Friday, December 28, 2012

Dec. Oscar Buzz and Predictions - Supporting Performances

Best Supporting Actor
     As always the buzz comes first with former rankings in parenthesis.  My own little amphibious ideas follow.
  1.(2) Phillip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
  2. Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
  3.(5) Robert DeNiro - Silver Linings Playbook
  4.(1) Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained
  5.(6) Alan Arkin - Argo

  6.(8) Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike
  7.(7) Dwight Henry - Beasts of the Southern Wild
  8. Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
  9. Javier Bardem - Skyfall
  10. John Goodman - Argo
  Leaving the rankings:  Russell Crowe - Les Miserables, William H. Macy - The Sessions, Bryan Cranston - Argo, David Straitharn - Lincoln
   Believe it or not, there are actually like eleven guys who have some legitimate buzz going right now and I can see multiple scenarios possibly playing out in this category.  The Academy usually only goes three for five with the buzz in at least one acting category.  I may well be indulging in some wishful thinking here, but next time I write about this category will be in my final predictions on January 9th, so indulge my imagination one last time...
  1. Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained...This guy is one of the most overdue actors out there and this could well be the film's only win.  Of course, I haven't seen it yet, but...
  2. Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln...Mr. Jones is supposedly amazing in this film and I almost hope that he's the most deserving nominee but DiCaprio wins anyway.  I don't have anything against Mr. Jones but it would set the Karmic scales right after his performance in The Fugitive beat Leo's far more deserving turn in What's Eating Gilbert Grape back when the latter actor was just a kid.
  3. Phillip Seymour Hoffman - The Master...Although this film's buzz has been steadily waning overall, Hoffman has sneaked onto multiple nominee lists that mostly ignored The Master as a whole, and for the moment, I'm expecting that to happen with Oscar.  He's also completely deserving in this role.
  4. Chritoph Waltz - Django Unchained...Of the three possible "come out of nowhere" nominations in this category, he seems the most likely candidate to knock one of the presumed top five candidates out of the race.  His campaign has probably demonstrated more forward momentum in the last couple of weeks than anyone.  I think he's in.
  5. Robert DeNiro - Silver Linings Playbook...Oscar loves a come back, I love a comeback, we all love a comeback, but this is far from a sure thing.

  6. Alan Arkin - Argo...For now, I'm going with Waltz and DeNiro, working on the assumption that Goodman and Arkin will split the Argo vote, but I could EASILY be wrong.  The fact that a true contender for the Best Picture win almost always has a nod in one of the acting categories makes me even less certain.
  7. Javier Bardem - Skyfall...I'm certainly taking this possibility more seriously than I did a couple of weeks ago, but I'm still not really expecting it.
  8. John Goodman - Argo...IF the Academy rejects Django (and they could), it could result in double nominations for Argo in this category instead.  If you stack up all the actors overdue for their first nomination, Goodman would be very near the top (which will be unfortunate for all those underneath).
  9. Eddie Redmayne - Les Miserables...Russell Crowe was considered a major contender before this film debuted, but young Mr. Redmayne has stolen all the buzz overnight.
  10.(tie) Dwight Henry - Beasts of the Southern Wild...Mr. Henry has remained just outside of this race's top five contenders almost all year long, but those are rarely the candidates who receive a surprise nomination, unless other presumed contenders fail to meet expectations.  As much as I think his performance is one of the year's most deserving, a nod seems unlikely.
              Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike...Even though he has had a great year, I think that Mr. McConaughey will score his first nod next year when he'll be appearing in Mud (which already has great festival reviews), Dallas Buyer's Club, and The Wolf of Wall Street.  Besides, his work in Killer Joe was actually his best THIS year.

Best Supporting Actress
     The top three in this category seem pretty secure.  Beyond that...?
  1.(2) Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables
  2.(3) Sally Field - Lincoln
  3.(4) Helen Hunt - The Sessions
  4.(1) Amy Adams - The Master
  5.(10) Maggie Smith - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  6. Ann Dowd - Compliance
  7.(8) Samantha Barks - Les Miserables
  8. Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy
  9. Jackie Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
  10. Judi Dench - Skyfall
  Leaving the Rankings:  Kerry Washington (although she was eleventh) - Django Unchained, Olivia Williams - Hyde Park On Hudson, Vanessa Redgrave - Song For Marion, Judi Dench - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
     These definitely seem like the ten strongest contenders, but I'll shuffle things a bit....
  1. Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables...If I had to pick the eventual winners of five categories right now, before nominations, this would be one of those five.
  2. Sally Field - Lincoln...If anyone can beat Ms. Hathaway, it would be Ms. Field.  However, I think this beloved vet will have to finally learn what it feels like to be nominated and NOT win.
  3. Helen Hunt - The Sessions...It hadn't really occurred to me until just now, but this will also be Ms. Hunt's first time with the same experience.
  4. Ann Dowd - Compliance...This actress's sudden buzz has been deafening and the accolades just keep on coming.  I now find it highly likely that she will sneak in ala Jackie Weaver in Animal Kingdom.
  5. Maggie Smith - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...Everybody loves Maggie right now (deservedly so) and this film's success with SAG indicates widespread approval in the industry.  Even though it means Hathaway would be the only nominee under forty, I'm still predicting this for now.

  6. Amy Adams - The Master...Her buzz has faded a lot by comparison with the other presumed front runners and the film hasn't even received as much love from the critic's circles as expected, much of its thunder stolen by Zero Dark Thirty.  For now, I'm going to predict that Dowd and Smith steal Ms. Adams'.
  7. Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy...Even though Ms. Kidman's buzz has surged in recent weeks, I think Ms. Dowd is this year's last minute success story in Supporting Actress.
  8. Judi Dench - Skyfall...As with Bardem, I am forced to recognize this possibility as a growing likelihood, but not one I'm quite ready to embrace.
  9. Samantha Barks - Les Miserables...I know, I've been predicting she actually gets nominated for months, but it now seems like Ms. Dowd is going to have the "plucked from obscurity" vote.
  10. Jackie Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook...Of the four possible acting nods for this picture, this seems like the least likely, although I'm so glad to see the amazing Ms. Weaver getting more exposure.  She should have won this category for Animal Kingdom.

     We are down to the wire with these updates, but I'm going to push to get the last six categories out by New Year's Eve.

Related Articles:  Nov/Dec Oscar Buzz and Predictions: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (preview), Musical Techs (Score and Song), Noisy Techs (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing), Pretty People Techs (Hairstyling and Make-up & Costume), Pretty Picture Techs (Production Design and Cinematography), Finishing Touch TechsToons of Any Length (Animated Short and Animated Feature), Docs of Any Length (Documentary Feature and Documentary Short), Screenplays (Adapted and Original), Can You "Master" Your NatureWhere Did the Magic Spider Go? (Magic Mike review), Best That The Summer Wields? (Beasts of the Souther Wild review), 23? You Don't Play Like a Sequel Over 2. (Skyfall review), I Think You "Argo"ing to Love It!Acting Master Classes in Private "Sessions"The Best Huntsman's Shadow (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel review)

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