Of all the acting categories, Best Supporting Actor appears to be the most locked up. There is a clear top four or five, with just a select few actors that could squeeze in.
Let us, then, talk about those dark horse candidates.
- Mahershala Ali – Green Book
- Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy
- Adam Driver – Blackkklansman
- Sam Elliott – A Star is Born
- Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
In the Mix:
- Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
- Sam Rockwell – Vice
- Daniel Kaluuya – Widows
- Brian Tyree Henry – If Beale Street Could Talk
I would hazard to say that, as of this writing, Mahershala Ali and Richard E. Grant are fighting for the trophy. Whether the divisive nature of Green Book will affect Ali’s chances is unclear, because without a counter-narrative against the film being raised he would probably be the uncontested front-runner.
Instead, Richard E. Grant appears to be rallying. His performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? is quite good, and from what I hear he is a genuinely well-liked individual. Perhaps this combination will translate to him being honored by the Academy.
Timothee Chalamet is locking up the requisite nominations that should lead to an Oscar nod. I can’t say I find Beautiful Boy or his performance in it the most compelling, but it is hard to argue with a Golden Globe and a SAG nomination. Consider him in, barring an upset.
That upset could come in the form of Michael B. Jordan. He has been on the fringes of the Oscar conversation since Black Panther entered the Oscar conversation. Unfortunately, he did not get the nominations he theoretically needed to get to receive an Oscar nod. Crazier things have happened, though, and Black Panther is a film that could disrupt the normal Oscar formula.
My other “in the mix” candidates are wishful thinking on my part. Neither Kaluuya nor Henry have gotten nominations elsewhere, but both give great performances in their respective films. Brian Tyree Henry’s 2018 could receive an Oscar of its own. He appeared in seven films and the second season of Atlanta. And his pivotal scene in Beale Street is something else. Don’t expect him to make the cut, just know that I will be happy if he does.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)