Welcome to the second post of the newly revived Six Spot series!
You’ve asked, and we’ve delivered. We polled users on Twitter to see which year we should do for Supporting Actor Six Spot. The winner was the 2013 Best Supporting Actor race. This week also had a winner who swept the precursors and a nominee who snuck in at the last minute.
The Nominees Were:
- Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips”
- Bradley Cooper – “American Hustle”
- Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave”
- Jonah Hill – “The Wolf of Wall Street”
- Jared Leto – “Dallas Buyers Club” – WINNER
This lineup proves that Oscar loves its Best Picture coattails. All five of the supporting actor nominees in this category came from Best Picture nominees. This makes sense for four out of five of the nominees. Abdi, Fassbender, and Leto received the Triple Crown of nominations – SAG, Golden Globes and Critics Choice. In fact, Leto won all three before taking the Oscar. Bradley Cooper was not far behind, with nominations from all except SAG, which proves to be the deadliest miss usually. Jonah Hill managed to squeeze into the race at the last minute, despite no precursor support. This seems due to “The Wolf of Wall Street’s” buzz in Picture, which took him along for the ride. But who did he displace?
The Six Spot Contenders Are:
- Daniel Brühl – “Rush” (SAG, Golden Globes, Critics Choice, BAFTA)
- James Franco – “Spring Breakers” (LA Film Critics Association Win, National Society of Film Critics Win)
- Will Forte – “Nebraska” (Indie Spirits, National Board of Review Win)
- James Gandolfini – “Enough Said” (SAG, Critics Choice)
- Lakeith Stanfield – “Short Term 12” (Indie Spirits)
Best Picture Buzz
Jonah Hill rode the waves of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to get nominated this year. How else to explain his nomination, despite no precursor support? Were there any other supporting players in Best Picture nominees that could’ve gotten swept up in their movie’s heat? Some may argue George Clooney in “Gravity,” but even his die-hard fans weren’t going to do that. The only other one who stood a chance was Will Forte for “Nebraska.” Forte not only was an arguable co-lead, but he won National Board of Review and was nominated for an Indie Spirit. His performance was always more subtle than Jonah Hill’s drug-addled trader. On top of that, Hill was also a bigger name. There’s a world without Jonah Hill’s performance where Forte might have snuck in. However, he would still be a long shot.
The critics seemed to only coalesce around a few underdogs. For the most part, they weren’t who you’d normally think of as critics picks. The first was Lakeith Stanfield in “Short Term 12,” who received an Indie Spirit nomination for his work. Between “Atlanta” and “Sorry to Bother You,” Stanfield would only soon gain notice beyond his debut performance. However, the movie was too small and future Best Actress winner Brie Larson received the bigger campaign push for the film.
Meanwhile, James Franco received a slew of critics wins, including from the LA Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. What performance was this for? It was only a little movie called “Spring Breakers” from Harmony Korine. The early year release stuck around and critics couldn’t get enough of Franco’s out-there work as Alien. It’s easy to see how this was going to be a tough sell for Oscar. Was it the stripped down Britney Spears rendition or a scene where he fellates a gun that did Franco in? Nevertheless, his critics’ prizes kept the film in conversation long after it left theaters.
Two men from very different movies both ran the gauntlet with major precursors before falling off at the last moment. Daniel Brühl famously received nominations from all four major awards bodies – SAG, Golden Globes, Critics Choice and BAFTA. That’s an astounding feat. Brühl is one of only six people this decade to have been nominated by all four bodies and not receive an Oscar nomination. Additionally, he’s the only one in the category that has had that track record. What seemed to have gone wrong was the film “Rush” struggled at the box office and in awards outside of Supporting Actor. Had Brühl made it in, he would be the film’s only Oscar nomination, despite being catnip for sound, editing, and makeup branches.
The other also-ran in this category was James Gandolfini in “Enough Said,” Nicole Holofcener’s amazing romantic comedy. The film won rave reviews and saw strong awards attention for the script and Gandolfini. He received nominations at the SAG and Critics Choice awards. His role as Albert, a schlubby divorcee who finds himself in love again, warms the heart. However, it lacks the showy dramatics that usually accompanies an acting nominee. Adding to the narrative though was James Gandolfini’s untimely death before the film’s release. There was lots of goodwill for his final performance that played into the film’s campaign. Between this and fans of the film and performance, there was definitely passion behind those who voted for him throughout the season.
The Six Spot For 2017 Best Supporting Actor Was:
James Gandolfini for “Enough Said”