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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR- J.K. Simmons is killing it.
- J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
- Edward Norton, “Birdman”
- Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
- Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
- Josh Brolin, “Inherent Vice”
Possible Contenders for Brolin’s spot: Robert Duvall (“The Judge”), Tom Wilkinson (“Selma”)
Premature Prediction for the Actual Award:
Winner: J.K. Simmons
Chance to Steal: Edward Norton
The best supporting actor field has shaped up to look a lot like what the best supporting actress field looks like. There are four locks with a few names battling it out to join the party. Simmons’ performance as an abusive and frightening music teacher has been sweeping the award circuit. It is really unfortunate for his competition, Edward Norton, who absolutely crushed it in “Birdman”. Edward Norton plays a manic caricature version of himself (a self-obsessed, notoriously difficult to work with, but ridiculously talented and well-liked actor), and stands out as a clear highlight of the movie. Ethan Hawke gives us his most earnest role yet as a likeable but misguided father trying to make up for lost time with his children while cleaning up his act. Ruffalo delivers a highly lauded performance for a definite Oscar nomination lock. Brolin has mostly been shut out of the award process so far by Duvall, but I am wagering that Duvall’s default respect oriented nomination spot will slowly shift to Brolin who gave us his best performance yet. Wilkinson gets a lot of praise, but the nominations in other circuits haven’t followed.