Thursday, February 22, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The competition: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Previous winners: Mahershala Ali, Mark Rylance, J.K. Simmons, Jared Leto, Christoph Waltz, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Plummer won this award in 2011 for “Beginners” and was also nominated in 2009 for “The Last Station,” and he becomes the oldest acting nominee ever at 88 this year. Dafoe was nominated in 2000 for “Shadow of the Vampire” and in 1986 for “Platoon.” Harrelson was nominated in 2009 for “The Messenger” and in 1996 for “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” Jenkins was nominated in 2008 for “The Visitor.” This is Rockwell’s first Oscar nomination, though he has won the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice Award this awards season. This is the first time since 1991 that two actors from the same film have been nominated in this category, though the supporting actress race has boasted double nominees from the same film nine times since then, four of which led to a win for one of them. Harrelson, Jenkins, and Rockwell all star in Best Picture nominees, though that’s irrelevant to their chances.

Who should win: Plummer is good, especially since he joined the cast of his film just a month before it was released. Jenkins is wonderful, though I wish that his costar Michael Shannon had been here too for a far less likeable performance. I’d be more than happy to see Dafoe win even though I think so many other elements of his film should have accompanied him. Rockwell was very good, to be sure, but my vote would actually go to Harrelson, my favorite actor from the film who I remember liking a lot before an Oscar nomination for him was looking likely.

Who will win: Early prognosticators favored Dafoe, and there was some thought that Plummer could achieve enough momentum thanks to the impressive nature of his quick work taking on Kevin Spacey’s role following his firing form the film. But Rockwell has won everything so far and there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping him, especially given his film’s impressive nominations total.

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