Only Troy Kotsur (CODA) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog) have made all precursors this season, and as two of the most unlikely contenders to do so in a year that features heavyweights like Jared Leto and J.K. Simmons (both previous winners here) and 8-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper.
The Belfast boys Ciarán Hinds and Jamie Dornan both started strong out of the gate with Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations in one of the season’s Best Picture frontrunners. Then they stumbled, hard, at the Screen Actors Guild when they both missed. Hinds bounced back at BAFTA this week but left Dornan behind in the process. If you’ve followed my predictions this season you know I’ve never had Dornan in my top 5. Is it 50 Shades stigma? Maybe. Is he too handsome? Maybe that, too. Call it a hunch, call it giving me Richard Gere in Chicago vibes but I’ve always felt that the entire cast could get in and they’d still snub him. The performance he should be nominated for is Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar.
Jared Leto (House of Gucci) missed the Globe but then snagged Critics Choice and SAG noms only to be snuffed at BAFTA despite the film being a longlist powerhouse. But, the makeup nomination the film is going to get is directly tied to him and the Academy loves actors under tons of prosthetics. Ben Affleck started strong too, in yet another acting comeback, earning Globe and SAG nominations for The Tender Bar (although most feel his performance in The Last Duel was far superior). Affleck is also a previous Oscar winner (for Original Screenplay nearly 25 years ago) but has never been nominated for acting.
That leaves us with a host of contenders with just a single precursor. Simmons (Being the Ricardos) only earned Critics Choice, Cooper (Licorice Pizza) snagged SAG and both Woody Norman (C’mon C’mon) and Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog) got BAFTA. Simmons feels pretty far out of contention and Norman would be great if his film hadn’t so woefully underperformed this season.
I had Cooper in my #1 spot for supporting actor for months ahead of the film’s first screening and only dropped him down due to his lack of screen time. Considering how well LP performed at BAFTA it seems like he should have gotten in there but I’m keeping him in. Very early in the season I had Plemons in my top 5 for quite some time until seeing the film at Telluride where Smit-McPhee was the one who really had the part. But I came back to Plemons joining him in this lineup before the BAFTA nominations and feel like it could happen. Double nominations in this category took 25 years to happen again and since 2017 it’s happened no less than three times.
There could be argument to be made for Mike Faist (West Side Story) to surprise here after his BAFTA nomination but only his film performs at the same level as the 1961 film and unless there’s a big turnaround at the Academy after its poor showings with some major guilds and BAFTA it doesn’t seem likely.
Here are my final 2022 Oscar nomination predictions for Supporting Actor.
1. Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – GG, CCA, SAG, BAFTA
2. Troy Kotsur – CODA (Apple Original Films) – GG, CCA, SAG, BAFTA
3. Ciarán Hinds – Belfast (Focus Features) – GG, CCA, BAFTA
4. Bradley Cooper – Licorice Pizza (MGM/UAR) – SAG
5. Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – BAFTA
6. Jared Leto – House of Gucci (MGM/UAR) – CCA, SAG
7. Jamie Dornan – Belfast (Focus Features) – GG, CCA
8. Ben Affleck – The Tender Bar (Amazon Studios) – GG, SAG
9. Mike Faist – West Side Story (20th Century Studios) – BAFTA
10. J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos (Amazon Studios) – CCA