Friday, January 28, 2011

SAG Winner Predictions: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The competition: Christian Bale’s troubled former fighter (The Fighter), John Hawkes’ terrifying uncle (Winter’s Bone), Jeremy Renner’s loose cannon buddy (The Town), Mark Ruffalo’s restaurateur sperm donor (The Kids Are All Right), and Geoffrey Rush’s eccentric speech therapist (The King's Speech).

For your information: Rush won SAGs for his lead role in the film “Shine” and in the TV movie “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.” He was also nominated for “Quills” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Renner was nominated in the lead category last year for “The Hurt Locker.” This is the first individual nomination for Bale, Hawkes, and Ruffalo. Bale, Ruffalo, and Rush are also nominated as a member of their ensemble casts. Everyone in this category earned an Oscar nomination this year. Fifty percent of the time, the winner of this category does not go on to win the Oscar, though the winners the past three years have matched up.

Who should win: Bale, Hawkes, and Rush are all deserving.

Who will win: Here’s where it gets interesting: Bale is certainly the frontrunner, but Hawkes being in the mix definitely shakes things up. Can he pull off a win? In SAG history in this category, a performer without a Globe nod has only ever rallied to pull off a SAG win once, and that was Ian McKellen for “The Fellowship of the Ring.” A category-switched Leonardo DiCaprio from “The Departed” couldn’t pull off an upset in 2006, so I’ll still call it in favor of Bale with immense spoiler potential from Hawkes.

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