Best Supporting Actor
In the interest of being thorough about the Academy Awards, I have decided to dededicate a blog entry for every category. The news media will focus on the top five categories, eventually I will too, but these posts are in the interest of examining every single category, even those that send you to the fridge during the show. Today: Best Supporting Actor
- Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
- Bradley Cooper in American Hustle
- Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave
- Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
- Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
You know it’s a strange year when Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill are the veterans among the five Oscar nominees. The selections this year were all very good, and the performances present perhaps more variety than this category has seen in many years. In any other year (and I’m not making a blanket statement), I could see any of these performances walking away with the gold. Let’s break it down:
Bradley Cooper from American Hustle and Jonah Hill from The Wolf of Wall Street gave great performances but they seem to be bringing up the rear among this group. Fassbender’s near-psychopathic slave master in 12 Years a Slave isn’t as tempting to voters as Lupita Nyong’o over in the Supporting Actress category (yet if I had to predict an upset, he’s probably it). She is more likely be the film’s acting winner. And Barkhad Abdi is a newcomer but may find that his reward is the nomination (I don’t see Captain Phillips winning anything). He has received a slew of pre-Oscar nominations but he hasn’t won much.
The surest indicator of who will win an acting prize is to simply look at the SAG Awards. After all, those are the same people who vote for the Oscar. Yet, the Supporting Actor race traditionally differs the most from who would go on to win the Oscar. Since 2000, only seven SAG winners in this category later received the Oscar. The best bet is always to look at the accumulation of pre-Oscar honors, and among the five nominees, the odds seem to favor Jared Leto for his heartbreaking performance as Rayon, a post-op transsexual woman suffering from AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. Leto is probably the closest thing to a sure bet. He and co-star Matthew McConaughey are on everyone’s radar this year as The Comeback Kids. I think Leto’s Oscar is in the bag.
Who will win: Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
Dark Horse: Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave