What can you say about Best Supporting Actor other than it’s one of the categories this year with such a clear and runaway winner that everyone else is just along for the ride.
Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once) is that winner but his competition isn’t slacking off, they’ve earned the same precursors he has: BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globe and SAG. That competition is the duo from The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan and all three are looking for their first nomination. If they both get in it will be the second film in a row where director Martin McDonagh has pulled that off in this category. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson were both nominated in supporting actor for 2017’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, where Rockwell won.
From there it gets interesting. Eddie Redmayne has set a course for his third Oscar nomination and first in this category with his villainous turn in The Good Nurse from Netflix and his fall campaigning has paid off with BAFTA, GG and SAG nominations. For a bit it was feeling like Jared Leto’s precursor run with his villainous role in Little Things two years ago and to a lesser extent, his cartoony performance in last year’s House of Gucci that got him close but where Academy voters drew the line. That could be the case for Redmayne but if it is, where do they go for two more spots?
The Fabelmans is having an odd precursor run so far; winning Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes, then winning just one of 11 nominations at Critics’ Choice (for Gabriel LaBelle as Young Actor) and then a devastating showing at BAFTA with just a single nomination (for original screenplay). The Academy is going to have to feel very different about the film than its British counterparts to get Paul Dano or Judd Hirsch in.
From there it’s a smattering of single precursor getters who would all be first-timers (so many across all categories this year) and Brad Pitt (Babylon), a two-time Oscar winner. Pitt has only been able to secure a Globe nod while Dano and Redmayne grabbed SAG and Albrecht Schuch (All Quiet on the Western Front) and Micheal Ward (Empire of Light) scooped up BAFTA. Brian Tyree Henry gave one of the most celebrated supporting performances of the year but only made a dent with CCA (and a Spirit Award nod) and would be his film’s sole nomination if he gets in. Previous winner J.K. Simmons pulled it off last year but he was joined by his Oscar-winning co-stars when Being the Ricardos landed three acting nods.
The largest single branch of the academy, the Actors Branch membership dropped a bit from 1,336 last year to 1,302 this year, which means if all eligible members vote, it will take 218 votes to secure a nomination in Supporting Actor.
Oscar nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 24. Here are my final Oscar nomination predictions for Supporting Actor.
|1. Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All At Once (A24) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG|
|2. Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG|
|3. Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) – BAFTA, CCA, GG, SAG|
|4. Eddie Redmayne – The Good Nurse (Netflix) – BAFTA, GG, SAG|
|5. Paul Dano – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) – CCA, SAG|
|6. Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway (Apple Original Films) – CCA|
|7. Brad Pitt – Babylon (Paramount Pictures) – GG|
|8. Ben Whishaw – Women Talking (UAR/Orion)|
|9. Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures) – CCA|
|10. Tom Hanks – Elvis (Warner Bros)|