Follow us on

Oscar Contest - Category Highlight - Supporting Acting Roles

February 19th, 2009

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 Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting, but they including supporting roles, lead roles, or even part of a cast.)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Amy Adams for Doubt
Tomatometer Score: 77% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Golden Globe and Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, one Golden Globe, one SAG, and one Independent Spirit Award,
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Amy Adams is going to have a tough time winning an Oscar for her performance in this film. Doubt is not the biggest movie on this list, it didn't earn the best reviews, and she has direct competition from one of her co-stars. I think she'll get an Oscar eventually, but not this year.

Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Tomatometer Score: 82% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Golden Globe, SAG, and Independent Spirit Awards
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, one Golden Globe, and One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Another underdog, as this film earned reviews that were great, but not above the 90% level I usually associate with Oscar worthy. Also, the film is more comedic than the others on this list, and while I truly believe comedy is harder than drama, Awards Season voters tend to disagree.

Viola Davis for Doubt
Tomatometer Score: 77% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: One Golden Globe and Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: See Amy Adams above, except Viola Davis doesn't have as many previous nominations, and that means she is even less likely to win this time around.

Taraji P. Henson for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Tomatometer Score: 71% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Not the best movie on this list, but the biggest. This could give Taraji P. Henson an advantage over her co-nominees. Also helping her out is the total number of Oscar nominations The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has received, and since it is not a favorite to win many of them, Oscar voters might try and make sure the film isn't completely shut out.

Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: One Golden Globe
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two Oscars, one Golden Globe, one SAG, and one Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar
Notes: Not the biggest movie on this list, but the best. Also, Marisa Tomei is the only previous Oscar winner on this list. I'm not saying she's going to win, but she does have some advantages. On the other hand, Mickey Rourke is earning 90% of the buzz on this film, which could overshadow Marisa Tomei and that could cost her her second Oscar.

Conclusion: Like last year, this is a tight category, as none of the five actresses can be considered runaway favorites, nor can any of them be considered out of the running. The winner of the Golden Globe and SAG awards was not even nominated for an Oscar, at least not for a Supporting Role, so it is wide open. I think it's a race between Marisa Tomei and Taraji P. Henson, and I'm giving the latter a slight advantage.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Josh Brolin for Milk
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One SAG
Notes: No. Great movie, strong box office performance, it's a BioPic and Oscar voters tend to like those... This movie has a lot going for it, but everything suggests it's Heath Ledger's year.

Robert Downey, Jr for Tropic Thunder
Tomatometer Score: 83% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Golden Globe and SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, three Golden Globes, and three SAG (including two for TV)
Actor's Previous Major Wins: Two Golden Globe, and one SAG (for TV)
Notes: No. It's a comedy. It's not even a particularly dramatic comedy. I can't imagine a lot of the Oscar voters, especially the older ones, giving this film the award over others on this list. Robert Downey, Jr has the talent to win an Oscar, just not this year.

Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt
Tomatometer Score: 77% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Golden Globe and two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Three Oscars, three Golden Globes, four Independent Spirit Awards, and six SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar, one Golden Globe, three Independent Spirit Awards, and one SAG
Notes: No. While this is truly an actor's movie, it doesn't have strong enough reviews to be an Oscar favorite. Also, Philip Seymour Hoffman is a previous winner who has been passed over for roles in movies that were better than this one.

Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Tomatometer Score: 94% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: Golden Globe and SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: Golden Globe and SAG
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, one Golden Globe, two Independent Spirit Awards, and two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Yes. Not only is The Dark Knight one of the best movies of the year, not only is it one of the biggest box office hits of all time, but Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker was generating buzz since before the film was finished. And then there's the psychology of the awards. Voters are only human, and many of them think, "If they don't win this year, they'll have another chance." This is why a lot of younger nominees get passed over. However, with the tragic death of Heath Ledger, there will be no next time for the actor, which does increase his chances of winning here. This has been true of every major award he's been nominated for (and most of the secondary awards as well).

Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road
Tomatometer Score: 71% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins for This Performance: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: No. The movie didn't live up to the buzz, and the actor has no previous major nominations, not for this role, not in his career.

Conclusion: One of the least competitive categories this year. If Heath Ledger doesn't win, there will be people who will think the fix is in.

Prize Highlights With each category highlight, we will also take a look at the prizes we will be giving away for the Oscar Prediction contest, as well as some of the prizes we will have when our regular Box Office Prediction contests start back up after the Oscars.

Today we look at Dragon Immortal on DVD. This 3-disc set has 10 Bruceploitation that were made after the untimely death of Bruce Lee. Like any genre with the suffix, "-ploitation", these are not award-worthy movies, but they certainly have a camp appeal to them. This set includes the multi-Bruceploitation star power of The Clones of Bruce Lee, as well as the animation of The Chinese Gods, and the pure "What was that?" of Bruce Against Superman. ... Actually, all of the movies have a healthy dose of "What was that?"

-

Filed under: The Dark Knight, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Tropic Thunder, Doubt, Milk, The Wrestler, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Revolutionary Road