4:01 pm - 11/16/2012

Supporting actor Oscar: One of the greatest races in years

The Oscar races for lead actor and actress have, at the moment, clear front-runners and a certain sense of inevitability. From the moment it was announced that Daniel Day-Lewis had agreed to star in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," we all knew what was coming, right? And the fact that Day-Lewis' inside-out performance was more convincing than we'd even expected (and we expected a lot), simply sealed the deal.

The good news: The supporting categories this year promise to be a competitive free-for-all. Academy voters will be forced to decide between the calm charisma of Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master," Tommy Lee Jones' sharp-tongued abolitionist in "Lincoln" and Robert De Niro's loving, OCD father in "Silver Linings Playbook." Throw in Alan Arkin and John Goodman from "Argo," Javier Bardem's flamboyant Bond villain in "Skyfall" and the unseen promise of "Les Miz's" Russell Crowe and a devilish Leonardo DiCaprio in "Django Unchained" and you have the makings of one of the greatest Oscar races in years.

Our rankings, as of this moment:

1. Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

2. Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

3. Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

4. Alan Arkin, “Argo”

5. Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”

Bubbling under: Matthew McConaughey, “Magic Mike”; Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; John Goodman, “Argo”; Bill Murray, “Moonrise Kingdom”; Jude Law, “Anna Karenina”; William H. Macy, “The Sessions”; Ewan McGregor, “The Impossible”; Hal Holbrook, “Promised Land”

Not yet seen: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”; Russell Crowe, “Les Miserables”

For your consideration: Ezra Miller, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Miller made his mark last year as the supremely troubled teen in “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” and he’s even better here in this altogether different take on adolescent alienation. It’s easily one of the season’s most dynamic performances.

Analysis: With all the Oscar winners and past nominees in play, why lead with De Niro? Our hunch: Older academy members will respond to both the role and the awards-season narrative of a rejuvenated, fully engaged De Niro delivering the goods in a way seen too infrequently over the past 20 years. It's always nice to reward an actor who's already picked up a lifetime achievement award or two. It gives us hope for our twilight years.

starchain 16th-Nov-2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
I might have seen a different movie because "Magic Mike" was certainly not Oscar material in any possible way.
little_kitkat 16th-Nov-2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
IKR? I laughed my ass off that this was even listed.
starchain 16th-Nov-2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
Least of all Matthew McConaughey.

That movie was the refined version of Coyote Ugly.
zoaster_toaster 16th-Nov-2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
All of this - no one in that film gave anywhere near an Oscar-worthy performance.
greyfilm 16th-Nov-2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
Right? I had to do a double take. And let's be honest, when has Matthew McConaughey ever done anything truly Oscar worthy?
wheresandrae 16th-Nov-2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
This year in Killer Joe tbh...
dives 16th-Nov-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Killer Joe
it still isn't out in the US yet UGH but apparently Mud
Lincoln Lawyer was ok
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