Best Supporting Actor 2004

1998 through 2007

Best Supporting Actor 2004

Alan Alda - The Aviator
No votes
Thomas Haden Church - Sideways
Jamie Foxx - Collateral
Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby
Clive Owen - Closer
Total votes: 37

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby flipp525 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:39 am

bizarre wrote:4. Terry Crews ... White Chicks

An excellent comedic performance and an inspired pick. Nice!
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:25 pm

In total-universe terms, my favorite alternate would be Paul Bettany, for his seemingly kind yet deeply destructive villain in Dogville. In Oscar-universe terms, I lamented the second consecutive exclusion of Peter Sarsgaard, who unfortunately suffered from the baffling awards collapse of Kinsey.

I was surprised when Alan Alda was nominated, both because he hadn't made a dent in the precursors, and because I didn't think he made much of an impression the first time I saw The Aviator. But when I revisited the film a couple years later, knowing he was a nominee, I realized he had a lot more to do than I'd initially noticed. He clearly is having a great time playing a villainous but still believably human character, and he makes for a prickly foil for Howard Hughes. Certainly not a winner, but more than just a you-were-in-the-movie-too mention.

When I saw Collateral that summer, I definitely didn't view Foxx's work as Oscar territory, but I thought he was very entertaining -- grippingly stressed-out while also managing to be very funny. Of course, categorizing him as a supporting actor is beyond ludicrous, and I agree with those who feel that if the Ray juggernaut hadn't happened in the same year, this probably wouldn't have been an Oscar-nominated performance.

I truly loathed Closer, a totally hollow vehicle full of faux-edgy dialogue that I didn't find very clever or profound at all. BUT...I did think Clive Owen was the sole element of distinction from the movie, delivering a brutal, deeply felt performance that also had a wicked sense of humor. I'm not tempted to vote for a performance in service of a movie I so disliked, but he certainly merited this mention.

Morgan Freeman was just wonderful in Million Dollar Baby, in a role that allows him to be wise, gentle, and good-humored. He's the perfect narrator for this story, and manages to create interesting bonds with both Eastwood and Swank's characters. He's such a generous actor here -- ceding important beats to his costars yet still managing creating a layered character from outside the center ring (to use a boxing metaphor). He's a great actor doing what the best supporting actors do, and I was thrilled to see him finally win an Oscar and a well-earned standing ovation.

But, with the knowledge that I could have made Freeman an Oscar-winner earlier, I'm going to vote in literal terms and pick Thomas Haden Church as the best supporting actor of THIS year. I think his character is so funny in Sideways, delivering so many wonderful lines with a hilarious lack of self-awareness. ("You don't understand my plight" is probably my favorite.) And as Mister Tee suggests, he makes Jack a total douche but also one the audience can't help but love. For me, Church's work ranks alongside the best of all of those great comic second banana character types, and he and Giamatti have great buddy chemistry together. A wonderfully funny, inspired performance, and my winner this year.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:02 pm

Petr Sarsgaard had apparently his last shot at Academy notice here, and they didn't bite. Not a knockout performance, but solid enough, and better than, say, Jamie Foxx's redundant nod. I was more enthused about Mark Wahlberg's "Look: I can actually act" breakthrough in Huckabee's.

Alan Alda was a classic best picture centrifugal-force nominee. But I've been a fan of his since MASH days, and liked his work here enough to salute him (if not vote for him).

I wasn't wild about Closer onstage, but at least there it didn't have the overlay of doom that seemed to shroud this wrong-headed film vrsion. In the theatre, the Internet seduction between the two guys was hilarious; on screen it didn't draw a snicker and just felt creepy. In among all that, Clive Owen did make a solid showing, and kick off a film career (though one that's still not bearing enough fruit). I endorse the nomination, but move down the ballot without marking his name.

Morgan Freeman of course deserves to have an Oscar, and this is a perfectly appropriate place for him to have won one: a solid, dimensional role in a very strong movie. I applauded his selection with great enthusiasm.

But, left to my own taste, I choose Thomas Haden Church, who absolutely knocked me out in Sideways. I'd never seen Wings, so he was a completely new face to me. I think he gives one of great comic performances of the new milennium. His character's utter lack of scruple is appalling but, at the same time, somehow refreshing -- you can sense why Miles keeps hanging around with him despite their differences. And, throughout, he's just so damn funny.

I don't think there's any wide quality gap between Church and Freeman; it may be partly my preference for Sideways as a film that wins me over to the Church side. But that's where I end up, casting my vote for him.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby bizarre » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:48 pm

I've only seen Alda and Haden Church so I won't vote. Alda's nomination was a nice surprise - on revisit he's a nicely tart presence in the film. But he doesn't really stand out from the film's large ensemble in a way that would make you expect a nomination.

Haden Church is funny but the role is limited - and so is his performance.

Closest to nominations were probably David Carradine (Kill Bill: Vol. 2) and Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland), with James Garner (The Notebook), Peter Sarsgaard (Kinsey) and Rodrigo de la Serna (The Motorcycle Diaries) whispered as upset possibilities. Of those I've seen - Carraine, Sarsgaard and de la Serna - I wasn't really impressed. Carradine's is a showcased role and a performance that you expect to be good... but it is uninspiring. Sarsgaard is quite an inert presence until one incongruous shouting scene. Not nomination material. de la Serna is horribly indulgent in one of the hugest bores to ever cross over the AMPAS language barrier.

This is my strange lineup:

1. Philippe Torreton ... The Light
2. John Lithgow ... Kinsey
3. Nick Nolte ... Clean
4. Terry Crews ... White Chicks
5. Faramarz Gharibian ... Beautiful City

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:25 pm

Foxx is far better in Collateral (still his best performance) than in the execrable Ray, but he's no less a lead in the former than in the latter, and Alda does commendable work in a fine little role, but that shouldn't have quite been enough for a nomination in this relatively good year. I'm voting for Church, but could just as easily go for Freeman; both guys give borderline-great performances in borderline-great movies. Owen is in a not-terribly-good movie, but gives a more-than-borderline-great performance; he's the best of the category, but by my reckoning all four main characters in Closer are leads, and that's where Owen should have been nominated.

My ballot:
1. David Carradine (Kill Bill, Volume 2)
2. Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
3. Tim McGraw (Friday Night Lights)
4. Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
5. Mark Wahlberg (I Heart Huckabees)

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 am

Replace Jamie Foxx with Peter Sarsgaard in Kinsey and you have a decent line-up, but none are a threat to Morgan Freeman in a classic supporting role in Million Dollar Baby. Her easily gets my vote.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby mlrg » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:50 am

Clive Owen - Closer

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby Reza » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:09 am

Voted for Clive Owen.

My picks for 2004:

1. Clive Owen, Closer
2. Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
3. Thomas Hayden Church, Sideways
4. Massimo Girotti, Facing Windows
5. Jeremy Irons, The Merchant of Venice

The 6th Spot: Peter Saarsgaard, Kinsey

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby Sabin » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:53 am

It’s always strange to me when it’s clearly a chore for the Academy to select five gentlemen for this category. It happens more often than it should. This year saw three solid locks for nominations: Clive Owen, Thomas Haden Church, and Morgan Freeman. I’m not much a fan of Closer or Clive Owen in it, but he’s a good actor who deserves a nomination. Aside from the fact that I find everything in Closer as fake as Owen's teeth, I can't really complain. Likewise, Morgan Freeman deserves an Oscar, and he’s a lot of fun in Million Dollar Baby, so why not give him his due here? Ultimately of the nominees, I must side with Thomas Haden Church for Sideways, a movie that went from Oscar frontrunner to clear afterthought a minute or two before the film failed nominations for Giamatti and Film Editing. But THC’s horn-doggedness remains adorably one-dimensional mostly throughout the movie. Despite advanced buzz, the star of Ned and Stacy and Wings was never going to win an Oscar for a movie the Academy clearly didn’t like very much, but he’s my only choice here.

Shoehorning Jamie Foxx into a supporting lineup only cemented his Ray victory more than was already predestined. The irony is that he’s much better in Collateral, and indeed my runner-up pick of the nominees. He’s too full of ego now to accept a role like this again. Jamie Foxx may be the kind of actor who should never have gotten close to an Oscar, and doubtlessly were Ray to remain a twinkle in Taylor Hackford’s eye, he never would have gotten close to a nomination for Michael Mann’s L.A.-noir. But while it’s a case of visible category fraudulence, he’s very strong.

From there, it was a crapshoot to find someone. The Golden Globes gave it to David Carradine, who was the saving grace of the immensely disappointing Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Yikes, what a comedown! But he (and Michael Madsen) did good work, and Carradine had some pretty incredible speeches later on. That would be reliant upon voters making it through the entire film though, which in retrospect was never going to happen. They could have gone for James Garner, the Screen Actor’s Guild’s choice for aging TV star in a plumb role for The Notebook. I’ve still yet to endure that film, so I cannot comment on it, but it sure looks like the kind of thing that gives you hives just being around it. Speaking of hives, Freddie Highmore in Finding Neverland. I’m not sure I hated this kid more than I hated anything else in Finding Neverland, but he did about as little as any child has ever had to do in any movie, and rumors of his nomination baffled me. So instead, they found their own old man and gave Alan Alda a career nomination that had evaded him for ages. And although he doesn’t have much to do in The Aviator, he’s very good. Alda is clearly having a field day playing this conservative hypocrite, whom I heard he referred to as “just the ugliest guy I’ve ever seen.” There’s just not quite enough to warrant a vote, but for this kind of Oscar epic-tagalong, he certainly adds some juice to The Aviator late in the game.

A moment’s recognition for the Chlotrudis Awards who gave Mark Wahlberg his one citation for one of the funniest meltdown performances of all time in I [Heart] Huckabees.

Best Supporting Actor
1. Mark Wahlberg, I Heart Huckabees
2. Paul Bettany, Dogville
3. Liev Schreiber, The Manchurican Candidate
4. Phil Davis, Vera Drake
5. Willem DaFoe, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
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Best Supporting Actor 2004

Postby ksrymy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:05 am

Three of these actors deserved their nominations, one deserved one for another film in a different year, and one has never deserved one.

Alan Alda deserved a nomination for Crimes and Misdemeanors and Jamie Foxx has done nothing to merit a nomination in my eyes.

I liked Thomas Haden Church when my roommate and I made our way through Wings on Netflix. He was very funny there and it made its way into Alexander Payne's Sideways. He's amoral, looking for one last dip in someone else's pond, and will do just that with the find person he finds. He's not sympathetic, but he care for him. His little bedroom breakdown scene is realistic but just doesn't do it for me.

Clive Owen is an actor I have always liked. I wish he would have stayed with more roles like this one instead of becoming an action movie hero. He upstages Jude Law in Mike Nichols' film and his line deliveries are right on cue. His confrontation with Julia Roberts about Law's character is often-cited but very worthwhile. "Is he a good fuck?" is very memorable and well-delivered. I can only hope Owen gets back to roles like these.

But here is the first and only time, so far, that I can honor Morgan Freeman. 'Scrap-Iron' Dupris is probably Freeman's best role to date. He's allowed to escape his "holyfuckingshitMorganFreemanisthecoolestpersonintheworld" persona that he has taken since Jack Nicholson's departure from the film scene. He gets to be Clint Eastwood's checks-and-balances as he was in Unforgiven, but he is given a much larger, more effective part. I remember seeing this film when I was in seventh grade and being blown away by how much I could like a "big kid film." Freeman has the worn-out look about him that really makes Dupris a believable character. He's the superego to Eastwood's id. He easily gets my vote this year.

My picks
1) Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby
2) Clive Owen - Closer
3) Peter Sarsgaard - Kinsey
4) David Carradine - Kill Bill Vol. 2
5) Thomas Haden Church - Sideways

6) Alan Alda - The Aviator
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