Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One Category at a Time - Part 3 - Supporting Actor

It's difficult to pick just five supporting actor hopefuls when the year promises so many, but here it is:

John Malkovich for "Burn After Reading" (or "Changeling")
Being John Malkovich must be exhausting. He's got seven titles slated for release this year. By the time December rolls around, either everyone will be sick of him, or everyone will be in awe of his versatility and stamina. I'm guessing the latter will be the case, and Burn After Reading, a quirky Coen Brothers comedy in which he plays an ex-CIA man, could be just what he needs to reach the podium (although he could be just as good in Clint Eastwood's mysterious film Changeling).

Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Doubt"
As a priest accused of molesting a black boy, Hoffman will take on the task of arousing audience suspicion while remaining ambigous in his honesty and morality. Weighty subject matter always feeds great performances, and Hoffman's churned out a few of them in his time. Helping his cause for Doubt is a strong cast, including Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who will also try to catch Oscar's eye (more on them in a few days).

Michael Sheen for "Frost/Nixon"
A year ago he ago he was considered a solid bet for playing Tony Blair in The Queen, but failed to even be nominated. This year, he reprises his Broadway role of David Frost, who goes tete-a-tete with Richard Nixon in the screen adaptation of Peter Morgan's play. Working in Sheen's favour is that Morgan (who wrote The Queen) has a way with intelligent, meaningful dialogue, and that always sounds good when spoken in a British accent. However, another similarity this film has to The Queen could work against Sheen; that he has to share the screen with a more widely-recognized personna, Frank Langella's Nixon. I still think he has as good a shot as anybody.

Josh Brolin for "Milk"
Josh Brolin had a big year, starring in the critical and Oscar success No Country for Old Men, as well as the audience and commercial success American Gangster. Now everybody has their eyes on him. Brolin will tackle the role of conflicted, homophobic politician Dan White in Gus Van Sant's Milk, who offed gay-rights activist Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) in 1978. It's a challenging, high profile part for an actor with no fear. I think he's got the chops. Speaking of fearless actors...

Heath Ledger for "The Dark Knight"
"Fearless" is how Chris Nolan described Heath Ledger and why he cast him as The Joker. Even before his tragic death in January, his turn in the inevitable blockbuster The Dark Knight was the most hyped up performance of the year. His unexpected passing has only added to the anticipation. Not that there aren't obstacles. It's a genre performance in a summer movie, the sort which the Academy almost never gives any major consideration. He also has extremely high hopes to fill. The Joker is arguabley the greatest villain ever created for any medium, yet no actor to date has truly captured how terrifying The Joker is meant to be. Will Heath set the new standard? Until we're proven wrong, I'll jump on the bandwagon.

Did your favourite not make my list? Let me hear it.

Up next, sound editing.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting Micheal Sheen on the list. He is too amazing for words and I hope people notice how great he is this year.

The Oscar Nazi said...

I'm crossing all my available fingers for him!