Hello, Bloggers, I just got through three of the major acting categories for my predictions of the upcoming Oscars, so today, I'll get to the final acting category: Best Supporting Actor. Let's take a look at who could get nominated:
Albert Brooks, A Most Violent Year: A Most Violent Year seems like a potential Oscar contender set for release in November. If it is any successful, there could be some love shown for its actors like veteran comedian Albert Brooks, who has done a complete 180 back in 2011 with his supporting turn in Drive. Although, the Oscar still remained elusive. Since this is another serious turn for Brooks, the Academy could continue the tradition of honoring a famous actor or actress reinventing themselves, like with this year's Best Actor winner, by rewarding Brooks with a nomination, which could also make up for that Drive snub.
Robert Duvall, The Judge: As I have pointed out before, the Academy loves veterans. Especially veterans that are a staple in Hollywood as Duvall has delivered character work over the years in films like the first two Godfathers, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Apocalypse Now. Not only that, but the Academy likes to hand out "it's been a while" nominations for those that haven't been nominated or won in quite a while. In fact, the last time Duvall won was back in 1984 for Best Actor for Tender Mercies and his last nomination came in 1999 for his supporting turn in A Civil Action. Plus, an actor like him getting nominated would easily make his category look good, which is partially why the Academy likes to honor older players very often.
Edward Norton, Birdman: As I just said about Robert Duvall, the Academy loves to offer "it's been a while" nominations and it's been about 16 years since Edward Norton's last nomination for his leading turn in American History X he was even nominated for his debut performance in Primal Fear back in 1996.
He remains Oscarless (which is a little hard to swallow), and his profile has mellowed out in recent years, but a nomination could give his career a bit more "juice" by allowing him to do work beyond the Verizon commercials he was in recently.
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher: When I first did coverage for this past Oscar season, I predicted Ruffalo would land a nomination for Foxcatcher, and I still feel it could happen. It may have gotten cold feet last year due to the crowded Oscar race, but Ruffalo could still have another shot at a 2nd nomination in the supporting category to compliment his first for The Kids Are All Right. The film itself is getting plenty of awards traction and just won Best Director at Cannes, so that could mean the actors, including Ruffalo, could get some heat. Even if he doesn't get nominated, Ruffalo still has The Avengers as a consolation prize and that's not a bad one either.
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher: As I've mentioned before, while the Academy likes to honor older players, they like to push forward the next generation. Tatum has become quite a name in recent years and with his role in Foxcatcher, it seems he is looking to protect his artistry as well. Academy members could be keenly aware of this and nominate him to capitalize on his star power and as a potential reminder to gravitate towards smaller films as well to not make a potential nomination seem like a fluke. But like how Ruffalo has The Avengers, if Tatum doesn't get nominated, he still has his role as Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse on the horizon.
Now onto the "dark horse" contenders:
Josh Brolin/Benicio Del Toro/Owen Wilson (Inherent Vice): The film has a smorgasbord of actors, and is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. So, if the film's lead Joaquin Phoenix doesn't get nominated, they could still reward another one of the film's actors. Either Brolin with a 2nd nomination, Del Toro a 3rd, or Wilson, a comedian doing a 180, a 1st nomination.
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods): Would be his first nomination in the supporting category and 4th overall. Depends on how the film plays out.
Logan Lerman (Fury): His role is apparently a co-lead, from what I've read, but the much younger players are usually in the supporting category.
Christopher Walken (Jersey Boys): It is a musical directed by Clint Eastwood, who is an Oscar darling. Plus, as I pointed out, the Academy loves to givee "it's been a while" nominations and Walken's last was back in '02 for his supporting turn in Catch Me If You Can.
Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes): He just won his 2nd and is 2-0, so a nomination depends on whether the Academy will glance over him thinking "He already has two"
So, those are my predictions for who could be nominated for Best Supporting Actor and the potential dark horse contenders. Next, I will do either Best Director or Best Picture. Until then, thanks for reading!