Best Supporting Actor: A Look Back

Continuing on with my look back at the major categories from 1990 to the present at the Oscars, we arrive at Best Supporting Actor! If you missed my post regarding Supporting Actress, you can find it right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/20/best-supporting-actress-a-look-back/

As I did with that blog entry, I’m picking the top 3 least surprising winners (performers who essentially sailed right through awards season) and the 3 biggest upsets in each race. I am also selecting the strongest and weakest fields overall.

As a primer, here are the 28 actors whose support earned them a golden statue:

1990 – Joe Pesci, GoodFellas

1991 – Jack Palance, City Slickers

1992 – Gene Hackman, Unforgiven

1993 – Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive

1994 – Martin Landau, Ed Wood

1995 – Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects

1996 – Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire

1997 – Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting

1998 – James Coburn, Affliction

1999 – Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules

2000 – Benicio del Toro, Traffic

2001 – Jim Broadbent, Iris

2002 – Chris Cooper, Adaptation

2003 – Tim Robbins, Mystic River

2004 – Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

2005 – George Clooney, Syriana

2006 – Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

2007 – Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

2008 – Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

2009 – Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

2010 – Christian Bale, The Fighter

2011 – Christopher Plummer, Beginners

2012 – Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

2013 – Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

2014 – J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

2015 – Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

2016 – Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

2017 – Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

There are plenty to choose from as far least surprising winners, but here’s my top ones:

3. Gene Hackman, Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood’s Western picked up a slew of awards on Oscar night and Hackman’s inclusion in that race was never really in doubt. It was his second statue after winning Best Actor 21 years previously for The French Connection.

2. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

It was director Christopher Nolan giving numerous awards speeches on behalf of the late Ledger, as his work playing the iconic villain swept all precursors as well. This remains not only the only win in the omnipresent superhero genre in the 21st century, but the only nomination.

1. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Like Ledger, Bardem created a bad guy for the ages in the Coen Brothers Oscar-winning picture. He picked up all the precursors as well for his role.

And now the upsets!

3. James Coburn, Affliction

There was clearly no front-runner in 1998 as a different actor was honored in each preceding awards show. Ed Harris took the Golden Globe for The Truman Show, Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan) was victorious at the Critics Choice Awards, Robert Duvall’s role in A Civil Action was honored at SAG, and Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth) was the BAFTA recipient. Surely one of them would win the Oscar, but it instead went to Mr. Coburn.

2. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

In 2015, the general consensus was that Sylvester Stallone would punch out the competition in his signature role for Creed. That would have been quite a feat after Rocky took Best Picture in 1976 – nearly four decades prior. Yet it didn’t materialize when Rylance made the trip to the podium.

1. Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

Along the same lines, Eddie Murphy was the strong favorite for his rare dramatic work in Dreamgirls. With Jennifer Hudson as a sure thing for Supporting Actress (which did happen), the musical looked safe for a supporting sweep. The Academy surprisingly went another route by honoring Arkin.

And now to the fields overall and choosing a strongest and weakest. For the least impressive of the bunch, I’m going with 2011. Here were the nominees:

Christopher Plummer, Beginners (winner)

Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

When it comes to best overall field, I chose 1993. This is the year that Tommy Lee Jones got the gold in The Fugitive. That’s a rare acting win for an action flick. It was deserved in my view and the other four nominees were very strong as well. They were:

Leonardo DiCaprio, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Ralph Fiennes, Schindler’s List

John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire

Pete Postlethwaite, In the Name of the Father

Furthermore, I could keep going with other deserving actors that year, including Val Kilmer in Tombstone and Sean Penn for Carlito’s Way. 

The next trip down memory lane will be Best Actress and it will be up soon!

Todd’s Early 2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

It’s an exciting time on the blog as Oscar prediction season is here. Readers of this here know that every Thursday starting very soon, I will be posting weekly Oscar predictions in the six major categories… wait, make that seven as I will now be including the new and controversial Most Popular Film race.

We turn our attention to Best Supporting Actor! If you missed my early predictions for Supporting Actress, you can find it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/23/todds-early-2018-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/

A word of warning: these are very early predictions and they will unquestionably change. I like to do my first estimates before the film festival season approaches (beginning next week). Toronto and Venice and other fests will surely shape my predictions in a massive away. Expect lots of Oscar Watch posts in the next month concentrating on dozens of screened movies at the festivals.

Beginning next Thursday (August 30), I will begin my weekly posts listing 25 possibilities for Picture and 15 in the other major races. At that time, numerical rankings will come into play. In November, that will switch to 15 listings for Picture and 10 in ALL other categories honoring feature films.

Let’s get to it!

TODD’S EARLY PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Joel Edgerton, Boy, Erased

Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born

Sam Rockwell, Backseat

Other Possibilities:

Casey Affleck, Old Man & The Gun

Kyle Chandler, First Man

Russell Crowe, Boy, Erased

Topher Grace, BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex

Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate

Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Matthew McConaughey, White Boy Rick 

David Tennant, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Actress and Actor will be up in short order!

Todd’s Early 2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Bloggers Note (08/31) – UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Steve Carell will be campaigned for in Lead Actor not Supporting. Therefore, he comes out and James Franco goes in.

Continuing on with my earliest 2017 Oscar predictions, we move to Best Supporting Actor. If you missed my post on Supporting Actress, you can find it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/30/todds-early-2017-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/

In 2014, 2015, and 2016 – my initial projections yielded two of the eventual five nominees. For the last two years, the first predictions have named the winner (Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, Mahershala Ali in Moonlight).

Let’s begin with some confusion – there are three potential nominees where it’s uncertain as to whether they’ll be campaigned for in Lead Actor or this race. They are: Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes), Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), and James Franco (The Disaster Artist). The Best Actor race already looks incredibly competitive this year, so I’m currently operating on the assumption that all 3 will find themselves campaigned for here.

There are no sure things yet in this category, but festival season could easily change that. Here is my first blush take:

TODD’S FIRST PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name

Mark Rylance, Dunkirk

Other Possibilities:

Idris Elba, Molly’s Game

Richard Graham, Phantom Thread

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Ed Harris, mother!

Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound

Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour

Jason Mitchell, Mudbound

Michael Stuhlbarg, The Papers

Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

Predictions for the Lead Acting Races are on the way…

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 1st Edition

Hello all! Welcome to December and welcome to my weekly Thursday Oscar predictions!

It’s been seven days since my last Turkey Day estimates in the eight major categories. A lot can change in a week and there’s been significant developments since we were all couch bound after our Thanksgiving feasts.

Let us count them…

1) Martin Scorsese’s Silence finally held some screenings, meaning buzz is out. Official reviews are embargoed until December 10, but the first reactions indicate that the director’s latest could be a force in the Oscar race. My predictions reflect that. Furthermore, initial word makes one wonder whether it’ll be Liam Neeson or Adam Driver that get the lion’s share of attention in Supporting Actor.

2) A number of awards precursors have rolled out their winners and nominations. We begin with the National Board of Review. Yesterday, the NBR bestowed their winners upon us. They are: Manchester by the Sea (Best Film), Barry Jenkins for Moonlight (Director), Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea (Actor), Amy Adams in Arrival (Actress), Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water (Supporting Actor), Naomie Harris in Moonlight (Supporting Actor), Manchester by the Sea (Original Screenplay), and Silence (Adapted Screenplay). The critics organization also lists ten other pictures on the year’s best list and they are: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hail Caesar!, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Moonlight, Patriots Day, Silence, and Sully. Now – the NBR’s list of films have not and will not match what the Academy does. For instance, Hail Caesar! is not going to nab a Best Picture nod (it’s never been in my top 20 list of possibles and still isn’t). All the others, however, are at least feasible. The most notable snub is Fences, though I’d say it’s still near the top for Academy recognition. Lion is another notable omission.

3) The Critics Choice Awards came out today with their nominations. An important caveat: Silence (and Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) weren’t screened in time for consideration. The CCA nominates 10 pictures and they are: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Lion, Loving, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Sully. Another note: the upcoming Jackie got no Picture love from the NBR or CCA.

There are seven nominees for Best Director and six each in the acting and screenplay races. They are:

Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), Denis Villeneueve (Arrival), and Denzel Washington (Fences). Gibson’s nod is a fascinating one and he may have slightly increased his chances at Oscar attention. That said, it’s important to remember that Scorsese (who’s almost sure to get a nomination) was ineligible.

Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Tom Hanks (Sully), and Denzel Washington (Fences). Nothing out of the ordinary here, though Garfield seems more likely to get Acting attention for Silence via the Academy.

Actress: Amy Adams (Arrival), Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Emma Stone (La La Land). Note: No nod for either Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) or Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane).

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals). Note: While some awards prognosticators have listed Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins as a possibility, his fortunes seem to be dwindling. Also, no Mykelti Williams or Stephen Henderson for Fences. 

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences), Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures), and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea). No real surprises here.

Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Loving, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight. Again, no shocks though the ignoring of Jackie continues here.

Adapted Screenplay: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Nocturnal Animals, Sully. With Hacksaw getting Pic and Director and Actor attention, a bit surprising it didn’t land a nod here.

4) The New York Film Critics Circle named their winners today. La La Land (the current front runner for Best Picture) was victorious. However, Director went to Barry Jenkins yet again for his work in Moonlight. Casey Affleck took another Actor prize with Isabelle Huppert in Elle helping her case out with an Actress win. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Michelle Williams (for both Manchester and Certain Women) won their Supporting categories. The NYFCC combines screenplay into one and Manchester took top honors there.

Whew. Lots of information, I know, with plenty to digest! Taking all that into account and knowing there’s a bunch more precursors to come – here’s where I have the eight major races standing at this moment:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 4)

3. Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

5. Fences (PR: 2)

6. Lion (PR: 5)

7. Arrival (PR: 8)

8. Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

9. Loving (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. Hell or High Water (PR: 11)

11. Jackie (PR: 9)

12. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 16)

13. Sully (PR: 15)

14. Patriots Day (PR: 13)

15. 20th Century Women (PR: 12)

16. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 17)

17. Live by Night (PR: 14)

18. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

19. The Jungle Book (PR: 18)

20. The Founder (PR: 19)

Dropped Out:

Gold

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 4)

4. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 3)

5. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 7)

8. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 8)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Pablo Larrain, Jackie

Best Actor

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

4. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 5)

5. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities

6. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 3)

7. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 7)

8. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 6)

9. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 3)

4. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 4)

5. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

7. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 5)

8. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 7)

9. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

10. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 3)

3. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 2)

4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 5)

5. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 6)

7. Adam Driver, Silence (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 8)

9. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 7)

10. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 8)

9. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

10. Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

2. Moonlight (PR: 1)

3. La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Hell or High Water (PR: 4)

5. Loving (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

7. The Lobster (PR: 8)

8. Jackie (PR: 7)

9. Patriots Day (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Captain Fantastic (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Gold

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 3)

3. Lion (PR: 2)

4. Arrival (PR: 5)

5. Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 4)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

8. Sully (PR: 10)

9. Elle (PR: 9)

10. Indignation (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Live by Night

Whew! And there you have it…

Let’s see what transpires over the next 7 days until my next round! Until then…

 

2016 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing on with my first round of Oscar predictions, day two brings us to Best Supporting Actor. In both 2014 and 2015, my late August/early September initial picks yielded two out the eventual five nominees. Last year, these first picks correctly identified winner Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies.

There are plenty of contenders to list at this early stage. One of the big question marks in plenty of categories is Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a passion project and historical drama that has yet to release a trailer or announce when it’s coming out. It is assumed that it’ll be out in time for Oscar consideration. If so, Liam Neeson is likely to be a contender in this race (and maybe costar Adam Driver).

As mentioned yesterday with Kristen Stewart in Supporting Actress, Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk appears to be a potential major awards player and the beloved Steve Martin could reap the benefits with his first ever acting nod. Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund are also possibilities.

Michael Shannon could be under consideration for two high-profile fall entries – Jeff Nichols’ Loving or Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

Barry Jenkins’ indie African-American romantic drama Moonlight is getting attention (I predicted Naomie Harris yesterday for Supporting Actress recognition) and Mahershala Ali (known to many as Remy Danton on Netflix’s “House of Cards”) could find himself in the mix.

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is also expected to garner Oscar talk (it’ll screen for critics on the festival circuit in days) and it could feature a breakout role for singer John Legend.

And there’s many more possibilities, including Warren Beatty’s return to the silver screen in Rules Don’t Apply. There’s John Goodman’s already acclaimed work in 10 Cloverfield Lane (though the genre could make him a long shot). Or maybe a first nomination for Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins. And there’s two movies that Aaron Eckhart could find himself being considered for.

As always, the list will be updated in the weeks and months ahead, but for now…

TODD’S EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

John Legend, La La Land

Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Liam Neeson, Silence

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Other Possibilities:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Kyle Chandler, Manchester by the Sea

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women

Robert De Niro, Hands of Stone

Vin Diesel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Adam Driver, Silence

Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

Aaron Eckhart, Sully

Brendan Gleeson, Live by Night

John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Armie Hammer, The Birth of a Nation

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Stephen Henderson, Fences

Oscar Isaac, The Promise

Nick Offerman, The Founder

Edgar Ramirez, Gold

Michael Shannon, Loving

J.K. Simmons, La La Land

Timothy Spall, Denial

Chris Tucker, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

And there you have it! Best Actress tomorrow…

Todd’s October Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

This evening on the blog, we continue forward with my second round of predictions (October edition) for Oscar nominees in the six major categories. Yesterday it was Supporting Actress and now we’re onto Supporting Actor. Since my initial round of predictions over a month and a half ago, much has changed.

In fact, only two of my predicted five nominees from that original prognostication post made the cut this time around: Tom Hardy in The Revenant and Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. 

Gone are Bradley Cooper in David O. Russell’s Joy and I’ve substituted him for his supporting costar Robert De Niro. It’s worth noting that Russell’s last three films resulted in Supporting nods for Christian Bale in The Fighter (who won), De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook, and Cooper in American Hustle. In other words, Russell’s actors get nominated.

Also out are Harvey Keitel in Youth and Kurt Russell for The Hateful Eight, though both remain possibilities. Word around Hollywood is that Samuel L. Jackson is the standout male performance in Hateful Eight, though it’s unclear at this juncture whether he’ll be campaigned for in lead or supporting.

Joining the fray are Michael Keaton for Spotlight (whose nomination seems the most assured at this juncture) and Benicio del Toro for his acclaimed role in Sicario.

Other possibilities are plentiful, including Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight. If that were to occur and Keaton got recognized as well, it’d be the first time in 24 years that two actors from the same picture were nominated in this category. That was Bugsy when both Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley got nods.

This is a very fluid category, as evidenced by the major changes I’ve made since early September and we’ll see if it continues along its unpredictable path when my third round of predictions comes in November.

TODD’S BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR PREDICTIONS (ROUND TWO)

Benicio del Toro, Sicario

Robert De Niro, Joy

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Michael Keaton, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Other Possibilities:

Bradley Cooper, Joy

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Joel Edgerton, Black Mass

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

Harvey Keitel, Youth

Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight

Jacob Tremblay, Room

I’ll be back with Best Actress tomorrow!

2015 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing on with part two of my impossibly early Oscar predictions for 2015, we move to Best Supporting Actor. As I mentioned in the previous Supporting Actress piece, the predictions that I did at this time of the year in 2014 yielded two out of the five eventual nominees. Same goes for Supporting Actor last year, though it’s worth noting that last year in early September – I mentioned all five eventual nominees in the predicted or other possibilities category.

Unlike Supporting Actress, where Rooney Mara seems to be a shoo in for a nod in Carol, there are no obvious nominees in this category as of yet. One thing seems very possible – Quentin Tarantino has a knack for getting his supporting players attention and that may bode well for either Kurt Russell or Samuel L. Jackson. Right now, I’ll give Russell the edge.

David O. Russell is also known for his performers receiving Academy love and his December release Joy could mean nods for either Bradley Cooper or Robert De Niro. We’ll go with Mr. Cooper at press time.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant could garner plenty of attention and Tom Hardy could benefit from it in this category. It doesn’t hurt that he’s had a terrific year coming off the acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road.

The Cannes Film Festival brought forth raves for the indie drama Youth and Harvey Keitel’s work in it while this fall’s Steven Spielberg drama Bridge of Spies seems to have a major supporting role for character actor Mark Rylance.

Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs may mean nods for either Jeff Daniels or Seth Rogen. The Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy has both John Cusack and Paul Dano (depending on who the studio puts in which category). The Catholic Church sex scandal drama Spotlight has Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Past winner Benicio del Toro is said to be a standout in this September’s Sicario. And on and on.

In other words, lots of possibilities here and we shall see how it shakes out. For now:

TODD’S FIRST PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Bradley Cooper, Joy

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Harvey Keitel, Youth

Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Other Possibilities:

Steve Carell, Freeheld

John Cusack, Love and Mercy

Jeff Daniels, Steve Jobs

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Benicio del Toro, Sicario

Robert De Niro, Joy

Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

Michael Keaton, Spotlight

Jude Law, Genius

Ewan McGregor, Miles Ahead

Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Billy Bob Thornton, Our Brand is Crisis

And that’ll do it for now! Best Actress coming up tomorrow…

You can peruse my Supporting Actress early picks here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/08/30/2015-early-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/