Oscar History

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Jan 24 2019

Supporting Actor Fun: How were they nominated?What do they have in common?

RANDOM TRIVIA: Sam Rockwell is the only member of this shortlist that isn't tall!Did you know that 80% of the supporting actor category this year are 6'1"or taller?Only Sam Rockwell isn't at 5'8".

Did you know that 80% of the supporting actor nominees this year were born in California?!Now you do.Mahershala Ali (Green Book) was born in Oakland,Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman) in San Diego,Sam Elliott (A Star is Born) in Sacramento,and Sam Rockwell (Vice) in Daly City.The only non-Californian is Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and though you might have assumed he was born in London,you'd be wrong.He was born in Swaziland,in the late 50s when it was still a British protectorate.The country has been independent for 50 years now and last year rechristened itself The Kingdom of Eswatini.

On the newly updated Best Supporting Actor chartyou can read more trivia about the nominees,voteon who you think is best in the category every day,and share in our speculation about how they snagged those coveted nominations this year.

ICYMI:Picture&Directorcharts are also robustly updated.All other chartsare updated with the official nominees and preference polls if you'd like to start voting but are not fully filled in yet otherwise.

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Reader Comments (37)

I know everyone is always down on this category,but it made me really happy this year.

Elliott and Grant are genius,and got their first nominations.
BlackKlansman is represented (and Driver is really good,and the nom is a nice feather in his cap.)
AND potential category fraud from a bad movie is smited by Sam Rockwell in a legit supporting performance.
It's a shame about Ali,but,you can't have it all!

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Personally I really enjoyed Mahershala Ali's performance in Green Book.I think it is a far better showcase for his acting talents than Moonlight.

Apart from his iconic work in Withnail & I,I have not really been a fan of Grant.More to do with some obnoxious adverts he did in the early 2000s than his acting prowess.I have yet to see Can You Ever Forgive Me but I am looking forward to it.I love his directorial debut Wah-Wah about his upbringing in Swaziland (Wah-Wah).Had a great cast!

And I can't begrudge Adam and the two Sams their nominations.All in all not too shabby this year.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

I can very well damn begrudge Sam Rockwell his nomination this year.It was a barely there role that wasn't even the BEST male supporting role in the film (Steve Carrell and Tyler Perry were better).

He took up a spot that should've gone to so many other people.Jordan,Yeun,and Chalamet were my hopes.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I don't know exactly what you mean by Swaziland,South Africa,but one thing should be clear by now: Swaziland is a sovereign country,it does not belong to South Africa.Actually the country changed its name recently and is currently called eSwatini.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRodrigo

He wouldn't be in my ballot but Sam Rockwell is good in Vice,specially in that scene with the lamb chops.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I have to see Wah-Wah now.I didn't know it existed.

I am really torn between Grant and Elliott.Two contenders that I love and one that I like (Adam Driver) makes this a better Supporting Actor field than usual.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The idea of Richard E.Grant not winning breaks my heart.What a fabulous,frankly perfect performance.It's the reason we have this category.It's the reason we have Oscars.亚博主页

Ali winning for a performance that doesn't hold a candle to his work in MOONLIGHT is distressing.And for a leading role at that.It's a fine performance with one of the worst OSCAR CLIP scenes in recent memory.(the one in the rain).

It's not fresh on my mind,but I also believed Driver to be a co-lead of his film,right??He's in so much of it!Anyway,he's good enough.

Sam Elliott's role seemed like it was created for the sole purpose of this category.The campaign being so focused on Gaga's acting was to his detriment and especially to Cooper in his acting category.

Sam Rockwell's nomination is very much an Emily Blunt in PRADA "That I can't even talk about!"What an embarrassing waste of a spot.

1.Richard E.Grant

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Best Supporting Actor is typically my least favourite acting category and I usually struggle to come up with five performances I really love but 2018 was a surprisingly strong year.Michael B.Jordan,Steven Yeun,Richard E.Grant,Alex Wolff,and Brian Tyree Henry.I'm completely smitten with all those performances and it's my favourite personal acting line up outside of my own Best Actress list for last year.I'm genuinely shocked.

Does anyone else find 2018 to be a particularly strong year for supporting actors?

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

@Brad: So agree on Alex Wolff,and Brian Tyree Henry.Both were wonderful - and Henry was fab in both Beale Street and in Widows.Rockwell's nomination is just aggravating,a total waste of a spot.I like Rockwell but not crazy about his sudden streak of playing dimwitted racist lunks (that upcoming flick Best of Enemies seems to continue the trend).

I hope Richard E.Grant wins somehow.He was perfection in CYEFM.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I could have filled up the category with the actors from The Death of Stalin and Boy Erased alone.Especially Simon Russell Beale,Steve Buscemi and Jason Isaacs from the former,Russell Crowe and Joel Edgerton from the latter.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

I do miss Crowe from "Boy Erased."How he never built up any momentum is perplexing.

I'm also annoyed that THIS is Driver's first nomination.He's been better in so many other films.I didn't find this performance to be particularly noteworthy.

Grant for the win!

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Echo all the love for GRANT.

Funny,heartbreaking,complex all at once.


January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

Not seen yet: Ali

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Roger: I buy Driver as support,even though screen time is high,because his character is constructed to only support Washington's.His only plot is to help put Washington's plan in motion and execute on behalf of Washington,and his character has no life outside of this role (unlike Washington's character.)

And you could describe the plot of BlackKlansman without mentioning his character.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I love Sam Rockwell,but I just don't get the nomination.I wish it went to either Chalamet or Wolff.

Richard E.Grant has to WIN.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRod

Roger -- here's something you dont see from me everyday,a defence of a grey area performance actually being supporting.I've seen BlacKkKlansman three times and Driver,to my mind,has a clear supporting role.People make this argument (falsely I argue) about Mahershala Ali and Timothée Chalamet that 'the story is not about him so he's not the lead' but in both of those cases the story is most definitely about them since they are starring in two person platonic relationship dramas (father & son / employer & employee respectively) and that requires two people as leads.Driver,on the other hand,has a classic supporting role that happens to be a very large within an ensemble.The movie is never about him.He's a co-worker of the lead but the movie is not about two coworkers but about one man (Ron Stallworth) trying to make a different in terms of racial injustice and violence (aka the KKK) and systemic racism in the police department (his own workplace).In both scenarios Washington leads and Driver is present because he's the coworker.

One of my rules for grey areas of supporting or lead is to think if the camera ever follows the character outside of the main drama.Do they have their own life outside of the plot.In almost all romantic or relationship dramas (or at least the ones that aren't road trip dramas wherein the characters are usually never apart: ala a Thelma & Louise or Green Book),they do follow both people in the relationship separately giving them each autonomy over their own stories (like oh Brokeback or Carol where we get to know both lovers separately after or before knowing them as a unit and sometimes both--- which is why those supporting designations were so aggravating);Chalamet has scenes without his dad in Beautiful Boy,for example.They each have their own life but the story is their relationship to each other.Driver never gets his own thing.We only know him in the context of how he's serving Washington's goals and emotional journey.

January 24,2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Perhaps my favorite Grant performance before CYEFM was his huge flaming cameo in Edina Monsoon's dream on Ab Fab.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Supporting Actor is always full of great performances.Naturally,the supporting categories have more.And the men's side doesn't really ever lack.

Rockwell is better than Carrell and Perry,quite easily.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

I liken Driver's role to Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs,she had A LOT of screentime,but never once did I think of her as that film's lead.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

It happens every year the groups all form around 6 people and that's it,there are many fine subtle supporting roles for men this year,Sam and Adam deserve their noms cos they are supporting and both solid if not mind blowing,Ali isn't even uneven the drunk scene is just a badly directed moment he's so different from his Moonlight role,Rockwell is simply bad and Grant i've not seen.

my 5 are

Russell Crowe - Boy Erased
Dominic West - Collette
Alessandro Nivola - Disobedience
Sam Elliott - A Star is Born
Johnathan Pryce - The Wife

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I thought Adam Driver was perfectly fine,but I'm surprised that Topher Grace didn't receive any precursor support as I felt he gave the best supporting performance in that movie.

In any case I'm split between Elliot and Grant for the win (either one would make me happy) but I'm not expecting any name other than Ali's called on Oscar night.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Here's hoping Grant pulls a Mark Rylance and wins the Oscar.He so deserves it.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

They nominated Rockwell this year because his work as Bob Fosse in Verdom / Fosse is inegilible.The same thing with Mahershala and True Detective..

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterSOSHUA

Suzanne,you must!I just had a look and the RT score is way off the mark.But Wah-Wah is excellent.Nicholas Hoult as the young Grant,Gabriel Byrne as his alcoholic father,a fantastic Emily Watson as his step mother,Miranda Richardson as his floozy mother and Julie Walters as the boozy neighbour.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

Wish someone in Ali's camp would explain to him winning a second supporting Oscar ruins whatever chance he has to win Best Actor in the future.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I'm all in for Richard E.Grant,for his past achievements,along with this perfect performance in "Can You Forgive Me".Btw.I saw "Wah Wah"and it is very good.
It will probably be Sam Elliot for a good performance in too slight a part,but he's been good forever,so...

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Rockwell's role was a brief characture at best.The father in 8th grade would've gotten my vote.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Topher Grace?I thought him the weakest link in the film.The KKK are presented as hapless,but I think his portrayal overplayed the ineptitude of his character.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Yeah did not mean hapless ^^

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Nathaniel - Thank you!That makes sense.

Another grey area one is Sakura Ando in SHOPLIFTERS.I felt Supporting was appropriate for the whole cast,but I see some people put her in lead.What do you think about that one?

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

and what about Nivola in Disobedience?He wouldn't be considered supporting played by a bigger star.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRachMc

Mahershala has a "steamroll type lead"because the Globes and BFCA only award one actor in the category.I actually think Bale is steamrolling more than it seems,while Ali's steamroll may be abruptly halted at SAG.

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

RachMe -- i think Nivola and Alex Wolff are grey area roles this year so I didn't care which way people voted for them.But sadly no one did!

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Roger -- yeah,i've been a little surprised at that with Shoplifters.That film did not appear to have a lead to me.Felt very much like the central character was the family unit...very much an ensemble film and Ando didn't stand out to me as more central than anyone else (but I do think she gave the film's best performance)

January 24,2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel - Okay,that's how I feel good!Now I confIdentify name her my Supporting Actress winner without guilt.Lol

January 24,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

I guess this is a better time than any to point again that Rockwell and Elliot are two of the shortest performances since 1977 to be nominated in supporting actor.:)

January 25,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B

@brad totally agree,supporting actor may well have been my favourite category this year (once I accepted Collette was out of BActress)
My line up would have been Michael B Jordan,Alex Wolf,Alessandro Nivola,Richard E Grant & Hugh Grant.
But could easily have added Nicholas Hoult,Ben Whishaw,Sam Elliot,Daniel Kaluuya...the list goes on.

Richard E Grant for the win!!!Imagine how charming and gracious his speech will be!

January 25,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJB

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