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Oscar Contest: Category Highlight: Best Supporting Actor

February 13th, 2011

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. This weekend we will look at the four acting categories, with Best Supporting Actor, which is a two-horse race, if you want to be very generous.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting and not other categories. However, they are for supporting and lead acting.)

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale for The Fighter
Tomatometer Score: 90% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG and Golden Globe
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award and One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: With two wins under his belt already, Christian Bale seems like a lock for his first Oscar win. His main competition has already won an Oscar, so it is unlikely there will be a Lifetime Achievement Award handed out in this category. This is not the least competitive acting category this year, but it is close.

John Hawkes for Winter's Bone
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards and SAG
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: While John Hawkes gave an amazing performance in one of the best movies of the year, he is still a very long shot to win here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Christian Bale has been winning everything. Secondly, John Hawkes was passed over at the Golden Globe nominations this year, while the Independent Spirit Awards are the least predictive of the major Awards we track. Thirdly, Winter's Bone is the smallest film on this list. Finally, John Hawkes does not have a track record of Awards Season success.

Jeremy Renner for The Town
Tomatometer Score: 94% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two Independent Spirit Awards, Two SAGs, and One Oscar
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This film earned amazing reviews, but it was nearly ignored during awards season. This could turn out to be in Jeremy Renner's favor, as the voters might think to themselves, 'This film deserves at least one win, and since this is the only category it is nominated it...' On the other hand, this was also true of the previous Awards ceremonies, and he still went home empty handed then, plus you have to take into account Christian Bale's winning streak. I think The Town just peaked too soon when it came to Awards Season buzz and by the time votes were actually being cast, it was mostly forgotten.

Mark Ruffalo for The Kids are All Right
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards and Two SAGs
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Wrong genre, no previous wins, lack of history of success during Awards Season. Everything adds up to a major long shot.

Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech
Tomatometer Score: 95% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG and One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Five SAGs, Three Golden Globes, and Three Oscars
Actor's Previous Major Wins: Two SAGs, One Golden Globe, and One Oscar
Notes: If anyone is going to stop Christian Bale, its Geoffrey Rush. The film is amazing, it could be The King's Speech's night, leading to a (nearly) clean sweep, and Geoffrey Rush does have previous Awards Season success. That said, Christian Bale has won almost all of the previous major awards he's been nominated for (Geoffrey Rush won the SAG as part of the ensemble cast) and that's hard to ignore.

Conclusion: At best, this is a two horse race between Christian Bale and Geoffrey Rush, but Christian Bale very likely has a better chance of winning than the rest of the field combined.


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Filed under: The Fighter, The Town, The Kids Are All Right, Winter's Bone, The King’s Speech