorely needed sense of humor to the proceedings, and his charisma completely steals the movie out from under Tom Cruise. Certainly not Oscar-level work, but at least he brought something to this party.

21 Grams is, overall, a wonderfully acted movie, and Benicio del Toro's work is no exception. He's so honest and moving here, as a man trying to use his new-found faith to move on from his past, while being wracked with guilt over the accident he caused. His best scene with Melissa Leo -- when he reveals to her what he did and how he plans to turn himself in -- is beautifully acted by both performers, as they struggle with the moral complexities of this situation. I think if del Toro hadn't just won (and maybe if 21 Grams had been more liked), he might have been a stronger threat in this race. But, like the Academy, I picked him a couple years back, and don't feel the need to do so again this soon.

I didn't know the tide had turned so strongly against Mystic River in recent years, or that Tim Robbins's performance had such strong detractors. I have to agree with ksrymy -- I think Robbins is the strongest winner in this category this entire decade. The past hangs over the present to powerful effect throughout Mystic River, no more so than in Robbins's emotionally overwhelming performance. Here's a man whose entire life, much as he would like to forget it, has been defined by the horrific incident that scarred his childhood, and the weight Robbins carries with him in every scene is just haunting. The "vampires and werewolves" speech makes for an incredibly disturbing moment, as Robbins admits his character has been essentially transformed into a different person who can never truly escape the horrifying experience of his youth. Robbins is completely transfixing during this moment, and throughout the film, and my clear choice for best of the year in this category.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby FilmFan720 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:07 pm

I need to revisit Mystic River...I remember not liking a lot of it, but I do remember Tim Robbins being very strong. Nine years later, though, I could rethink that on a repeat viewing.

This was a strong cinematic year, and a strong year in this category, although you would never know that from the Oscar nominations this year. The only two who I would have carried over were Robbins and Djimon Hounsou. His hybrid between the tragic-homo and the mysical African could easily read so stereotypical and flat, but he brings such life to the role that it transcends the page. In America is a lovely, sadly forgotten film but I am glad that he managed this nomination.

The other three are all actors who I like, but none are very interesting in these roles. Instead, I would cite Eugene Levy for his hilarious and heartbreaking turn in A Mighty Wind, Peter Sarsgaard and Liam Neeson, whose heart is the best part of Love Actually (much more than Bill Nighy).

1. Eugene Levy, A Mighty Wind
2. Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass
3. Djimon Hounson, In America
4. Tim Robbins, Mystic River
5. Liam Neeson, Love Actually
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Bog » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:38 pm

Sabin wrote:There aren’t a lot of films in my life that have aged as poorly for me as Mystic River. It’s very difficult to explain the appeal of it these days


Answer: because there is none, sadly. No bigger Clint fan or apologist than me (maybe Daniel), [i]especially[i] in the director chair, but I bet even Clint is embarrassed of the juggernaut that was Tim Robbins during awards season, were he to give Mystic River any thought these days. Kevin Bacon was absolutely the MVP of this cast, runner-up to Laura Linney, then you can toss the rest, but the Sean Penn thing is a discussion for another day.

Outside Del Toro (too early however deserving), the rest of the nominees are pathetic compared to Bacon alongside Sarsgaard, Cannavale, and Levy.

I never understood Tim Robbins escaping the clutches of an Oscar nomination with a run of Bull Durham, The Player, Bob Roberts, and Shawshank Redemption, then finally for Dead Man Walking and losing to Mel Gibson...but this is just overkill in more ways than one.

1. Peter Sarsgaard - Shattered Glass
2. Bobby Cannavale - The Station Agent
3. Kevin Bacon - Mystic River
4. Eugene Levy - A Mighty Wind
5. Benicio Del Toro - 21 Grams
maybe. Robert Duvall - Open Range

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:44 am

Not my favorite year overall. There were only two films I really, really liked - In America and The Station Agent, both of which should have fared better in year-end balloting than they did.

In my view In America should have easily won Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay. It also deserved to win at least one acting award. Paddy Considine should certainly have nominated for Best Actor and Samantha Morton was thankfully nominated for Best Actress but both had strong competitoin in their respective categories - Considine from Bill Murray in Lost in Translation and Peter Dinklage in The Station Agent, but not Sean Penn in Mystic River - Morton from Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give, not Charlize Theron in Monster. Penn and Tim Robbins, his director, should have won for Dead Man Walking, which should also have won for Best Picture of 1995. Their subsequent wins for Mystic River were consolation wins to me. That leaves the field open for Djimon Hounsou who gives a towering performance as the sceaming artist whose death coincides with the birth of Considine and Morton's baby - reincarnation anyone? A brilliant moment in a brilliant film chock full of brilliant performances including those of the Boger sisters - Emma and Sarah as Considine and Morton's daughters based on director Jim Sheridan's daughters who co-wrote the autobiographical screenplay with him.

Tim Robbins was good in Mystic River and a deserving winner considering it was his only opportunity to date, although as I've said it was a consolation prize to me, not just for not winning for Dead Man Walking but for not even having even been nominated for Bull Durham, The Player or The Shawshank Redemption.

Bencio Del Toro gave a fine, tortured performance in 21 Grams, but having just won three years earlier, the nomination was enough.

Alec Baldwin's performance was decent enough in The Cooler but nominating him without nominating the superior work of Maria Bello in the Supporting Actress category was patently absurd. He got the slot that should have gone ot Peter Sarsgaard in Shattered Glass

Ken Watanabe is the only intersting player in The Last Samurai but the film is such a disappointment overall that it's something of a wasted nomination. Paul Bettany in the epic Master and Commadner: The Far Side of the World would have been a better choice.

My vote goes to Hounsou.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby mlrg » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:48 am

Tim Robbins - Mystic River

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby bizarre » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:15 am

I've only seen Robbins and Baldwin, both awful but especially the former.

I love this year for film, but not for performances in this category. My nominees:

1. Eugene Levy ... A Mighty Wind
2. Vladimir Garin ... The Return
3. Tom Guiry ... Mystic River
4. Alfred Molina ... Coffee and Cigarettes
5. Eduard Fernández ... In the City

I also find labelling Ken Watanabe a "character actor" humourous when he's the biggest box office draw in Japan.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby Sabin » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:50 am

There aren’t a lot of films in my life that have aged as poorly for me as Mystic River. It’s very difficult to explain the appeal of it these days, especially now after we’ve seen far superior Lehane adaptations from the likes of Ben Affleck of all people! That which holds up strongest is Kevin Bacon’s excellent work. I’m not sure if I would call it a bad movie, but a lot of it is bad. And that extends both in character arc AND performance to Tim Robbins. It was such a shock to see the actor in this kind of role that he was given a bit of a free ride to the Oscar. And I’m certainly glad that Tim Robbins has an Oscar. He’s not often a great actor, but his heart is in the right place and he deserves to win in this category fifteen years prior. But his character in Mystic River makes no sense, especially in his last scene. And once the shock wears off of Tim Robbins being used in this capacity on-screen, it really just becomes a fairly superficial piece of work.

But it’s not like anybody really went robbed in this category. Certainly not Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai, whose nomination truly baffles me. I mean…it’s not like he DID anything. Right? It’s not like anybody saw that film and said “Yes, a star is born right here!” He deserves a nomination for Letters from Iwo Jima, but I really don’t understand it. I’d love to say that he robbed a critic’s darling of a nomination, but who was that going to be? They were all split about in 2003 between Peter Sarsgaard, Eugene Levy, and Bill Nighy, none of whom (sadly) were going to be up there. I loathe Love Actually but Nighy is rather amusing in that role. The other major critic’s winner was Alec Baldwin, a career nomination for that utterly miserable movie, The Cooler. Every once in a while you watch a movie and become convinced that the voice guiding the production is just an asshole. Wayne Kramer has to be an asshole, and Alec Baldwin’s performance is devoid of personality. He’s approximating his big scene in Glengarry Glen Ross at feature-length, and it’s flaccid. Now that we have Jack Donaghy, his Oscar nomination seems even more like slumming it.

I see the Golden Globes nominated Albert Finney for Big Fish (the kind of performance you hear about and think “He’s winning for that one!”…and then you see it), Sarsgaard (surprisingly good taste), and William H. Macy for Seabiscuit, whose performance I recall basically as an early radio host. The Screen Actor’s Guild disagreed over which negligible Seabiscuit performance was better and honored Chris Cooper instead. I’m a bit shocked to see that a performance as excellent as Peter Sarsgaard’s even made it that far. He’s just exceptional in Shattered Glass. The most surprising nomination on Oscar morning was Djimon Hounsou for In America, a movie that isn’t quite the great film it should be but is still an overwhelmingly emotional experience to watch, and in a year of myriad bloated epic productions all vying for the same awards it should have been more of a contender. We all know how and why Cold Mountain melted down, but I still don’t entirely understand how voters could have preferred Seabiscuit or (the admittedly excellent) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Sheridan was already in good standing with the Director’s Branch. Nominations for the film and Paddy Considine should have been in the bag. Hounsou’s nomination came from seemingly nowhere, but he’s very good and quite moving. I thought his work in Amistad was a bit overrated, but not here. To contrast the previous year’s nomination for The Hours, you actively mourn for this man as you feel his body betray him. And for a clearly talented actor who must be impossible to cast in a proper role, it’s nice to see him nominated.

But if I couldn’t vote for Del Toro in 2000, I can absolutely do it here. 21 Grams is such a chore, and (except for Melissa Leo who should have earned her one career nomination thus far – and likely ever, because I cannot stand the woman now) few participants wage a greater battle against cliché than Benicio Del Toro, who at one point strikes his son and says “No hitting at the table.” It’s a study in sledgehammer Christian hypocrisy amped to 11 so the blind and deaf don’t feel left out. And yet he utterly kills it throughout the entire film and actually manages to be quite moving in a way that Sean Penn and Naomi Watts cannot quite register. That I actually enjoyed some of 21 Grams is something of a miracle, and it’s one I can really only attribute to the talents of Benicio Del Toro.

Another mystery…how did Paul Bettany escape a nomination for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World? I like that movie quite a bit. It’s easily Russell Crowe’s best work after The Insider. And it’s nothing like the epics that the Academy usually honors. Ten nominations…and Ken Watanabe?

Best Supporting Actor
1. Peter Sarsgaard, Shattered Glass
2. Eugene Levy, A Mighty Wind
3. Paul Bettany, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
4. Bobby Cannavale, The Station Agent
5. Artyom Boguchowsky, Lilya 4-Ever
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Best Supporting Actor 2003

Postby ksrymy » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:13 am

I like Alec Baldwin as a TV actor. 30 Rock is one of my favorite shows alongside Twin Peaks, Mad Men, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Arrested Development. As a film actor, I'm indifferent. He's alright here, but there are much better places to give this award. His two Emmys are good enough for me.

Ken Watanabe is a wonderful character actor who needs more roles like this. That being said, this film is not great and I saw it as "Tom Cruise... IN ASIA!!!!: The Film Experience." Watanabe is the only person who seems to know what he's doing in the film. He's the standout, but not worthy of a nomination.

Where I like Ed Harris in The Hours, you seem to like Djimon Hounsou in In America. AIDS-ridden artist, "tragic homo/artist" as bizarre put it so well. I think he's merely serviceable, but Hounsou is so far overshadowed by Considine and Morton. Maybe it's the screenplay that allows for Hounsou's character to be more likable to you all. In Michael Cunningham's book, Richie Brown is so much more tragic than he appears in the film. So where do you all find Hounsou so much better?

del Toro and Robbins are the only two I'd nominate here.

As we said in the 2000 poll, del Toro is a wonderful actor who needs more major roles. He's great here in a film that's only held up by the good acting. He and Watts keep it all afloat.

But I find myself not sure what to say about the other nominees because Tim Robbins is my favorite winner of this decade and one of the most deserved ever in the category. Robbins has a quiet role so he doesn't get any criticism from me for yelling his way to an Oscar. His breakdown in the kitchen with Marcia Gay Harden is wonderful ("They took me on a four day ride" being a quote that still chills my bones). He's always believable and very tragic without going overboard and getting overdramatic. He makes us weep in his final scene with Penn when we realize all is gone. I really, really enjoy Mystic River more than most people. Robbins is the standout in the cast and fully deserved this award.

My picks
_____________________
1. Tim Robbins - Mystic River
2. Peter Sarsgaard - Shattered Glass
3. Bobby Cannavale - The Station Agent
4. Paul Bettany - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
5. Stellan Skarsgard - Dogville

6. It's too hard to pick a sixth nominee. There were so many good supporting performances this year. Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), Albert Finney (Big Fish), Eugene Levy (A Mighty Wind), and Tom Guiry (Mystic River) all are worthy as well.
Last edited by ksrymy on Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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