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Tag: Best Supporting Actor Oscar (41-49 of 49)

OscarWatch TV: 'Doubt' cast reunion

Earlier this week I gathered the four Golden Globe-nominated cast members of Doubt–Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis–for an extensive conversation about their thought-provoking new film. In part 1 of the interview, we talk about whether it was helpful for them to see Doubt on Broadway and the differences between film and theater audiences. More to come in the next few days.

Penelope & Sally: A bicoastal sweep

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Now that the New York Film Critics Circle award results are trickling in (early winners include Milk‘s Josh Brolin for Best Supporting Actor, Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Mike Leigh for Best Director, and Rachel Getting Married‘s Jenny Lumet for Best Screenplay), something very interesting has occurred: Penelope Cruz and Sally Hawkins have both won their respective acting categories from the New York and Los Angeles critics groups. In the last seven years, 11 actors have been recognized by both organizations and all 11 eleven went on to score Oscar nominations as well. Cruz has been a supporting actress front-runner for months. But have my fellow Oscar bloggers and I been underestimating Hawkins’ chances at making the final five? If so, whose Best Actress spot could Hawkins steal? Kate Winslet’s? Angelina Jolie’s? Cate Blanchett’s? Hawkins will certainly earn a Globe nod tomorrow for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and she could beat Mamma Mia‘s Meryl Streep for the prize. We’ll see if she can land a SAG nomination on Dec. 18.

addCredit(“Cruz: Victor Bello; Hawkins: Simon Mein”)

'The Reader': The movie with no leads?

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For Your Consideration ads have been coming fast and furious in the trade papers lately, and as I suspected would happen a few weeks ago, the Weinstein Co.’s advertisement for The Reader (which I’d call a definite top-10 Best Picture contender) lists Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in Best Supporting Actor, and Kate Winslet and Lena Olin in Best Supporting Actress, with no candidates for Best Actor or Best Actress at all. Now, other movies, like Crash and Babel, have tried this tactic before with some success. But those two were indisputably ensemble films, whereas The Reader, which spans five decades, clearly has two main characters: one shared by Kross and Fiennes and the other played entirely by Winslet. Obviously, the all-supporting decision is meant to keep Winslet from competing against herself (she’s up for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road), but now that I’ve seen in print, it does seem a little disingenuous. If the Weinstein Co. had placed Kross in the Best Actor category (he has much more screen time than Fiennes), there would have been at least one official lead to speak of. Still, if the Academy follows the campaign directives, it’ll turn out to be a smart move, since Winslet’s amazing performance in The Reader should be a sure thing for a supporting nomination.

addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)

Give these underdogs Oscar campaigns!

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Every year, certain stars receive Oscar campaigns that seem ridiculously pointless (Jack Nicholson for The Bucket List?), while other truly deserving performers get left out of the hype. These three underdog actors probably won’t be getting full big-studio pushes this year. But if you ask me, they should.

Greg Kinnear, Flash of Genius
Universal Pictures’ awards site doesn’t even list Flash as one of its contenders, and I’m told screeners for the film (which admittedly flopped at the box office) won’t be sent out to Academy members. But it’s a shame that most voters won’t get to see Kinnear’s complex performance as inventor Bob Kearns.

Ari Graynor, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Goofy comedy doesn’t usually catch the Academy’s eye, but Graynor, who plays the ditsy, drunk party girl Caroline, is a scene-stealer of the highest order, combining gross-out humor (that toilet-bowl sequence!) with some real tender moments. Nick & Norah screenwriter Lorene Scafaria should also be recognized for her keenly-observed script, which is as memorably hip as Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning Juno.

Michael Kelly, Changeling
Universal lists no fewer than five supporting actor candidates from its Clint Eastwood/Angelina Jolie kidnapping drama. But the guy who really deserves his own push is Kelly, the good-guy detective who discovers what happened to Jolie’s missing son. It’s a star-making performance, notable for its understatement. You’ll have to excuse the name-dropping here, but when I met Jolie this summer for an EW cover story after seeing the film, I mentioned that I thought Kelly was the standout. “Clint was talking about him the other night, that he’s a leading man,” she said. “He’s got that thing.” You hear that, Academy?

addCredit(“Kinnear: Kerry Hayes; Graynor: JoJo Whilden; Kelly: Tony Rivetti, Jr.”)

Fiennes moved to supporting for 'The Reader'

Fiennesdutchess_l_2Big movie stars are fleeing the Best Actor race in droves these days. Now comes word that Ralph Fiennes’ camp has decided to place him in the Best Supporting Actor category for The Reader. (Astute EW readers will notice that I put Fiennes in the lead-actor column in my Oscar Race feature in this week’s issue, out today; I was merely following the Weinstein Co.’s directives, which apparently have been overruled.) Certainly the swap now means Fiennes has a better shot at scoring a nomination: He’s said to be excellent in the film, but since he shares his role with newcomer David Kross, he probably lacks the sufficient screen time to make the Best Actor cut.

But moving Fiennes out of lead for The Reader does have a few strange results. For starters, it pretty much renders his fine supporting performance in The Duchess (pictured above) obsolete as far as the Oscar season is concerned, since Academy rules dictate that actors may only receive one nomination per category. And with his costar Kate Winslet currently set to be campaigned as Best Supporting Actress for the film, the movie now has no lead-acting contenders at all. The Academy usually lets that fly for an ensemble film like Babel or Crash; will they accept it for a three-hander like The Reader?

What do you all think of this? Is Fiennes shooting himself in the foot by competing against himself? Or is he making the smart move by banking on his Holocaust-themed movie for an Oscar nod?

Hoffman in supporting for 'Doubt'

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After much deliberation, Philip Seymour Hoffman and his representatives have decided to mount a Best Supporting Actor campaign for Doubt, which has emerged as one of the stronger awards contenders of the year. I had heard that’s the way it was leaning, but having now seen the film, I understand why it took so long for this decision to be made. As always, Hoffman is fantastic as a priest accused of molesting an altar boy, more than holding his own opposite a very commanding Meryl Streep. There are moments where the performance does feel like a lead role, particularly his pointed sermons and his centerpiece confrontation scenes with Streep. But then again, perhaps the most memorable sequence in the film is the head-to-head between Streep and Viola Davis, who plays the young boy’s mother. And Hoffman is not part of the movie’s final scene, which may be an argument for a supporting placement.

But let’s get real: This is all about getting nominated…and possibly winning. In the crowded Best Actor race, Hoffman would be fourth fiddle to Frost/Nixon‘s Frank Langella, The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke, and Milk‘s Sean Penn. But in supporting, the top contenders so far are The Dark Knight‘s Heath Ledger and…not much else. So if the supporting campaign sticks, not only is Hoffman guaranteed a nomination, but he might also beat Ledger again (as he did in 2006) and win his second Oscar.

Kate Winslet: A double Oscar nominee?

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One of the many wrenches the late addition of The Reader threw into the Oscar race was the question of whether Kate Winslet, who also stars in the upcoming domestic drama Revolutionary Road, would have to compete against herself for a nomination. Well, word has now come from the Weinstein Co. (the studio releasing The Reader) that she’ll be campaigned in the Best Supporting Actress category for that film, leaving Revolutionary Road her only shot at a Best Actress nod. Could she now earn her sixth and seventh Oscar nominations and score dual acting nods like Cate Blanchett did last year? I’d love to see that happen.

Though Winslet can now breathe a sigh of relief, the issue still remains unresolved for her Reader costar, Ralph Fiennes. He delivered a strong supporting performance in The Duchess, but his role in The Reader, which he shares with a younger actor named David Kross, could fit in either category. Right now the Weinstein Co. has him slated for Best Actor, which is a tough category already. If he ends up in the supporting race for The Reader (and he’s said to be fantastic in the film), he’ll be in the less competitive race but may risk splitting his own vote. Next time, Ralph, can you try being horrible in one of your movies so we don’t have to stress over things like this?

Heath Ledger "100% Supporting"

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That’s the official word this morning from Warner Bros. as to how Heath Ledger will be campaigned for his riveting performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. To which I say: smart move. I know some people were pulling for a Best Actor placement for the late star, but that just didn’t feel right to me (nor, apparently, to the Warner Bros. people). Sure, Ledger had tons of screen time and is certainly the most memorable thing about the film. But the movie is called The Dark Knight, not The Joker. The only Best Actor candidate here should be Christian Bale.

But the most important thing to consider is his chance at the win. I doubt he’d have a shot at beating The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke, or Milk‘s Sean Penn, or Frost/Nixon‘s Frank Langella in the Best Actor race. But in the supporting category, his strongest likely competitor is Doubt‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman, coincidentally the man who defeated Ledger for Best Actor the only other time Ledger was nominated, for Brokeback Mountain. While Hoffman’s Capote performance was the sure bet back then, this time it could be a true toss-up.

Ralph Fiennes: Heath Ledger's competition?

The Best Supporting Actor category is usually one of the most crowded of the Oscar season, with a half-dozen worthy competitors typically getting the shaft once the nominations are announced (Dennis Quaid in Far From Heaven and J.K. Simmons in Juno come to mind). But this year (and yes, it’s early) there don’t seem to be too many guys in the mix to compete with the category’s one sure nominee, Heath Ledger. All of which may help someone like Ralph Fiennes, who earned terrific reviews for The Duchess but hasn’t emerged as a slam dunk just yet. Just like Ledger, he’s an excellent bad guy and provides perhaps the most memorable performance in his film. With The Duchess now coming out more widely after a few weeks in limited release, here’s Part 2 of my OscarWatch interview with Fiennes.

Watch Part 1 of the interview here.

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