So it’s that time again – when I blow up your social media feeds with a flurry of Oscar posts that talk about films that most of you haven’t heard of. I’ll do this right up until Oscar night, then take the entire month of March off because, let’s face it, after 350 blog posts over the years, it’s hard for even me to come up with a well-thought out opinion 52 times a year (however, half-baked ones are in long supply).
I’d like to have gone to the Actresses since I did Actor earlier this week, but I haven’t finished the list yet. So let’s move on to Actor in a Supporting Role.
MAHERSHALA ALI – Moonlight
JEFF BRIDGES – Hell or High Water
LUCAS HEDGES – Manchester by the Sea
DEV PATEL – Lion
MICHAEL SHANNON – Nocturnal Animals
Who will win: Mahershala Ali
Who could win: Michael Shannon
Who should win: Michael Shannon
Who should be here: Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky
Again, not a lot of bitching here – all five nominees are highly-deserving, and no major snub to speak of. A lot of folks might have taken a slot in there, in my opinion Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water) and Alan Rickman (Eye in the Sky), among others.
I went with Rickman over the others, not only because he passed away last year, but because he, amazingly, has never garnered an Oscar nomination and Eye in the Sky is a fantastic film that deserves a lot more respect and attention than it’s gotten. Taut, compelling, timely and emotional, Eye in the Sky is a film that grabs you in the opening frame and never lets go.
Mahershala Ali seems to have the inside track for Moonlight. His turn as a drug dealer who takes an interest in a young boy from the projects is both strong and heartbreaking. But my choice for 2017 is Michael Shannon in his second chance at the statue. Shannon’s character hit the entire gamut of emotions – everything from the strong silent cop to the revenge-seeking psychopath. Shannon could have won a number of times before this, and I have a feeling this is the year he gets the statue.
Lucas Hedges is this year’s breakout performance. The first-time nominee kept up with Casey Affleck, step for step in every scene in a highly emotionally charged, yet subtle film. Dev Patel is a close second, starring in yet another film about Indian kids, but also somehow shedding his Slumdog Millionaire persona at the same time. Rounding out the category is Jeff Bridges, who jumped off the screen in Hell or High Water, but whose star has faded a bit as late.