THE CONTENDERS: The Supporting Actor


“I wish I knew how to quit you!” That’s the best way I can describe my completely (I promise) platonic relationship with this year’s Oscars. The truth is I can’t get enough. It’s like watching a car crash- or Tara Reid‘s career- on a loop. First off, the whole enterprise has crossed the line of ridiculousness. It’s not even the Academy’s fault. Or maybe it is. The ceremony isn’t until March; that’s three tiresome months of other obnoxious awards that, whether they like it or not, amount to nothing but another For Your Consideration plug.

The Broadcast Film Critics Awards are now on the WB! Are you kidding me? There’s about 478 too many award shows on TV as it is. It makes it all very confusing. But also very easy.

I don’t know if the Best Supporting Actor category is just easy to pick this year or if I’m just programmed by all the critic circles, the SAG nominations, the Globe nominations and lest I forget…The BFCA. Can’t forget that important set of jokers. Now, last time I ranted and pissed my diapers about how tough if it is to pin down some of this year’s Oscar races. But I have no room for complaint here since I’m pretty solid on the five Best Supporting Actor nominees this year.

Given that I probably won’t be telling anyone anything new at this point, I decided to first look at a few people whose performances I really liked this year but have absolutely no shot whatsoever at picking up the trophy, let alone getting nominated:

Pat Morita: He was in a Genghis Khan movie starring Richard Tyson as…Genghis Khan. Stop rubbing your eyes and no, that was not a typo. Richard Tyson is Genghis Khan. Absolute genius. How the hell have I not seen this movie yet? Now I loved The Karate Kid just as much as the next guy, probably even more. But you cannot expect Morita to overcome the fact that he’s dead. Not even Tom HanksForrest Gump era could overcome 6 feet of good American soil. Ain’t gonna happen, not this year and not on my watch.

Jamie Foxx: If Jarhead had caught on big with the critics, the guy is a shoe-in for a nomination. This brings me back to The Karate Kid. Remember when Daniel LaRusso bragged at how good he was at karate in the beginning of the movie? And then the Cobra-Kai came and whooped his ass in front of all of his new friends? Those cats didn’t want to hang out with Danny Boy after that debacle and the Academy doesn’t want to hang out with Foxx this year either.

Peter Sarsgaard: Another Jarhead, another nomination that won’t happen. The good news is he’s used to being critically acclaimed and award-less with stellar performances film after film (How he didn’t get nominated for his work in Shattered Glass I still can’t figure out). I doubt the Academy will lose any sleep this time either.

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Okay, I’m not one of these Serenity lunatics that escaped the asylum this year praising the movie to high-ends. As far as I’m concerned, Brad and Laremy are swell guys and I’m not about to turn them in. But I did enjoy the movie for what it was and a big reason was Ejiofor’s performance as the movie’s baddie. Like much of the film, it has some surprising depth. The Academy doesn’t normally do sci-fi, and definitely doesn’t do cult sci-fi.

Mickey Rourke: One of my very favorite’s of the year. Seriously, was there anybody that was more bad-ass on screen this year than Marv? Who can mess with Marv? Truly. The movie he’s in obviously hurts his chances. Sin City was way too cool and hip for the Academy.

Peter Stormare: He’s only in the underappreciated Constantine for about 10 minutes but they are probably the most insane 10 minutes of the year. I literally had to pinch myself to make sure I was actually in the theatre witnessing his version of Satan. I don’t think I need to go into any kind of explanation as to why his chances are nil. Also, there’s that rule the Academy has with Keanu movies…

Yu Ji-Tae: I totally screwed up in my Best Actor article by not giving a shot out to Choi Min-Sik for his tremendous work in Oldboy. I will not make the same mistake for Yoo Ji-Tae’s wicked and yet painful work. He and Ejiofar were two of this year’s best villains. Ultimately, I think the Academy is as confused as I am as to when Oldboy was actually released in the U.S.. Even still, it’s probably too dangerous a film to be considered.

Ciaran Hinds: This one kind of amazes me. He has no shot. No one is talking about him. Yet he was so damn good in Munich as Carl, the cleaner, the soul of the year’s best film, Chalk this one up as another broken-hearted snub in my book.

Will Ferrell: I know he got a Golden Globe nomination for The Producers but…is there anyone out there that seriously thinks this has an even remote chance of happening? If so, please turn yourself in. It’s easier this way, for you and your family. Your phone is probably already tapped and you might have noticed the rather suspicious-looking van that has been parked down the street for a month. It’s time.

Now let’s take a look at some actors who had some potential and buzz this year, but aren’t making the cut:

Ghassan Massoud: His impressive performance as Saladin, one of Kingdom of Heaven‘s most honorably-portrayed figures was majestic stuff. But he isn’t getting any buzz. He may have only 20th Century Fox to blame. The film was chopped up for a shorter running time and now that Ridley Scott‘s directors cut has been screened theatrically in the last few weeks, the consensus seems to be that the cuts were a very, very big mistake. The better the movie is, the more they will look at the actors.

Clifton Collins Jr.: His fine work as cold-blooded murderer Perry Smith got people talking this past year but he’s since faded. He could be one of the surprise nominations on January 31st, but as of now, it looks like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener are getting all the Capote buzz.

Frank Langella: Langella always has a commanding presence and he uses it in Good Night, and Good Luck. Count this as one that gets respect but ultimately passed over.

Ken Watanabe: He was solid in Memoirs of a Geisha, but that movie is dead. Forget it.

Don Cheadle: I liked his work in Crash, but, personally, I don’t get all the hubbub. Maybe I’m missing something but I’m pretty sure he isn’t the Crash co-star that gets nominated this year.

Bob Hoskins: I didn’t see Mrs. Henderson Presents but I’m starting to think I’m not the only one.

Michael Lonsdale: Here’s one Munich actor that is actually getting a little buzz. He is just aces as Papa. He effortlessly owns every minute he is on screen. The year may be too tight to see a nomination come to pass, though.

And now very quickly, here will be this year’s nominees:

Paul Giamatti:

Dear Paul Giamatti.

We are very sorry about what we did to you with that wine movie from last year. We somehow managed to nominate everyone else in the film except you (Even the retard from “Wings”!). If it helps any, hey, we can’t even believe what we did to you! It was like Marissa Tomei all over again. Only the complete opposite. But seriously, you were so damn good in Cinderella Man, we are not only going to nominate you, we may even decide to give it to you this year. Any chance you can help bring back Steven Webber’s career too? Ha ha! Just kidding.

The Academy

P.S. What’s the twist at the end of Lady In The Water? I want to look smart in front of my girlfriend. Peace Bra!

William Hurt: Yes, like Peter Stormare, he’s only in the movie for ten minutes. However, the movie was a major hit with the critics and Hurt has continued to get love for his role as a gangster ever since A History of Violence was released (Plus, no Keanu!). He hasn’t been this good, this entertaining since 1990’s I Love You To Death when he played hired assassin/stoner Harlan Williams, brother to Marlan Williams (ironically played by…Mr. Reeves).

Matt Dillon: I’m glad Dillon continued to get more and more support for his role as an angry and racist cop in Crash as the year went by. He is now a strong contender for a nomination and he deserves it. He gave the best performance in a very strong ensemble film.

Jake Gyllenhaal: Heath Ledger has gotten most of the buzz this year, but make no mistake, Jake Gyllenhaal is getting nominated for his role as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain. He gives a powerful and moving performance and this year it’s all about that porn mustache.

George Clooney: How can I pick George Clooney for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana when I already predicted he would be nominated for Best Actor in Syriana? Because I’m an idiot, that’s why.

So that about raps things up. Mr. Miyagi, you rest now. Daniel-San’s got this. Most likely the Cobra-Kai will come on January 31st when the real nominations are announced and collectively try to kick my ass all over the place with their karate-chops and no-mercy sweeps of the leg. But that’s okay, let ’em come. In the immortal words of Keanu…I know kung-fu.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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