2018 Oscars: Supporting Actor

Okay it’s February, which means it’s time to talk Oscars. The winter Olympics gives us an extra week this year, so my annual Oscar coverage will be coming to you Mondays and Thursdays from now until the big day on March 4. Then it’ll be time to put the blog on vacation for a bit and write something else for a while.

Next up…

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who will win: Sam Rockwell
Who could win: Willem Dafoe
Who should win: Sam Rockwell
Who should be here: Patrick Stewart, “Logan”

At this point, the Best Supporting Actor race is really just a two-headed one between Three Billboard’s Sam Rockwell and The Florida Project’s Willem Dafoe.

Rockwell has the inside track, having won a litany of supporting actor awards for his portrayal of the angry, racist cop Dixon, and would ordinarily be seen has holding the inside track. However, Three Billboards has inexplicably come under fire as of late, as some critics and viewers seem to misunderstand the film. They, apparently, think that Dixon’s racism has no place in film, even in the context of a story that shows him ultimately evolving past it. To me, these are the same people who think we should remove Mark Twain from the libraries, but that’s neither here nor there.

The controversy has been a boon to Dafoe, who is on his fourth nomination but still seeking his first gold statue. Dafoe’s Bobby was a much more nuanced role than Dixon in a film that was barely seen, making it more difficult for him come awards season.

The two-headed race may be a bit surprising, given all the talk surrounding Christopher Plummer’s turn as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World. For those who have been living under a rock, Plummer notably replace Kevin Spacey in the film after the latter came under fire for past sexual abuses. Spacey’s entire part was re-shot with Plummer in 10 days over Thanksgiving in time for a Christmas Day release. But the film ultimately didn’t catch with viewers, and Getty was a somewhat one-note role.

I’d like to have seen Sir Patrick Stewart pick up a nomination for Logan here in his gritty portrayal of the aging Charles Xavier dealing with some form of alzheimer’s disease. Stewart himself said the resulting film was so beautiful that he couldn’t see playing the role again, and ultimately retired from the X-Men.