I became a LAMB in November 2011, over a year after I started blogging to spread the word about Mettel Ray (then known as Mettel Ray Movie Blog) and to be apart of a very large community of movie bloggers. I think I was even a contributor and everything, which is why it’s actually baffling to me that I can’t remember why I stopped. Did I even give in my resignation? Did I just forget that I was a LAMB with university taking over my life? I did go through a lot of rough years with my blog during university as well, so it might have been my own personal crisis that pulled me away from that community. But that is not the point of this post! The point of this post is to talk about the upcoming Oscars, and more importantly, the Best Supporting Actor category. So I’m here to present my (maybe not so biased) list of all the fine actors nominated this year, discussing their performances and their chances of winning this year.
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER for All the Money in the World
This is the third nomination for the veteran actor, his last was for Beginners in 2012 for which he also won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But that is not the first thing everyone thinks when they hear Plummer’s name among the nominees, instead it’s the fact that Plummer is being nominated for a role that was already shot with Kevin Spacey. Plummer stepped in after allegations against Spacey surfaced at the end of 2017, reshot all his scenes and is now nominated for a role of J. Paul Getty he was not originally cast for. Is this nomination a prize for his ability to adapt in an unusual situation, his willingness to be the movie in the first place, or is his performance truly award worthy? I could not answer this myself because I haven’t seen All the Money in the World yet, but I would think it is a mixture of both. Then again, considering the movie hasn’t gotten any other noteworthy buzz, and it has the shadow of Spacey hanging over it, I don’t really expect Plummer to bring in the win either. It’s just a good way to recognize his involvement, which happened to be so unique and unexpected.
RICHARD JENKINS for The Shape of Water
This is his second Oscar nomination, with the previous being for The Best Performance in a Leading Role in The Visitor. In The Shape of Water, a movie that is getting a lot of praise, and winning a lot of awards, Richard Jenkins does excel but to be honest, he doesn’t stand out enough to warrant himself the win in this category. It is not because his performance is dull, on the contrary, it is good, but it sort of stays on the background in The Shape of Water due to the movie’s unique plot. Besides, and this is a point I will emphasis later on, Jenkins’s performance as Giles is more on the safer side of the spectrum, and it is the lack of surprise or shock, that makes me believe that he won’t be taking home the win.
WOODY HARRELSON for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This is Harrelson’s third nomination, and if it weren’t for someone in this list that simply outshines Harrelson’s performance as chief Willoughby, I’d give him the well deserved win. Harrelson delivers a very good performance, cut wrenching even, because of this character arc in the movie. But then again, we expect nothing else from Harrelson (we expect nothing else from any of these men in this list), and it’s great to see him bring his A-game no matter the movie, the genre or the cast around him. That being said, and though he does deserve it, Harrelson won’t be winning for this role in particular. He will become an Oscar winner, for that I’m sure but it will be for something even more challenging and maybe a little bit controversial.
WILLEM DAFOE for The Florida Project
Can you believe that Dafoe has been nominated for The Best Supporting Actor Oscar for three times now, and even though they say third time’s the charm, 2018 won’t be Dafoe’s year. The Florida Project is a beloved movie, but to be completely honest, I don’t understand Dafoe’s nomination for his portrayal of a hotel manager Bobby. Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t like The Florida Project myself, but for me the role he is nominated for is very subdued and quiet. Almost as if he was simply there, supporting these unknown actors, and frankly, it’s not hard to stand out among such a cast. Not saying this to sound mean or anything, I just feel like his nomination slot should have gone to Jeremy Renner for Wind River instead, since he seems to be the categories weakest nominee.
SAM ROCKWELL for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Rockwell stands out among his fellow nominees for two reasons. First, this is the only Oscar nomination Rockwell has ever received (shocking, I know), and secondly, his character is the most controversial of the bunch. Yes, Getty is showcased as a money greedy old man, but Rockwell’s Dixon is a racist, a homophobe and a redneck white cop – and you couldn’t write a more awful character if you tried. Yet, and this is not just me saying this, Three Billboards allows Dixon to grow and by the end of the movie, the viewer is rooting for him! Because despite his many flaws, and trust me, there are plenty, Dixon does not condone rape and that’s his moment of redemption. And Rockwell delivers a brilliant performance! Yes, his performance is the loudest, most out there, most polarising, but his is also the most courageous, most discussed, and most boisterous, which is why I think he should and will win!