This is the most wide open category of this year and of the past few years. The awards have been splitting up between a few actors. The SAG went to one, the Critic’s Choice went to one, the Golden Globe and BAFTA went to another. We have all previous winners. To me, this category somewhat mirrors 2007 Supporting Actress. Nobody can really predict this topsy-turvy race. Sadly, due to the format of the Oscars, this will be the first award given. At least we can start out on a good note. Check it out…
5. Alan Arkin – Argo
Notable awards: none
Notable nominations: BAFTA, BFCA, Golden Globes, SAG
Case for the Oscar: Honestly, this is the only one of the nominees that stands no chance at winning. He is just a throw-away nomination that is along for the ride. That is not to say he is undeserving of his nomination, but a win would be more than a little ridiculous. His nomination is just a testament to how much the industry respects his character work.
Oscar Doppelganger: 2011 Best Supporting Actor: Jonah Hill. He was in one of the most popular Best Picture nominees box office-wise, and his performance was noticed by each award show, while never standing a chance at taking any of them. His scene-stealing effort was commendable, but not awards stuff. His nomination was his reward.
Odds of winning: 100/1
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Notable awards: BFCA, Chicago Critics
Notable nominations: BAFTA, Golden Globes, SAG
Case for the Oscar: He was the critic darling in the category, which doesn’t always lead to Oscar gold. If one of the film’s 3 acting nominations is going to take home the award, he stands the best chance. He was borderline lead, which helps him against the nominees with much shorter screentime. He is one of the most respected actors in the world, which the Academy may want to reinforce by giving him a second Oscar in 7 years. He had the most difficult role of the bunch, and he nailed ever nuance of his volatile character. If the Academy doesn’t hate The Master as much as it appears that they did, then this will be our winner.
Oscar Doppelganger: 2002 Best Actor: Jack Nicholson. He was the critical favorite throughout the season, but the film underwhelmed in its nominations count, only garnering acting nods. He had won less than a decade prior, which perhaps made some voters reluctant to give another award to him so soon. He made a strong push for the Oscar against a host of former winners but came up just short.e our winner. ever nuance of his volatile character.er ion was his reward.
Odds of winning: 6/1
3. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Notable awards: none
Notable nominations: BFCA, SAG
Case for the Oscar: He hasn’t had that signature moment at all this awards season, but he is still right there in the running. There are so many members of the Academy that grew up watching De Niro and idolize him. His first nomination in over 20 years is the perfect chance for all of those members to finally express their appreciation for his career and heartfelt performance in the Weinstein awards train. His performance is not as showy or scene-stealing as any of the other 4 nominees, but his name and movie’s popularity will carry him into serious contention. If the Academy wants to go with Chastain or Riva for Best Actress, then this will be the easiest way to award Silver Linings Playbook.
Oscar Doppelganger: 1974 Best Supporting Actor: Fred Astaire. More than 30 years past his prime, the ever-popular actor got one last great supporting role and made a serious run at the Oscar. He still had a ton of fans, and while it would have been an acceptable win, it would be looked back on as a win with an agenda, throwing one last bone to one of the all time greats.
Odds of winning: 11/2
2. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
Notable awards: BAFTA, Golden Globes
Notable nominations: none
Case for the Oscar: His role is the most perfectly-written of the year. He is the main character in the movie, giving him much more time to show off. He just won in 2009, but there still may be some leftover love for one of the greatest character performances in recent memory. The two televised wins certainly help his case, despite receiving a strange SAG snub. Critics have called him the best character actor in the world, so when all of these other performances are more understated, one big beautiful showy performance could be the one to get the gold.
Oscar Doppelganger: 1993 Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones. A couple years removed from a very popular character performance in one of the Best Picture contenders, he was nominated again for a lead performance in the supporting category. Some may argue that it was too effortless, but nobody could deny his importance to the story and his scene-stealing ability. His win is seen as a bizarre choice in retrospect, but one that is really hard to take issue with given the actor and popularity of the film.
Odds of winning: 10/3
1. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Notable awards: SAG
Notable nominations: BAFTA, BFCA, Golden Globes
Case for the Oscar: He is in one of the Best Picture frontrunners. He has the very patriotic role in the movie, garnering the biggest reaction from the audience. He effortlessly steals several scenes, and he is an actor that the industry loves. He is in a film with other acting nominees, which could take away some votes if they want to spread the wealth. He won almost 20 years ago, so they may want to give him a second Oscar before actors who have won in the last 10 years. He looked…uh…less than thrilled to be at Golden Globes without winning, but the odds are that he will not have to suffer through that at the Oscars. Or he could just take off early like Eddie Murphy in ’06.
Oscar Doppelganger: 2004 Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman. He was not really represented well in the critic awards, but he morphed into the frontrunner after several nominations and important mentions during the award season. He was one of the most respected actors out there, and the Academy was running out of legitimate chances to reward him. He got swept in with the popularity of the well-acted Best Picture contender, and won over a terrific group of nominees.
Odds of winning: 3/1
Thoughts? Comments? Coming up: Best Actress!