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Main| Love & Anarchy: Lina Wertmüller's unruly tragedy »
Wednesday
Oct 16 2019

Top Ten: Greatest Supporting Actors of the Decade Who Weren't Oscar Nominated

A truth.Year after year,Best Supporting Actoris the category with which we have the most disagreement with Oscar.Before our hearts are broken anew this impending season we wanted to celebrate the decade that's nearly behind us.We tend to view it Best Supporting Actor as the category wherein the Academy acting branch is at their absolute laziest each year,though we've never quite figured out why so much of their laziness funnels intothiscategory ("whoever's in a best picture!YOU")

Today,for fun,a grumpywhat-coulda-beenlist celebrating ten performances that rank among the best supporting work this decade...

10 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR PERFORMANCES OF THE '10s
THAT WERE
NOTOSCAR NOMINATED

10Tracy Letts,Lady Bird
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project

Want to buy him all the "World's Greatest Dad"mugs for this performance.This kind of warm performance easily finds a home in Supporting Actress but "Supportive"fathers are a no go for voters for reasons we've never been able to ascertain apart from basic toxic masculinity...and that being supportive is just not considered an interesting or valuable thing in a male role...

09Oscar Isaac,Ex Machina
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:ALL though we'd hear arguments for the two frontrunners

Mad scientist filtered through hedonistic oversexed isolation.Inspired and riveting throughout.

08Samuel L Jackson,Django Unchained
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Tommy Lee Jones inLincoln

Number one reason we hate category fraud: It prevents worthyactualsupporting performances from getting their just due recognition.Waltz had no business drawing attention away from the film's best performance: Jackson was running circles around everyone in this film and what's more hewasn'trepeating himself (like Waltz) or hamming it up against type (like Leo),but finding fresh satiric inspiration in his longtime collaborators problematic epic.

07Alden Ehrenreich,Hail Caesar(2016)
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Mahershala Ali,Moonlight

A star-is-born moment and yet somehow it didn't take?Would that i t'were so simple to become a star with a performance about becoming a star that's this savvy and charismatic.

06Lakeith Stanfield,Short Term 12
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Cooper and Fassbender

Nearly everyone in this great indie went on to much bigger careers but we're so proud to have been in on all of them at the ground floor,particularly Lakeith Stanfield.This incredibly raw and wounded performance of a teenager about to enter the real world after growing up in the system,aimed straight for the heart but without the soggy weight of sentimentality.

05Brad Pitt,The Tree of Life(2011)
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Christopher Plummer,Beginners

Every once in a while Oscar voters notice the well worn soulfullness just milimieters below the surface of that perfect movie star face.But they should do that more often.

04James Franco,Spring Breakers
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:All but Cooper and Fassbender

Though his worst impulses have long since caught up with him,we shouldn't rewrite history and pretend he was never inspired."Look at mah shiit!"

03Ralph Fiennes,A Bigger Splash(2016)
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:ALL

Fiennes is in that special small category of actors that is hampered by being brilliant too frequently.It's obviously taken for granted by Hollywood rather than celebrated.That he only has two Oscar nominations is an outright embarrassment (for the Academy not for him) when he should have alreadywontwice (Grand Budapest HotelandSchindler's List).InA Bigger Splashhe played against type,subverting his usual restraint for a balls out charisma/exasperation of a man who is always "on"

02Michael Fassbender,Prometheus(2012)
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:ALL

Where can we buy a David8 model?No price is too high.

01Matthew McConaughey,Magic Mike(2012)
Oscar nominees he was superior to that year:ALL

His all time greatest performance and so easily awardable,too,in all the traditional ways.But for the ass-shaking and selfsploitation,that is.If only the Academy hadn't been so stuffy,nominating five men who'd already won,all doing less than career best (though Tommy Lee Jones was fab).McConaughey won the Oscar the very next year so we just pretend it was for this incredible star turn instead.

See any patterns here?What made these performances so tough for voters to see the worth in?

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Reader Comments (5)

As it counted down,I was absolutely sure that Michael Stuhlbarg (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME) was going to be high on the list.Man,he has now even been robbed of a place on the list of those who were robbed of a place!

But a good list nonetheless.

October 16,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Travis -- i had him in 11th place.LOL

October 16,2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Tree of Life is literally Pitt's best,and that it was in the same year as Moneyball (also among his best) was ridiculous.Either one is head and shoulders above (the still-good) OUAT in Hollywood.

October 16,2019 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

More than Waltz,Jackson's biggest problem was DiCaprio.I remember he had ALL the buzz before the movie premiered.I remember being shocked at little he actually ended up doing with Candy.You're right,it was all ham,but Jackson made a fucking gourmet sandwich.Django Unchainedends up being problematic because not everyone seems to be willing to go where the film demands.Jackson totally gets it and is revelatory.Waltz and DiCaprio showing up at awards spots instead of him shows how useless critics can be sometimes.

The lack of nominations for Fiennes this decade may be proof of the Academy actually hating him somehow.

As fine and deserving as all of these performances are,I think the only one that feels like an outright snub may be Pitt,because ofTree of Life'soverall presence that year,but I guess they weren't willing to give him a double dip even in a week year for Supporting (even if Plummer's performance is the best win of the decade for me).I think the other performances suffer from genre bias,and in the case of McConaughey,the work getting lost in how fun/effortlessly is all seems to come together.They ended up making it up to him,but I keep thinking did Dallas die so that Ramona could live,or will Lopez have the same problem this year?

October 16,2019 | Unregistered CommenterVal

Leo was better than Jackson I thought,but they both should have been nominated.

October 16,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTony Ruggio

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