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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014 Oscar Preview: Best Supporting Actor

- Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
- Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)

SHOULD BE HERE: James Franco (Spring Breakers)

Franco might not have gotten a nomination anyways because I can't imagine many people in the Academy even saw (or attempted to see) Spring Breakers, but since his performance as Oscar host a few years back was so bad, he's probably never getting a nomination again. It's a shame too, because when he actually tries and doesn't mail in performances, like when he portrayed the gangster Alien in Spring Breakers, he can be the best actor on the planet. James Franco has the acting chops to fill the void that Philip Seymour Hoffman has unfortunately left behind, but only if Franco continues to make bold and wonderful acting choices like he did in this Harmony Korine picture. James Franco is easily the best part of this pretentious film, and probably did some of, if not THE best, acting of 2013.

However, out of the actors that did have a legitimate shot, I think either Will Forte or Stacy Keach (mainly Forte) from Nebraska should be here. It's crazy to me to think that very few people other than Will Forte could have done what he did.


BARKHAD ADBI: Captain Phillips doesn't work if you don't believe that Somali pirates will actually do serious harm to the crew of Tom Hanks' ship. Abdi, as the leader of the gang of pirates does a wonderful job making you believe that he actually is a Somali pirate (being as skinny as he is certainly helps). However, he plays his character so well. He's really not an evil guy, he's just doing this because he's forced to. He plays both the desperation and the menacing so well. He's not deserving of a win, but he absolutely is deserving of a nomination.

BRADLEY COOPER: The dude is pulling a Matthew McConaughey right now- he's just lucky enough to do it 15 years ahead of schedule. After starring in films like The Hangover, All About Steve, and Wedding Crashers, Cooper started making the jump to better films, and films that show off his acting range. For example, 2012's Silver Linings Playbook earned him a well deserved Best Actor nomination, and Cooper teams up again with David O. Russel for American Hustle to earn him a second Oscar nomination in as many years. Personally, I would have rather seen Jeremy Renner here instead of Cooper, but that just may be the hipster in me.

JARED LETO: While Jared Leto is certainly not a household name, I'd like to think I knew exactly who he was after he starred in excellent films such as Requiem For A Dream and Lord of War. But holy hell is Leto completely unrecognizable as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club. Now, obviously playing a transvestite helps with that, but even in his scenes where he's dressing like a man, I still would have had no idea who that actor was without the aid of by my side. Leto pulls a 2008 Heath Ledger in the sense that he is completely engulfed in this character, and there's no evidence of the actor whatsoever.

JONAH HILL: It's almost weird to see Jonah Hill's name next to Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, but he's amazing in The Wolf of Wall Street. Not only is Hill a pretty darn good actor (he does have a previous and deserving Oscar nomination for his work in Moneyball), but Wolf is laugh out loud funny- both of which are in Jonah Hill's wheelhouse. Jonah Hill gives one of the best performances of the year, and easily the best performance of his career. I can't imagine anyone doing what Jonah Hill did in the film, and he's electrifying and amazing every time he appears on screen. Leo gave the performance of his career as well, and Hill stands toe to toe with him in each and every scene.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER: After coming close to an Oscar nomination for his work in Steve McQueen's Shame, Fassbender finally earns his first Academy Award nomination in McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. There are so many great performances in Slave, but I think Fassbender's is the best. It's incredible to think he could play the world's worst slave owner so damn good. It's really weird to see Fassbender playing a well cultured film enthusiast / soldier in Inglorious Basterds to the neutral sex fiend in Shame to the horrific S.O.B. he plays in 12 Years A Slave. Hell, he was magnificent in X-Men: First Class. I fully expect many more of these nominations to come for him in the future.

- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
- James Franco (Spring Breakers)
- Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
- Will Forte (Nebraska)


- WHO SHOULD WIN: Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- WHO WILL WIN: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Which male do you think gave the best non-lead performance in 2013?

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