FILM

Why Has the Oscar For “Best-Supporting Actor/Actress” Been So Stacked?

As I review this years list of Best-Supporting Actors/Actresses I can’t help but imagine how tough it must be as an old white guy voting on who should win such a prestigious award, but don’t worry, I’m not an old white guy. With that being said, it has only shown to be a more difficult road for Supporting Actors and Actresses to take home that gold studded nude guy we call an Oscar and it proves how important supporting actors/actresses have become.

The best example I can think of is a villain we all know and love and I bet you know who it is…

Oh yes, him again, the one and only “Clowned Prince of Crime” portrayed by one Heath Ledger. Of course, the Oscars didn’t just decide that Supporting Actors could actually be good all of a sudden, but it established a wave of extra large amounts of extremely brilliant acting performances by someone other than the stars of films.

Take Goodfellas for example, you know Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, but it’s always Joe Pesci that people talk about first or Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained or Lupita N’Yongo from 2014. These are all roles we remember almost more than the leads themselves and it’s because of the intimacy that the supporting characters bring in less time than the leads.

We remember not always the stars, but the supporting roles in films, and what I have seen come out of films have been performances that men and women can sink their teeth into without having to be on set for nearly a quarter of year at a time – not saying they don’t do that anyways – but damn does it become more enticing for actors, and it doesn’t matter which gender either. This year we have one of the most difficult Oscar debates to bring to the bars than we’ve had in quite some time. Not only have film fans become more aware of who is actually a really great performer in their film, but they tend to realize who else that year was also really impressive.

Let’s review these lists again:

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:          ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Christian Bale, The Big Short                       Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Tom Hardy, The Revenant                           Rooney Mara, Carol

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight                                Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies                     Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Sylvester Stallone, Creed                            Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Now, you want to tell me who you is locked in for that gold covered nude guy? Yeah, I can’t figure it out either, but what I do know is this, they are all in some of their most defining roles in their respective careers. It’s their supporting characters that bring the mood to the stories they are in. Think about it, our supporting actors/actresses listed above are bringing the emotions to their respective stories if not completely defining the spirit of their films. That’s what makes such a supporting character so brilliant because in limited screen time – some more than others – but it’s what they are doing with it that made them award worthy.

I gave my early predictions on Who Will Win At the Oscars 2016 and this was the category that made me stop and think extra hard. The chances are slim in this category simply because they are all so polarizing, but it’s a win for movie fans with whomever wins because this is one of the better lists of supporting actors and actresses I’ve seen.

 

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