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Finally, some big changes in Supporting Actor! Well, not with #1 – Liam Neeson (Silence) still holds a perfect score of 50 there despite feeling more and more like a placeholder as we wait…and wait…and wait from Paramount to give Silence a poster, a trailer, a release date…anything.
No, the big news is that the rest of the top 5 is entirely new actors from last month. The biggest move is for Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) who rockets to #2 and up a huge 33 points. Although he’s not a co-lead in the film he has the second highest amount of screentime (after Best Actor contender Casey Affleck) and is the kind of young male adult breakthrough that can sometimes win the Academy’s heart (see Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People).
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) has been toying with placement on our list for months but now that the film has been seen and reviewed (and to universal praise), we feel strongly that even among a cast of largely supporting players and no clear lead that he will triumph. The Emmy-nominated actor (House of Cards) should enjoy a healthy dose of red carpet treatment this season.
Hell or High Water has been the critical and sleeper hit of the summer that snuck up and surprised everyone. A smart, lean and excellent film with a standout supporting performance from Jeff Bridges, an Oscar winner and Academy favorite. If CBS Films can mount a campaign and the Academy is looking for a place to reward this hit, this is the place to do it. It also helps that it’s one of the best performances of Bridges’ career.
Michael Shannon, who got so close last year with 99 Homes, looks to be the standout (as he often is) in Nocturnal Animals, which just debuted at Venice and Toronto. The goodwill from his SAG and Golden Globe nominations last year and a push from Focus Features in a category where he’s their only contender spell an easy victory for a nomination.
Only Stephen Henderson (Fences) and Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins) manage to hold on this month but just barely.
So what does that mean for Armie Hammer (The Birth of a Nation), Steve Martin (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) and Aaron Eckhart (Sully and Bleed for This)? Well, Nate Parker’s rape controversy happened to Hammer. He’s probably a memory at this point. For Martin, despite being in the top 3 since we started our 2017 predictions, other contenders have simply emerged with bigger and better roles. If Martin’s character has been expanded from the book then he’ll still be a contender. We’ll know more after the film debuts at NYFF next month. For Eckhart, he needed Bleed for This to get better reviews than it got at Telluride. Although his notices were good it probably won’t be enough to get him in. As for Sully, he simply doesn’t have enough to work with to get a nomination. But, you never know. Warner Bros could campaign hard for him (he’ll probably win the NBR supporting actor award, to be honest) and Open Road Films could still make Bleed for This a hit. It’s still early.
This week saw the trailers for Gold (Édgar Ramírez), Live By Night (Brendan Gleeson) and Collateral Beauty (Edward Norton) but they don’t really feel like contenders. The epic reviews of Jackie at Venice last week could boost Peter Sarsgaard’s profile here. Although, the reviews really focused on Natalie Portman’s titular performance and the film has yet to secure distribution. But, a lot can happen in a month.
Here are the September Oscar predictions for Best Supporting Actor from The Gold Rush Gang:
Tadanobu Asano – Silence
Warren Beatty – Rules Don’t Apply
Kevin Costner – Hidden Figures
Adam Driver – Silence
Aaron Eckhart – Bleed for This
Aaron Eckhart – Sully
Brendan Gleeson – Live by Night
Armie Hammer – The Birth of a Nation
Garrett Hedlund – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Andre Holland – Moonlight
Steve Martin – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Edward Norton – Collateral Beauty
David Oyelowo – Queen of Katwe
Édgar Ramírez – Gold
Jeremy Renner – Arrival
Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight
Peter Sarsgaard – Jackie
Timothy Spall – Denial
Chris Tucker – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
David Wenham – Lion
Mykelti Williamson – Fences
Follow the updated Gold Rush Gang predictions in these Oscar categories here:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE