Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: July Nomination Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

July Nomination Predictions
Johnny Depp "Into the Woods"
Robert Duvall "The Judge"
Edward Norton "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo "Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons "Whiplash"

Other Contenders - Tom Wilkinson "Selma", Christoph Waltz "Big Eyes", Martin Sheen "Trash", Benicio Del Toro "Inherent Vice", Albert Brooks "A Most Violent Year", Bill Murray "St. Vincent", James Franco "True Story", Tim Roth "Selma", Philip Seymour Hoffman "A Most Wanted Man", Jeff Bridges "The Giver", Jamie Foxx "Annie", Michael Caine "Interstellar", Logan Lerman "Fury", Josh Brolin "Inherent Vice", James Corden "Into the Woods", John Lithgow "Love is Strange", Steve Buscemi "The Cobbler", Ansel Elgort "Men, Women, & Children", Domhnall Gleeson "Unbroken", Neil Patrick Harris "Gone Girl", Tyler Perry "Gone Girl", Michael Pena "Fury", James Gandolfini "The Big Drop", Chris Pine "Into the Woods", Peter Saarsgard "Pawn Sacrifice", Oscar Issac "Mojave", Joel Edgerton "Exodus: Gods and Kings"

Commentary - Once again, there are a lot of assumptions here as to who goes lead and supporting. For example, while I've included Philip Seymour Hoffman on my contenders list here, they could campaign him as lead, and vice versa. I am currently predicting Mark Ruffalo to earn his second Oscar nomination, because we already know that Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher is great, and will most likely be a major awards player. But that is under the assumption that both Channing Tatum and Steve Carell stay in the lead. If one gains some heat along the way, they may switch up their game and move the other down to supporting to try and get all three nominated. Christoph Waltz is also in that conundrum of lead vs. supporting. Obviously Amy Adams is the true lead, so will they campaign him as lead or supporting? So beyond that though, there are some obvious and bold contenders emerging here. First and foremost (behind Ruffalo) is Johnny Depp. Now, as we all know, these acting nominations depends on the quality of the film, and whether Marshall has gotten his groove back. But if he has, then the role of The Wolf is a baity one that might return Depp to the Oscars for the first time in a while. Robert Duvall also has a baity role opposite Robert Downey Jr. My one concern is that he has had several roles over the last decade or so that were real possibilities, but then fizzled out. But Duvall is an Oscar-winning veteran, incredibly well-respected, and this role looks right up his alley. Edward Norton is another actor (there seems to be a trend here), who has not been in this race in a while. But Birdman is shaping up to be one of the more interesting 2014-2015 contenders, and he pretty much nails every role he tackles. I, and a lot of other folks, have been high on J.K. Simmons possibility since Whiplash premiered at Sundance to rave reviews. He is a veteran actor who has missed on several before, but this category has a history of rewarding overlooked veterans. Beyond these five (and those that could potentially move into this race) there are a plethora of possibilities. Selma could be a dark horse and Tom Wilkinson is a previous nominee, and Tim Roth is a veteran with a potential to spoil as well. It's about time that Martin Sheen receive some love for his decades in film, and any time someone is attached to a Stephen Daldry project you know at least some buzz is coming their way. Inherent Vice and A Most Violent Year have buzzed directors and great casts, so the likes of Benicio Del Toro, Albert Brooks, and Josh Brolin, all previous nominees/winners. Michael Caine is a two-time winner and teams-up again with Christopher Nolan. Jeff Bridges has a big role in The Giver, but these YA-themes films of recent years have never made much mark on voters. John Lithgow has great reviews for Love is Strange, Domhnall Gleeson has had several films roles, and a big one coming up in Unbroken, Logan Lerman and Michael Pena could emerge from Fury's cast as contenders, and Ansel Elgort may ride two hit films this year to a nomination for his supporting role in Jason Reitman's Men, Women, & Children. And don't forget the deep casts of Gone Girl and Into the Woods, especially if those films are as big as we expect them to be.

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