Supporting Actor is weird this year. Seemingly stacked, perceived locks, four contenders who have secured Critics Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations…but who’s really safe and is there an open door for a surprise nominee?
Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) is the clearest, safest bet. It’s the kind of star turn, and in a top 3 Best Picture contender, that actors love. He’s an undeniable frontrunner and he’s going to win. The pair of Joe Pesci and Al Pacino in The Irishman have gone hand in hand all season so far although I can see BAFTA being where they might split. We went over 25 years without supporting actor having two nominees from the same film and now we’re likely to see it happen twice within three years time.
I can’t shake the feeling that Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) is on the shakiest ground. Why? Because history has shown that he is. After being an Oscar darling in the 90s, with back to back Best Actor wins, he hasn’t received another nomination since 2000’s Cast Away. He would likely be his film’s only nomination, which makes his chances even more tenuous. He’ll probably squeak by but there are five or six other contenders just waiting to take his spot.
Back in October I floated the idea that Song Kang Ho could get in if Parasite was the major player many of us thought it would be and guess what, it is. That SAG Cast nomination it got, the first for a Foreign Language Film since 1998’s Life Is Beautiful, was no small achievement. Although SKO didn’t get an individual nomination, the Cast nom speaks volumes about how actors see Parasite and he hits the top 5 as we close out the year.
But, there are at least six other actors angling for a spot and most have not just a stake in it but a good chance to upset someone else. Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy) and Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes) all have a mixed bag of precursors and then there’s Alan Alda (Marriage Story) and John Lithgow (Bombshell) who are both, arguably, in stronger films but have yet to grab a single nomination. I think BAFTA is where we’ll likely find those answers. Remember, it was BAFTA who nominated Alda for The Aviator back in 2004 and lo and behold, he became an Oscar nominee as a result.
Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Supporting Actor for December 19, 2019.
Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry
1. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia) – CCA, GG, SAG
2. Joe Pesci – The Irishman (Netflix) – CCA, GG, SAG
3. Al Pacino – The Irishman (Netflix) – CCA, GG, SAG
4. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar) – CCA, GG, SAG
5. Song Kang Ho – Parasite (Neon)
NEXT UP (alphabetical by actor)
Alan Alda – Marriage Story (Netflix)
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse (A24) – CCA
Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy (Warner Bros) – SAG
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix) – CCA, GG
John Lithgow – Bombshell (Lionsgate)
WATCH OUT FOR (alphabetical by actor)
Sterling K. Brown – Waves (A24)
Shia LaBeouf – Honey Boy (Amazon)
Tracy Letts – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Sam Rockwell – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Wesley Snipes – Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by actor)
Timothée Chalamet – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
Dean-Charles Chapman – 1917 (Universal)
Jonathan Majors – The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)
Sam Rockwell – Richard Jewell (Warner Bros)
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)