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2016 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Supporting Actor

February 15th, 2017

Moonlight

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 Supporting Actor. Unlike a lot of other categories, this one could be a real race. We’ve had three previous awards ceremonies and three different winners, one of whom didn’t even get an Oscar nomination. I do have a personal favorite, but I fear my judgment is clouded as a result.

(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

Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAGs, Golden Globe, and BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAGs
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One SAG
Notes: Mahershala Ali is one of three previous winners picking up a SAG for Best Supporting Actor. Actually he won two SAGs, as he also earned one for Best Ensemble for Hidden Figures. I don’t know if this win helps or hurts him when it comes to the Oscars. He’s my favorite to win, so I’m a little concerned my personal bias is clouding my judgment. I think he’s the also the favorite to win, but it could be a close race.

Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG, Golden Globe, and BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Six Oscars, Two BAFTAs, Four Golden Globes, Three Independent Spirit Awards, and Four SAGs
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, One Independent Spirit Award, and One SAG
Notes: While Jeff Bridges has earned three major nominations for his performance, he hasn’t converted any of them into wins. Furthermore, he won an Oscar recently, so that hurts his chances of winning this year.

Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea
Tomatometer Score: 96% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAGs and Independent Spirit Award
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This is arguably Lucas Hedges' first major role and he’s under 20 years old. Oscar voters rarely give awards to young actors who have a breakout performance like this. Most assume they will have plenty of chances to give them an Oscar later.

Dev Patel for Lion
Tomatometer Score: 86% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG, Golden Globe, and BAFTA
Movie's Previous Major Wins: BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One BAFTA and Two SAGs
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One SAG
Notes: Dev Patel had breakout success with Slumdog Millionaire, but didn’t win any major awards. This time around, he picked up a BAFTA, so his chances of winning the Oscar are slightly better. If he wins, I wouldn’t be really surprised, but I don’t think he’s the favorite.

Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals
Tomatometer Score: 73% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: None
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar. One Golden Globe, Three Independent Spirit Awards, and One SAG
Actress's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: I like Michael Shannon, but his nomination was one of the bigger surprises. He’s got almost no chance of winning the Oscar. Hopefully he will get another chance soon.

Conclusion: Mahershala Ali for his performance in Moonlight Is mostly likely to win. I think he’s a two-to-one favorite over Dev Patel, while the rest of the competition have about a combined 10% chance of winning.


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Filed under: Awards Season, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Nocturnal Animals, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Jeff Bridges, Dev Patel, Michael Shannon, Lucas Hedges, Mahershala Ali