Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees
Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Insider
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

A few months ago, this would have been a serious race between two of the contenders. Really, up until anyone with a Twitter or blog saw The Lovely Bones, Stanley Tucci was the major frontrunner to take the prize. After seeing that performance, I would argue strongly for his inclusion, but for his role in Julie & Julia instead. Due to the poor reviews for Peter Jackson’s horrendous film, Tucci will have to give up his leading place in the category to Mr Waltz.

Deservedly, Christoph Waltz is going to win this prize. By such a long distance is he the best of those nominated, it would be a farcical outcome for anyone else to take home the prize. Only Samuel L Jackson stands alongside Waltz in the pantheon of Tarantino films as an actor completely compatible with his dialogue. His imprint on the film is indelible and no one can compete.

Plummer’s nomination is probably deserved, but I’ve not seen his film. The lack of excitement around that film, however, excludes him from the running. Matt Damon is fine in Invictus, but it’s more about the actual character rather than the performance while Harrelson’s film won’t have been seen by nearly enough people for him to compete. It’s Waltz’s moment.

Predicted Winner: Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

6 responses

  1. Hello it’s me again. Been a long time but anyway, my vote for Best Supporting Actor, who I think should win/will probably win is Christopher Plummer in The Last Station; A – he plays a famous and important historical character in an acting-fest movie, B – Plummer is pretty old, hasn’t won before and has a long, distinguished filmography and C – even though Christoph Waltz is the best thing in Inglorious Basterds, I honestly don’t know how that film got nominated for any big awards, it’s entertaining and genuinely suspenseful but tasteless (wouldn’t take a WWII veteran to see it), daft, totally self-indulgent (all that interminable dialogue) and felt like another geeky Tarantino homage to the exploitation genre, not unlike Death Proof. Colonel Lander is a tongue-in-cheek uber-baddie and he’s played by a little-known foreign actor. Yes, Plummer winning makes more sense to me.

    Only Best Supporting Actor performance I haven’t seen is Woody Harrelson, The Messenger hasn’t come out and I don’t really do downloading (though I might for A Serious Man).

    1. Well I’ve not yet seen The Last Station, so I’ll be checking that out and have a bit of comment on that. On the upcoming Oscar podcast though, I do mention, as you suggest, that Plummer could end up winning, though it would be a major surprise. I think he’s a criminally underrated actor in an Oscar sense, but I don’t think he quite has the momentum to take him through to win.

      With Inglourious Basterds, I have taken a bit of a journey with that one. I was extremely underwhelmed the first time round, just felt it was a collection of scenes without much connecting them, as if Tarantino was just writing down everything he enjoyed the most about the idea and failing to actually bring it all together into a cohesive role. But on subsequent viewings, I’ve tried to look past any of those problems and embrace the joy that is obviously flowing through the film. I can’t agree with it being tasteless though. I think it would be foolish to suggest that any film exploring historical events (which this really isn’t attempting to be) should be palatable for everyone in the world. I think that a WW2 vet would probably be offended, but that is no reason to lambast a film outright, especially one which is so outrageous and unrealistic in its depiction of the time. It’s a film which is concerned, both in content and form, with movies, not history. And Waltz is incredible in the film, dude! That performance takes what you describe as a ‘tongue-in-cheek uber-baddie’ and turns it into a living, breathing, cunning monster. He is just a spectacular presence throughout.

  2. Oh he was excellent, but I see Plummer getting the elder statesman vote, notice how times old geezers have won Best Supporting Actor, Alan Arkin, James Coburn, Martin Landau, Jack Palance, Don Ameche, John Gielgud, George Burns and so on.

    I’ve only seen Inglourious Basterds once, when it came out. It was pretty pretty gripping in places and after it ended I thought it was a bit bizarre. I’m still quite surprised it got Oscar nominations just because of the kind of film it is.

    1. Fair cop. I do think that Plummer could nick it. John, inexplicably, went for Matt Damon on the podcast. Literally no idea how he came to that conclusion. I think though that he won’t win, partly because Waltz is better, but partly because the ‘owed’ Oscar this year will go to Bridges. They rarely do a couple of those a year.

  3. If Bridges does win, it won’t just be a “payback time” Oscar like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, he is very good in Crazy Heart, which is a character study so he has the advantage of screentime over Freeman. Crazy Heart is like this year’s The Wrestler.

    1. I’ve not seen it and I am told he is very good, but the movie sounds very standardised, very unoriginal. I think he is owed an Oscar though, he’s been pretty consistently great throughout his career and totally deserves a prize. I would like to see Firth win because he is just fantastic in A Single Man, but I know that is a long shot. I wouldn’t be fussed by a Bridges win though. Any of them deserve it.

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