Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Need Some Support? Early Oscar Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

We're just tearing through these acting categories, aren't we?  In case you are just joining us, Clarence Moye and I throwing out the possible contenders for this year's Oscar race.  We have already done Actor and Actress this week, and the next two days will be devoted to the Supporting races.  Take a gander at the guys in the hunt for Supporting Actor.

Moye - Best Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Moser - Best Supporting Actor
Logan Lerman, Fury
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher

Moser: Like Actress, the Supporting Actor category has a few placement questions. We kicked off the very beginning with Steve Carell in Foxcatcher for Lead, so let’s start there.

Moye:  I did have a very hard time with Best Supporting Actor, a category that traditionally doesn’t jell until the end of the year, but I know two slots are virtually locked by strong performances from Foxcatcher: soon-to-be-Emmy-winner Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum. Beyond that, I’ve no idea.

Moser:  When it comes to Supporting Actor, I admit I have no idea what to think either. I think Ruffalo and Tatum are pretty solid bets, but I am not sure where to go other than that. I love the idea of Mark Ruffalo winning awards. I haven’t seen The Normal Heart yet, so I need to get with it. And Mr. Tatum is my husband, so I will definitely be rooting for him for the entire season. Other than that, what do you see on the horizon?

Moye:  Birdman feels like the kind of film that will hit big with the Academy given that it feels like the right mixture of indie sensibility and tongue-in-cheek musings on the artistic process (see: Adaptation), and this feels like the right comeback role for Norton, which would pit him against another Incredible Hulk. With Hawke, he’s already an Oscar nominee thanks to Training Day, and Boyhood feels like it could hit big in my mind. There will be at least one acting nomination from the film, but Hawke may not be that actor. More on that tomorrow (Hint: She rhymes with… umm… Marquette).

Moser:  Hmmm.  Who could you be talking about?!  I totally forgot Hawke was nominated for Training Day! Hawke has also been nominated for writing with Linklater and Julie Delpy on the Before trilogy, so it’d be really nice to see him in an acting race again. Logan Lerman looks great as a timid soldier in David Ayer’s Fury. If that hits big, someone could be nominated from that, right? Big war epic…Brad Pitt being all moody…maybe someone else will get in, but I went with Lerman.

War is hell.  So is the Oscar season.

Moye: Fury is something I really don’t know how to take. I’ve read all the buzz about the authenticity and the extra that was harpooned with a bayonet, but, aside from the gimmick of End of Watch, Ayer hasn’t really wowed with his directorial prowess. I would love to see Lerman nominated because I loved him in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What name would make you the happiest in the Best Supporting Actor lineup on nomination morning?

Moser:  Well, sight unseen, the one performance I am DYING to see from the trailer is J.K. Simmons in Whiplash. I’ve always been a huge fan, and he looks great as an intimidating band instructor. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has a knack for getting his actors nominated (see: Babel, 21 Grams and Biutiful), so I think Norton could get in here for Birdman. I have this itch to predict Neil Patrick Harris for Gone Girl, but I don’t think I have the balls to take out Lerman or Norton just yet. 

Moye: I can’t see NPH getting in for that role. As written in the novel, it’s too one note and creepy. Plus, I don’t know how I would feel about Academy Award nominee Neil Patrick Harris. No offense to him! Also, we all might want to take the Gone Girl adoration down a notch. There’s nothing worse than premature adoration, after all.

Moser: HOW DARE YOU! We are not friends! I kid, I kid. This is very true. I need to calm my Gone Girl nerves. I think I am banking on it because it’s one of the few films where I know the material going in.  Now that I think of Neil, I don’t think he’s going to get in. Desi comes in mostly at the end, so he would have to really impress to get in there. 

Moye: Calm down. Calm down. Gone Girl could be absolutely wonderful, and I count Fincher in my top 10 directors list. But I do remember Dragon Tattoo… In other news, we have the potential for any one of three possible old codgers getting in: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Tom Wilkinson (Selma), or John Lithgow (Love is Strange). Duvall is one of those actors people completely take for granted because he’s always fantastic, and he looks like he’s giving a variation on the old Clint Eastwood “Get off my lawn you hoodlums” performances. I would perhaps have a deeper appreciation of his performance, but I lost my mind when I saw Vera Farmiga was in the film. It just rocketed to the top of my “must” list. Lithgow might be the subtle threat here. He’s due a comeback, and the film looks charming and broadly comic while still maintaining the right touch of sentiment. It’s the same tone that won Christopher Plummer his Oscar.

First nomination in 15 years?

Moser: Best Supporting Codger! I love it! I would love to see Duvall get in there. I was hoping he’d get in for Lead Actor a few years back for Get Low, but, alas, that didn’t happen. I keep forgetting about Love is Strange. You’re so right that Lithgow deserves a comeback. I am more familiar with him on television and listening to him on original Broadway cast recordings. He’s such a great actor, and I love him in the trailer for Strange. And, yes, Vera Farmiga makes everything much more watchable.    

Moye: My favorite Lithgow performance is in Terms of Endearment, but go back and watch The World According to Garp, if you haven’t seen it. Lithgow is very special there as well. Earlier, you mentioned category confusion. I’m hearing James Corden would be considered for Supporting Actor if Into the Woods hits. While the original stage role never received much awards attention, I can’t see it as a Supporting play. Again, the entire show revolves around the central conceit of the Baker and his Wife, but I don’t really think Corden will be much of a threat.  Actually, I comfortably predict that, even if Into the Woods is the best thing since Chicago, none of the actors will get Oscar love. It’s just not a man’s story.

Moser: Sidebar: I just re-watched Terms of Endearment a week ago (masochist: party of one), and I totally forgot he was in it. If Corden starts to get some traction, I could see them campaigning him in Supporting because he’s not a “big name.” Although all this talk that he will be taking over for Craig Ferguson could change that. I think The Baker is arguably the lead of that movie—if you had to settle on one. Johnny Depp surely isn’t going to get any with his tiny part as The Wolf.   

Moye: Not at all. In fact, as I’m sure you know but our readers may not, on stage The Wolf is usually played by the actor who plays Rapunzel’s Prince. I have always thought that was an interesting subversive turn. For my last slot / wild guess, I decided with Christoph Waltz on a whim, which is a risk given that he’s not in a film directed by Quentin Tarantino. If anyone drops from my list, then it will be Waltz. Big Eyes, which we’re finally starting to get a sense of, could totally be nothing but an Amy Adams play.

Moser: I will personally find Christoph Waltz and punch him in the nuts if he takes attention away from Amy Adams! That bastard has two Oscars, so shoo! His role of an overbearing husband could be nothing but a dickish supporting character. Maybe he will stand aside and let Adams shine.  Not going to lie, I love the first picture that was released of the two of them together.  The disappointment in her face makes me want to smack him all the more.  

Moye: <German accent> I think very much that Mr. Waltz would love you to punch him in the nuts. The pain would be exquisite </German accent> Actually, thinking about the two of them facing off gives me renewed excitement for the film. I don’t see how the two of them could miss out on nominations. 

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