With the latest Oscars ceremony drawing ever closer, a few of us film bloggers have elected to each look at a certain category (or categories), giving some thoughts and predictions, and I chose to look at the category of Best Suporting Actor – mostly because, at the time, it was one of the categories where I had seen all the nominees in action and even before this little collaboration was organised, I often thought about how strong this particular category was this year, with five truly excellent performances on offer, all of which I’d be happy to see win on Sunday night.
So here’s a few of my thoughts on each supporting actor and I’ll do the “will win/should win” straight afterwards.
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Willem Dafoe as Bobby Hicks in The Florida Project
The Florida Project may not have been that good of a film, in my opinion, but Willem Dafoe makes an impact as the long suffering and gruff, but also kind and protective, motel manager Bobby. In the central motel complex, he’s the paternal figure who is often pushed to his limits by the guests (as well as some other dodgy individuals) but he’s a loyal, caring and trustworthy man and Willem Dafoe fits the role very well.
I think that he’s already won a certain award for his performance so who knows, he might be a surprise win on the night. Unlikely though.
Woody Harrelson as Chief William Willoughby in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
As Chief Willoughby, this may just be Woody Harrelson being Woody Harrelson but he’s a big asset to the film as he provides a few laughs as well as some properly hard hitting and tender moments. I think that he’s the least likeliest to win on the night but he plays a good character with plenty of humour and heart and it’s nice to see him nominated.
Richard Jenkins as Giles in The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water succeeds in creating several memorable characters and one of them is Sally Hawkins’ kind, soft spoken and incredibly likeble neighbour Giles, a closeted artist whose voice is suppressed just like many of the other characters. He has heart and soul in abundance, being a thoroughly loveable friend character, and Jenkins is wonderful in the role. Again, it’s a little unlikely that he’ll take home the prize but he’s definitely the one I’d be rooting for the most.
Christopher Plummer as Jean Paul Getty in All the Money in the World
Oh, this would be interesting! Taking over the role from Kevin Spacey and filming the whole shebang in just eight days, Christopher Plummer pulls it out of the bag and then some, delivering an incredibly powerful performance that leaves all others in the shade and ensures that he is what you remember after the credits have finished rolling. It’s a supporting performance that comes incredibly close to being a lead, so for that reason (and the fact that he’s just tremendous in the film) he’s probably the most deserving nominee.
And just imagine Kevin Spacey’s reaction if his understudy won the Oscar instead of him!
Sam Rockwell as Officer Jason Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I may have taken Rockwell’s performance for granted during my first watch but on repeat viewing, I greater appreciated his subtle transformation as his character moves towards redemption: going from the dim-witted, obnoxious and violent momma’s boy to realising the error of his ways, growing ever more determined to do the right thing. His character may be a bit controversial but Rockwell is a solid lead alongside the mighty Frances McDormand and delivers the goofy comedy, shocking drama and genuine pathos when required.
As for his chances, well, his Oscar win is pretty much guaranteed.
So . . .
Will win: Sam Rockwell
Should win: Christopher Plummer
But as I say, they’re all particularly strong performances and I’d be satisfied with any one of them taking home the prize.
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Thanks for reading, enjoy the Oscars and I’ll post the links for the other blog posts, looking at the other categories, below as soon as they become available: