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Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Supporting Actor

Click here for my introduction


  • Alan Arkin (Argo)
  • Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  • Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
  • Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

For the first time ever, we have an acting category full of past winners. Who will win their second (or third) Oscar?

ALAN ARKIN: [PREVIOUS WIN: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)] Argo deserves to be nominated and win essentially every single award this year, but Best Supporting Actor is not one of them. Alan Arkin is great at playing himself, but there was nothing nuanced about his Argo performance- especially compared to his Oscar-winning performance for Little Miss Sunshine. The four main actors are good in Argo but none of the four really deserve any nominations (for acting at least).
ROBERT DE NIRO: [PREVIOUS WINS: Raging Bull (1980), The Godfather, Part II (1974)] I loved De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook. We all know how great of an actor De Niro is but he hasn't really tried since Casino. In De Niro’s defense, he already had set himself up as one of the greatest actors ever; however, seeing him take every script come his way was just frustrating. In SLP, De Niro plays a man who suffers from OCD and is an obsessive gambler on his Philadelphia Eagles. Maybe I’m like Hollywood and am a sucker for actors who play characters with disabilities but De Niro was excellent and I have no problem if De Niro won another Oscar. I can't really decide if De Niro deserves to win the Oscar or it should be... 
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN: [PREVIOUS WIN: Capote (2005)] Was there ever any doubt in your mind that Philip Seymour in a role written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson would not be outstanding? Hoffman plays a charismatic man whose writing has allowed him to create a cult following- pun intended. Whatever flaws there are with the script or with how the film is edited, Hoffman gives an incredible performance that allows you to sympathize with him and hate him at the same time.
TOMMY LEE JONES: [PREVIOUS WIN: The Fugitive (1993)] Jones won the award for most screen time by a male next to Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln so I guess he also gets all the nominations as well. Tommy Lee Jones read the lines like he was supposed to, but like most of the actors who starred in Lincoln, he doesn't create a true character. 
CHRISTOPH WALTZ: [PREVIOUS WIN: Inglourious Basterds (2009)] I loved, loved, loved Waltz’ performance in Django. Despite the movie being set in the 19th Century in America, Dr. King Shultz was a role that Quentin Tarantino clearly wrote for Waltz and a role Waltz performs beautifully. Especially after recently seeing Inglourious Basterds and seeing Waltz’ perform a completely different character as S.S. Col. Hans Landa, Waltz’ performance in Django Unchained is a treat. My only qualms is that Waltz is clearly a co-lead in the movie with Jamie Foxx and he clearly is not “supporting”. DiCaprio has the supporting role and deserved to get the nomination here. 


  • Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
  • Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  • Michael Shannon (Premium Rush)
  • Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Jeff Daniels (Looper)
  • Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)
  • Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)


  • WHO SHOULD WIN (OSCAR FIELD): Hoffman or De Niro
  • WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE FIELD): Hoffman or De Niro
  • WHO WILL WIN: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)


Since I already talked about DiCaprio, De Niro, and Hoffman in my "My Thoughts" section, I'll dedicate this section to Michael Shannon. Shannon has spent years playing "that creepy guy"and that has manifested in him playing the villain so damn well. He finally got his mainstream break playing an IRS agent (yet still the antagonist) in HBO's Boardwalk Empire. There is a scene early on in the series where Shannon is sitting opposite of the show's lead Steve Buscemi and you couldn't help noticing that Michael Shannon is Steve Buscemi 2.0- a great and talented actor who seemed pigeon-holed playing the creepy, supporting role. While Buscemi has finally gotten roles and nominations in a "lead" category, Shannon is still relegated to playing the supporting role. However, he's so good at it. He plays a great bad guy in the surprisingly good Premium Rush and I can't wait to see him play an iconic villain this summer as General Zod in the upcoming Man of Steel this summer.


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