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2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Supporting Actor

February 12th, 2015

Whiplash poster

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at the two supporting actor categories, finishing with Best Supporting Actor. Like the Best Supporting Actress category, Best Supporting Actor isn't even close and one of the five nominees is absolutely running away with things.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting and not other categories. However, they are for supporting and lead acting. Previous awards and nominations are not for TV roles, on the other hand. )

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall for The Judge
Tomatometer Score: 47% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Six Oscars, Three Golden Globes, Three BAFTAs, Five SAGs, and Three Independent Spirit Awards
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Oscars, Two Golden Globes, One BAFTA, One SAG, and One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: A great performance in a bad movie rarely results in an Oscar win. Perhaps if Robert Duvall had never won an Oscar, he could have won based on his "lifetime achievement", but that is not the case and he is likely the longest of the long shots.

Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscars and One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Boyhood is one of the best movies of 2014 and it is expected to be one of the big winners on Oscar night. This could help Ethan Hawke win this Oscar if it is part of a wave, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Edward Norton for Birdman
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two Oscars, One Golden Globe, One BAFTA, One SAG, and One Independent Spirit Awards
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Golden Globe
Notes: See above. Basically, Edward Norton could win, but only if Birdman is the big winner and he catches the wave. It is not likely.

Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
Tomatometer Score: 88% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One BAFTA, Two SAGs, and Two Independent Spirit Awards
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Most people didn't think Mark Ruffalo had the best performance in Foxcatcher and was overshadowed by Steve Carell. I think this will cost him any chance to win.

J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globes (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: J.K. Simmons has been nominated in every Awards Season groups we watch and so far he's won every one of them. He is considered the overwhelming favorite to win the Oscar. This is great news in my opinion, because frankly, I can't remember the last time I saw him in a movie and he wasn't great; even in movies that are not good overall, he elevates the material. Yet he's never been nominated for a major award before.

Conclusion: J.K. Simmons is the overwhelming favorite and the one I'm cheering for the most. I'm happy when those two align.


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Filed under: Awards Season, The Judge, Foxcatcher, Boyhood, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Whiplash, Ethan Hawke, Steve Carell, Robert Duvall, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo, J.K. Simmons