Oscars 2013 – Best Supporting Roles

Film Review Les Miserables.jpeg1 1280x960

This is part three of our 85th Annual Academy Awards coverage. Part one covered random notes I had and part two covered the Screenplay categories.

These categories are always some of the toughest to predict, if only because it’s sometimes hard to gauge how effective a person is in their supporting role as some of them have a very limited amount of screen time. Like my thoughts on the Screenplay categories, there are a few that I believe were overlooked but I’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the actual nominees:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

·         Alan Arkin (Argo)

·         Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

·         Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

·         Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

·         Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

·         Amy Adams (The Master)

·         Sally Field (Lincoln)

·         Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

·         Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

·         Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Let me start by saying that the Best Supporting Actor race is stacked and there are even a couple that I feel were overlooked. The only issue I really have is with Alan Arkin for Argo. I love Argo and it’s probably my personal pick for Best Picture but Arkin’s inclusion is a bit odd to me. That’s not to say he wasn’t good (he was) but he doesn’t have a ton of screen time and it doesn’t exactly scream as an Oscar-nominated performance. I would’ve been a lot more comfortable with any of the three following: Guy Pearce in LawlessSam Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths, and Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained. Pearce is absolutely fantastic as Charlie Rakes in Lawless and is perhaps is the one performance this year that I don’t think is getting quite enough recognition. Pearce in general is an incredibly underrated actor and the fact that he was overlooked isn’t exactly surprising but it doesn’t change how great he was. DiCaprio is a close second to Pearce, as his portrayal of plantation owner Calvin Candie inDjango Unchained is one of the most inspiring performances of his career and it’s a shame he’s not getting more recognition for it. My suggestion of Rockwell is in large part because I believe the Academy owes him a makeup nomination for their snub of his performance in 2009’s Moon. That said, his performance as BIlly in Seven Psychopaths is easily the best thing about it so the recognition isn’t entirely undeserved but like I said, they owe him something.

As for who will take the award, I’m honestly not sure. Prior to the Golden Globes, I would’ve said it was either DeNiro’s or Hoffman’s to lose. I’ve yet to see The Master but from all accounts, Philip Seymour Hoffman is tremendous (as always) as charismatic cult leader, Lancaster Dodd and was the early frontrunner for the award. Robert DeNiro’s role as Bradley Cooper’s father in Silver Lining Playbook is a welcome return to form from one of Hollywood’s most prestigious actors and the very fact that he’s Robert freaking DeNiro meant he started to creep in as a favorite to win the award too. However, with the HFPA giving the nod toChristoph Waltz as German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, the race is a lot less clear now. I know I’ve mentioned the fact that the HFPA and the Academy have been, slowly but surely, drifting apart when it comes to agreeing on awards as of late but the fact that they didn’t give it to one of the two early favorites (though DeNiro was not nominated for a Golden Globe) could give a glimpse into the future. Especially when you take into account that Waltz shared the category with fellowDjango Unchained cast member DiCaprio and was still able to come out with the award, despite the possibility of splitting votes between them and that’s not the case with the Academy Awards. I would definitely say that Waltz deserves the award too because he is tremendous in Django Unchained and has quickly become the actor to deliver Tarantino’s dialogue – every line just sounds perfect.

I really don’t get how Jacki Weaver is nominated in the Supporting Actress category for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. It’s not really bad but she has very little screen time and when she is, it’s not exactly something I would praise as Oscar-worthy. That said, I struggle to come up with a viable alternative and unfortunately, that’s going to be a story that leads into the Best Actress category as well because while there were some standout roles by females this year, there weren’t quite enough for either race to be all that interesting. Saying that, it’s pretty obvious that the Best Supporting Actress award is Anne Hathaway’s to lose for her role in Les Miserables. I’ll fully admit that I don’t have any interest in seeing Les Miserables, as musicals aren’t my thing, but from everything I’ve heard, Hathaway is the clear frontrunner and the fact that she won the Golden Globe for the same category seems to support that. I’d say the next likeliest would be Sally Field just because like I mentioned before, Lincoln is likely to end the night with quite a few statues.

That’s all for the Supporting Roles categories. Tune in next time for my thoughts on the Lead Roles categories!

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.