Oscars 2019 Predictions – Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor is the category that we turn our attention to today. This is the first Oscar nomination for three of the nominees, whilst the other two are previous winners in this category.

89th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage

Will win: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Should win: Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Also nominated: Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

The real contest in this particular category appears to be between the two actors who have triumphed in it before: Mahershala Ali and Sam Rockwell. Of the two, Ali is the favourite, though it is Rockwell who turns in the better performance.

Ali is excellent as Don Shirley in Green Book, and plays off his co-star Viggo Mortensen particularly well – however, it is a relatively measured, even one-note performance. Stoic through and through, there are a couple of scenes in which we get a glimpse of what Ali is capable of, but on balance the source material doesn’t give him much with which to flex his acting muscles. On the other hand, whilst Rockwell’s role in Vice is limited (he plays President George W. Bush to Christian Bale’s Vice-President Dick Cheney), his attention to detail is without comparison. Every mannerism and nuance of the naive and inxperienced Dubyah is present in his performance, and it’s a pleasure to watch.

PIANIST DON SHIRLEY

Mahershala Ali looks set to pick up his second win for Best Supporting Actor in just three years for his performance in Green Book.

Sam Elliott’s performance as Jackson Maine’s long-suffering older brother Bobby in A Star is Born comfortably qualifies him for the title ‘Best of the Rest’ in this category. The main plaudits for the film rightly went to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, just as the prize for this category will likely go to either Ali or Rockwell, but Elliott has turned in an understated and powerful performance that at least appears to have won him a new generation of fans.

Richard E. Grant’s performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? is certainly serviceable but ventures a little too far into the realms of caricature at times. Meanwhile, as pleasing as it is that Adam Driver has finally been nominated for an Oscar, there is a nagging sense that he has been nominated for the wrong film. His turn as Flip Zimmerman in BlacKkKlansman is solid but far from a career best, and in fact he has shown more depth in films such as Silence or even Star Wars.

Sam Elliott A Star Is Born

Sam Elliott is excellent as Bobby Maine in A Star is Born, though is unlikely to win the Academy Award on this occasion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s