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Tag: Best Supporting Actor Oscar (31-40 of 49)

George Clooney and Matt Damon: The double showdown

George-Clooney-and-Matt-Damon_lOnly two men in Oscar history have ever received acting nominations for two different performances in the same year: Al Pacino (for 1992’s Scent of a Woman and Glengarry Glen Ross) and Jamie Foxx (for 2004’s Ray and Collateral). Though I don’t expect anyone to join that list this year, I do find it funny that good buddies George Clooney and Matt Damon are competing against each other in this season’s Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. In the lead race, Clooney headlines Up in the Air with a quintessential star turn, while Damon shows off his droll comedy stylings in The Informant! And in the supporting contest, there’s Clooney’s goofball performance in The Men Who Stare At Goats, while Damon gets serious as a South African rugby player in Invictus. I’ve only seen three of these four performances, but my hunch is that Clooney’s stronger shot is for Best Actor while Damon seems a better bet for Best Supporting Actor. But that doesn’t mean a little trash-talking isn’t in order. Back in Toronto, Damon told me how he plans to take down his pal as the awards season progresses.

[ewbrightcove “29888952001”, “39823040001”, “525”, “470”]

Image credit: Richard Young/

'The Hangover' for Best Picture?

Zach-Galifianakis_lI bumped into a friend last night who happens to be an Oscar voter (not to mention a shrewd Oscar campaigner), and during our conversation, my friend floated an interesting theory. This particular person (and you know who you are), who is not working on the film in any way, believes wholeheartedly that The Hangover will be one of the 10 eventual Best Picture nominees.

Sorry, should I have asked you all to sit down before you read that?

Anyway, I immediately was dubious of this idea. I mean, can a movie featuring a detestable lead character (not you, Bradley Cooper, just the guy you played), unnecessarily offensive dialogue (“Paging Dr. F—-t?”) and sloppy editing really make it into the Best Picture race? And if so, what would that say about whether it truly was the best idea for the Academy to open up the field?

Or, on the other hand, does my friend actually have a point here? Even Hangover haters have to admit the movie does boast an irresistible premise, a brilliant structure, and an amazing comedic performance by Zach Galifianakis, who could just be a stealth Best Supporting Actor contender if the movie’s campaign takes off. With several of the big-ticket “Oscar movies” destined to disappoint, perhaps a bona fide summer blockbuster will occupy a slot (or two) of the top 10. Should we all steel ourselves for a Star Trek vs. Hangover smackdown? Or could they both end up making the cut? Maybe people will watch the Oscars next year after all.

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for updates all season long.

Photo credit: Frank Masi

Oscar roundup: October 2

a_serious_man_lThere’s only one film opening this weekend with any awards chances to talk about: The Coen brothers’ latest quirkfest, A Serious Man. Their last two films either won Best Picture (No Country for Old Men) or at least managed a Best Comedy nod from the Golden Globes (Burn After Reading); this one will probably fall in the middle somewhere.

Best Bets

Best Original Screenplay: With most of the season’s big guns falling in the adapted category, the Coens should have no trouble earning their fourth screenplay nomination.


Best Picture: The critical response has been phenomenal so far. But the film needs audience support as well to go the distance.

Best Director: Can the Coens return to the race just two years after winning this category? If several of the late-year releases disappoint, quite possibly.

Best Actor, Michael Stuhlbarg: As they did with Fargo‘s William H. Macy, the Coens have given a theater veteran his big-screen breakthrough. Stuhlbarg is priceless as the movie’s harried hero.

Long shot

Best Supporting Actor, Richard Kind or Fred Melamed: These two character actors play Stuhlbarg’s brother and the man who steals his wife, respectively. One of them will have to emerge as the stronger contender to have a shot.

Photo credit: Wilson Webb

Desperately seeking Best Supporting Actors

Christoph-Waltz_lAnd the Oscar for weakest category of the year goes to…Best Supporting Actor. I can’t recall another instance when an acting race had so few worthy contenders at this point in the year. Inglorious Basterds breakout Christoph Waltz became an instant frontrunner at Cannes, and Alfred Molina is a decent bet for his first career nod as An Education‘s strict dad. Ditto Stanley Tucci, who should score either for his killer role (literally) in The Lovely Bones or as Meryl Streep’s hubby in Julie & Julia. And…well, that’s basically it. The problem seems to be that many of the top overall contenders—Precious, Up in the Air, Nine—simply don’t have any meaty supporting male roles. (Up in the Air‘s Jason Bateman and Precious‘ Lenny Kravitz both do a fine job in tiny parts.) The supporting actress race, meanwhile, has an embarrassment of riches, thanks to the Precious triumvirate of Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey (seriously), and Paula Patton and Up in the Air‘s supporting standouts Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga; and though no one has seen Nine yet, it’s hard to imagine one or two of its cast won’t have a strong shot at making the cut.

So who could fill out the supporting actor ballot? Maybe Matt Damon for Clint Eastwood’s Mandela drama Invictus? George Clooney for the goofy Men Who Stare at Goats? Indie faves like Bright Star’s Paul Schneider or The Hurt Locker’s Anthony Mackie? Bill Murray is a classic scene stealer in the Toronto hit Get Low, but Sony Pictures Classics is planning a 2010 release for the film. That’s too bad: There will never be an easier path to an Oscar nomination again.

Are you as obsessed with the Oscars as I am? Then follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for instant updates.

Photo credit: François Duhamel

What will be Sunday's biggest surprise?

One of the most fun items I posted this year was my list of the top possible surprises of the Oscar nominations, some of which ended up coming true (or half-true). With the Academy Awards ceremony now just days away, here are my 10 possible shockers that could take place this Sunday.

1. Slumdog Millionaire picks up the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing prizes, winning all nine categories in which it’s nominated.
2. Doubt’s Viola Davis avoids vote splitting with costar Amy Adams and tops Penélope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress.
3. The Kate vs. Meryl showdown in Best Actress ends in a loss for both, as Frozen River’s Melissa Leo pulls an Adrien Brody and comes through with the win.
4. After losing the BFCA and SAG awards to Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke finally wins his first major domestic prize (i.e. voted on by Americans) and takes home Best Actor.
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button gets upset in the Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Makeup categories and becomes the biggest Oscar loser in history, going 0 for 13.
6. David Hare’s script for The Reader steals the adapted screenplay trophy from Slumdog’s Simon Beaufoy.
7. France’s The Class wins Best Foreign Language Film over critical favorite Waltz With Bashir (my colleague Thom Geier and I are actually predicting that one).
8. WALL•E not only wins Best Animated Film but also picks up Original Screenplay and both sound prizes for a total of four Oscars.
9. The Dark Knight wins Best Supporting Actor but otherwise goes home empty-handed.
10. Telecast producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark actually manage to keep the ceremony under three hours. (You can do it, guys!)

EW's Oscar predictions!

The awards gods don’t seem to be smiling on me this year. First, I publish my Oscar nomination predictions, which end up matching perfectly with the Producers Guild and Directors Guild nominees but naturally miss a few of the eventual Academy Award honorees. Then I arrive at my Oscar-winner guesses…which almost completely match with this weekend’s BAFTA winners. So, with my predictions hitting newsstands today, I ask you: What have I (and my intrepid colleague Thom Geier, who handles all the documentary and shorts races) gotten wrong? Let us have it.

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Director, Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Animated Film: Wall-E
Foreign-Language Film: The Class
Documentary: Man On Wire
Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Costume Design: The Duchess
Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Song: “Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sound: The Dark Knight
Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight
Short: Spielzugland (Toyland)
Animated Short: Presto
Documentary Short: The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306

SAG and PGA: 2 more wins for 'Slumdog'

Slumdogwins_lCan Slumdog Millionaire be stopped? Danny Boyle’s endearing drama picked up top honors at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards this weekend, winning best picture at the PGA and the best cast prize at SAG. I had predicted Milk to win the big ensemble prize, thinking that the SAG voters would be more likely to give an award to established actors like Sean Penn and Josh Brolin than a bunch of unknown kids from India, but as an astute Academy member said to me after the awards last night, “A lot of times SAG treats the best cast award like Best Picture, because it’s the closest thing they have.” If that’s the case, then the outcome makes perfect sense. In any case, Slumdog now has two more huge wins to add to its victories at the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics Awards, and National Board of Review.

The four acting races lined up with my predictions. Sean Penn topped Mickey Rourke for Best Actor, making him the frontrunner for the Oscar next month, while Heath Ledger was named Best Supporting Actor to the surprise of no one. Kate Winslet won her third consecutive supporting-actress trophy for The Reader, while Meryl Streep won the only award for Doubt. This means that the two female SAG-winning performances will duke it out for the Oscar, since the Academy placed Winslet in the lead category for The Reader. Now the race is really on.

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

What will be tomorrow's biggest surprise?

We’re now less than 24 hours away from the big Oscar nominations announcement. I’ll be up early to react to the news live on the Today show (please tune in!), and I’m wondering: What will be the big shocker among the nominees tomorrow? Surely everything won’t go as predicted, right? Here are my top 10 possible stunners.

1. The Reader or Gran Torino sneak into Best Picture over The Dark Knight.
2. Richard Jenkins bumps Brad Pitt out of Best Actor.
3. Melissa Leo snags Angelina Jolie’s Best Actress slot.
4. Voters ignore Kate Winslet’s supporting-actress campaign and nominate her for Best Actress for The Reader, leaving Revolutionary Road out of the acting races completely.
5. Dev Patel scores a Best Actor nod instead of landing in the supporting category.
6. The Dark Knight trumps The Reader in the adapted-screenplay race.
7. Doubt scores four acting nods after all, as Amy Adams pushes Taraji P. Henson out of supporting actress.
8. Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Mike Leigh displaces Ron Howard or Gus Van Sant in Best Director.
9. Milk takes two supporting-actor slots and leaves Robert Downey, Jr., in the cold.

And finally…
10. Slumdog Millionaire tops Benjamin Button and scores the most overall nominations.

What do you think the biggest surprise will be? And if any of these actually happen, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)

Oscar nominations: Beat my predictions!

With just two days to go before the Oscar nominations are finally announced, I’m resisting the urge to change any of my predictions, which went to press in EW before the Producers Guild or Directors Guild nominees were revealed. Can The Dark Knight bump The Reader out of the screenplay running? Will someone like Richard Jenkins or Melissa Leo fight his or her way into the acting races? Will the Academy overrule campaigns and put Kate Winslet for The Reader or Dev Patel for Slumdog Millionaire in the lead-acting category? I’m standing by my predictions, listed again below. Last year I lucked out with 34 out of 40 correct. Let’s see which of you can score the most this year. Post your predictions and I’ll give a shout-out to the OscarWatcher who gets the most right.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

David Fincher
Christopher Nolan
Ron Howard
Gus Van Sant
Danny Boyle

Clint Eastwood
Frank Langella
Sean Penn
Brad Pitt
Mickey Rourke

Anne Hathaway
Sally Hawkins
Angelina Jolie
Meryl Streep
Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road)

Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin
Robert Downey, Jr.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Heath Ledger
Dev Patel

Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz
Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Marisa Tomei
Kate Winslet (The Reader)

Original Screenplay
Rachel Getting Married
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

Oscar roundup: 'Defiance' and 'Good'

New Year’s Eve sees two last-minute entries into this year’s Oscar
race: Defiance and Good. Though both films feature Academy-friendly
players (Defiance director Ed Zwick also helmed Glory and Blood
, while Good star Viggo Mortensen was nominated for Best Actor
last year), they’re long shots at best.


Long shot
Best Supporting Actor, Liev Schreiber
Indie stalwart Schreiber is certainly the standout of the film, but
except for its inclusion on the NBR top 10, it hasn’t gained any awards


Long shot

Best Actor, Viggo Mortensen
If The Road hadn’t been pushed to 2009, Mortensen might have had a shot
a repeat Best Actor nomination. But not for this overloud, stagey drama.

addCredit(“Karen Ballard”)

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