Monday, January 23, 2012

Best Supporting Actor/Actress Nomination Predictions (Courtesy of Someone Who Has Seen 4 Movies from 2011)


KENNETH BRANAGH, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN - As I have noted before, playing a famous person well is always a good way to get yourself nominated (Branagh plays acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier).  See also Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio.  Branagh has been under the radar as an actor for years although he did surprisingly direct one of 2011's biggest box office hits: Thor, an odd choice for a man known more for Shakespeare than comic books.

ALBERT BROOKS, DRIVE - Now here is a man that I would like to see win an Oscar. Nominated only once for supporting actor in 1987's Broadcast News (which he should have won over Sean Connery for The Untouchables), he really has deserved much more praise not only for his acting, but also his directing and especially his writing of quirky, neurotic comedies such as Modern Romance, Lost in America, and Defending Your Life.  How interesting that he was chosen as a villain in Drive.  Can't wait to see the movie...

JONAH HILL, MONEYBALL - I have been a Hill fan since his cameo in The 40-Year-Old Virgin as the young man with a passion for disco boots with fish-filled heels, and that love has only grown through his subsequent work with Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Funny People, Superbad).  He was an inspired choice to play a quiet, nerdy baseball numbers cruncher in Moneyball, but he might have to settle for a nomination because the role is underplayed (albeit brilliantly), which tends to get overlooked when the final votes are cast.

NICK NOLTE, THE FIGHTER - This is definitely the fifth slot (I am doing all of these alphabetically if you did not happen to notice).  I don't know if enough voters bothered to see The Fighter, but Nolte is an Academy favorite with two previous nominations, and I don't see much love for Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud (although perhaps I should go with him in light of my famous person theory) in A Dangerous Method or for Armie Hammer as J. Edgar's assistant/more than assistant (?) in that film.

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, BEGINNERS - One of the great theater actors of all time has not gotten as many juicy roles on screen as he has had on stage.  Yet, Plummer has worked steadily in film for over 50 years, and now that he has become an octogenarian, he is getting awards attention.  His first Oscar nomination came two years ago for playing Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station and now he is a front runner for his role as a gay man coming out of the closet in the twilight of his life.


BERENICE BEJO, THE ARTIST - With one of the year's most delightful performances, Bejo really should be nominated as a leading actress, but being labeled "supporting" could help her steal a win in a field of mostly unknowns.  She has perhaps the scene of the year where her character, a wide-eyed ingenue, sneaks into to the dressing room of her acting idol and slips an arm into his his coat on a coat rack, slowly mimicking an embrace.

JESSICA CHASTAIN, THE HELP - The Michael Fassbender of the women this year.  Chastain has come from nowhere to play a large role in four major films in 2011: The Help, The Debt, Take Shelter, and The Tree of Life.  Some say that The Help is the least impressive of her four performances, but it is the film that has garnered the most attention and therefore, she'll be recognized for this one.

JANET MCTEER, ALBERT NOBBS - The only one of these five who has been nominated before, the little-known McTeer is a British actress best known for her role in Tumbleweeds, which isn't saying much because no one saw Tumbleweeds.  Here, in Albert Nobbs with Glenn Close, she also plays a woman posing as a man and should get a nod for all the reasons Close should get a nod.

OCTAVIA SPENCER, THE HELP -The possible front-runner after her Golden Globe win, Spencer is someone who could kindly be referred to as a character actress although "extra" is perhaps more accurate given her most high-profile role prior to The Help was a prostitute with three (awesome) lines in Bad Santa.  The Academy likes newcomers for the supporting awards so I think she has a good chance.

SHAILEEN WOODLEY, THE DESCENDANTS - Yes, the star of the ABC Family hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager, a show so bad that it gets weekly attention on The Soup, may get an Academy Award nomination.  But, then it is back to fourth season of TSLOTAT for Woodley.  Unfortunately for her, popular TV shows, even on cable, pay more than independent films.


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