Categories One-by-One: Supporting Actor

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Big Magilla
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Supporting Actor

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:00 am

Excellent analysis. I would add only that von Sydow got the loudest applause at the Academy luncheon which might suggest that the race between him and Plummer is a lot closer than it would seem.

I would be fine with a Plummer win, though he should have gotten it for The Insider. I would be happy with a surprise win for Nick Nolte, but I would be really happy with a win for von Sydow whose expressive face has never been better used.

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Categories One-by-One: Supporting Actor

Postby dws1982 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:11 pm

I had a long post made out earlier but I had been logged out before I posted it.

This is the one acting category where I've seen all five nominees. I still need to see one more in Supporting Actress and Actor, although they're both probably the least likely to win in those categories. And in a large number of tech categories, I'm just missing one nominee. But this is one category I can help Mister Tee with. (Adapted Screenplay is another, but I'll wait on the Writers Guild to weigh in.)

I'd eliminate Jonah Hill first. Hill and Brad Pitt made a pretty good duo, and they played off of each other really well, but I don't think this role has the kind of weight the voters usually look for in this category. I was about to ask, "When was the last time the youngest nominee actually won this category?" until I realized the answer to that question is last year, but Hill is pretty young by the standards of this category, and he hasn't really been taken seriously as an actor before Moneyball. Maybe if he continues down this path, he'll be back with a stronger shot, but this isn't his year.

I don't think Kenneth Branagh has much chance either. Branagh now has five nominations (in five different categories--probably a pretty rare feat), but I don't think anyone is seeing him as due for an Oscar. Two reasons for this, I think: 1) Branagh's last nomination was fifteen years ago, and he hasn't been a major film presence since then; and 2) Branagh's nominations are in, as I mentioned above, five different categories, only one of which was acting, so he hasn't really gotten a reputation for being someone who is continually passed over. Plus, there's the fact that My Week With Marilyn was a pretty big box-office bomb, never really got any momentum outside of the performances. And to be honest, as cool as the idea of Branagh playing Olivier is, there isn't a whole lot to his performance in My Week With Marilyn. Not really his fault--the film and the characters in it are so awe-struck with Marilyn Monroe that they don't really have much to work with--but I don't think it's going to get him an Oscar.

Nick Nolte is very good in Warrior, but I don't think there was ever really any momentum to put him in the thick of this race. It's his third nomination, and he's getting on up there, but I don't really see him making a play for the Oscar.

Max von Sydow seems like the one who could upset, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close definitely has some fans in the Academy. But I think some people are going to be surprised by how little he has to do in the movie. He does it very effectively, but I think that's more the fact that it's Max von Sydow, an actor who I've seen in movies ranging nearly 60 years now, his face full of a lifetime of wisdom and experience. The role itself doesn't offer anything close to what von Sydow is capable of--I would've preferred his late-career Supporting nod be for Snow Falling On Cedars or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. von Sydow is a great actor, and some of his scenes are pretty moving, but you can only do so much playing a literary conceit, which is emblematic of the basic dilemma facing Extremely Loud... as a whole.

Plummer seems to be mostly running unopposed. The only other supporting actor with any major critical heat wasn't even nominated, and I doubt it would make much difference if he had been. I wouldn't say that Plummer is going for a career award--he's worked with some major filmmakers, but usually not on their major works--but it may be more like a longevity award. He's been around forever, and this is his gold watch. But, I don't have a problem with that. I loved Plummer's balance between comedic and dramatic--never too cutesy on the comedy, and without playing up the sad elements too much. Plummer's Hal is someone who has finally reached a point where he's at peace with his life--not the most exciting dramatic arc, maybe, but he did it with grace. I'll be happy to applaud his win.

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