We are just three short weeks away from the Oscars. This is the time where things really get interesting, especially with the SAGs having just passed and the BAFTAs still to come. So this week we will be looking at the supporting acting categories, one of which has a big shoe-in, while the other remains way up in the air.
Best Supporting Actor:
Forty years after Sylvester Stallone originated the role of Rocky, he is now in prime standings to take home an award for his role in “Creed.” The tender, aged, and heartbreaking performance he gives was one of his finest performances ever, which firmly places him in the lead. That isn’t to say that Christian Bale (“The Big Short”) and Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”) don’t stand any chances—I would love it if Hardy won. Out of anybody, and despite my love for Rocky, I would honestly prefer it if Tom Hardy took home the trophy because he is a damn good actor who is finally starting to get a lot more recognition. As for Ruffalo, there was a time when I thought he might be fair game, but that has passed. Mark Rylance is the odd-duck in the category—someone like Idris Elba would have been a lot better—and diverse—than Rylance.
Best Supporting Actress:
This is the tricky category. All of the performances here are fantastic, but it is easy to cross off Rachel McAdams right away. While she is great, she did not quite standout—one of the aspects that made “Spotlight” work for itself, but not for standalone awards. Rooney Mara for “Carol” is a bit of a controversy considering she is, in fact, the main character since we see everything through her eyes, but due to the bogus Academy loopholes, you can submit anybody for anything—which means that someone more renowned like Cate Blanchett gets the main actor nom and not the supporting. Jennifer Jason Leigh in the “Hateful Eight” is sinister and wicked, a wholly unforgettable performance, so she ranks about 3rd in my books. The true battle comes down to a former winner and a newcomer—Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”) and Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”…but she should’ve also been up for Ex-Machina). These two performances have both won a hefty award—Winslet won the Globe and Vikander won the SAG. So it’s really up to the Academy if they want to honor someone old and essentially give them what I like to call a “You’re good…” award which basically means they acknowledge their greatness and— unless they really give a knockout performance again—they probably won’t win anymore, or if they want to give it to someone with a surely bright future ahead of them, one that will definitely lead her back to awards season. Time will tell.
Alright, next week we will cover Best Picture and Best Director—and then the next week will be my final predictions. We’re almost there.