Oscar analysis: Bad day for 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

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Best Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

The front-runner is Jones, whose abrasive, eloquent, and fearsome anti-slavery congressman is one of the great joys of Lincoln, a movie that is now the clear Oscar leader. The main question before the announcement was whether Waltz would get in, or whether one of his Django co-stars — Leonardo DiCaprio or Samuel L. Jackson — might take it. That fifth slot seemed destined for one of the colorful supporting players in Quentin Tarantino’s slave western.

Prize Fighter Score: Five for five! Yay. I shall reward myself with a fistful of gummi bears.

Lesson Learned: The key to a supporting actor nomination — surliness. This group of guys define cantankerous — although Waltz does his with a wink.

Next Page: The Best Supporting Actress category …

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