It’s the Suite Life of Kodi Smit-McPhee.
With no less than six critics wins under his over-sized cowboy hat, Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) has quickly emerged as the supporting actor frontrunner after months of the category looking like a nebulous cloud of open possibility. The 25-year old Australian actor has won NYFCC, Washington DC, Boston Online, New York Online, Philadelphia and South Eastern so far and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In a top two contender film that’s going to earn multiple nominations, Smit-McPhee is peaking at just the right time.
Ciarán Hinds (Belfast) has earned two critics prizes so far, NBR and Phoenix and is in the current Best Picture frontrunner. Former #1 here Bradley Cooper (Licorice Pizza) surprised with a win from Atlanta but didn’t show up at the Globes or Critics Choice.
But it’s CODA‘s Troy Kotsur who is defying the odds as the season’s most stealth contender. Well, not anymore. With Gotham, Las Vegas and Boston wins and then nabbing both Golden Globe and Critics Choice nods plus a Spirit Award nomination, Kotsur’s heart-of-the-film performance seems like a sure bet to earn him an Oscar nomination and make him only the second deaf actor to ever earn one since his co-star Marlee Matlin, when she was nominated and won for 1986’s Children of a Lesser God. Last year, Paul Raci was nominated in this category for Sound of Metal. He played a drug abuse counselor who has lost his hearing. While Raci is not deaf himself, he was raised by two deaf parents.
Hinds’ Belfast co-star Jamie Dornan also earned nominations from the Golden Globes and Critics Choice this week but I’m still hesitant to put him in my top five. Although we’ve now seen three of the last four years with double supporting actor nominations from the same film after a 25+ year drought, there’s something in my gut that feels like he could get all precursors and then miss out right before the finish line (like Richard Gere in Best Picture winner Chicago). With previous winners like J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos) and Jared Leto (House of Gucci) nipping at his heels, those last few spots are still up for grabs.
Here are my ranked 2022 Supporting Actor Oscar predictions for December 2021.
Green – moves up ↑ Red – moves down ↓ Blue – new/re-entry ♦ Black – no movement ↔
1. Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – GG, CCA ↑
2. Ciarán Hinds – Belfast (Focus Features) – GG, CCA ↑
3. Troy Kotsur – CODA (Apple Original Films) – GG, CCA ↑
4. Bradley Cooper – Licorice Pizza (MGM/UA) ↓
5. J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos (Amazon Studios) – CCA ↔
6. Jamie Dornan – Belfast (Focus Features) – GG, CCA ↔
7. Jared Leto – House of Gucci (MGM/UA) – CCA ↔
8. Jon Bernthal – King Richard (Warner Bros/HBO Max) ↓
9. Timothy Spall – Spencer (NEON) ↓
10. Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) ↔
Ben Affleck – The Last Duel (20th Century Studios)
Ben Affleck – The Tender Bar (Amazon Studios) – GG
David Alvarez – West Side Story (20th Century Studios)
Robin de Jesus – tick, tick…BOOM! (Netflix)
Willem Dafoe – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
Mike Faist – West Side Story (20th Century Studios) ♦
Andrew Garfield – The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight Pictures)
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. – Cyrano (MGM)
Jonah Hill – Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Jason Isaacs – Mass (Bleecker Street)
Richard Jenkins – The Humans (A24)
Richard Jenkins – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
Rob Morgan – Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Al Pacino – House of Gucci (MGM/UA)
Mark Rylance – Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Photo: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix