2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Supporting Actor

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

(UPDATED: AUGUST 8, 2015)

Looks like another year that could be made for the veterans, especially ones that have never been nominated.  Kurt Russell seems to be everyone’s default choice as the standout in “The Hateful Eight” but he’s surrounded by Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, etc..  Jeff Daniels is said to have a substantial role in “Steve Jobs” and they still owe him one after just about everything he’s done in his career.  Harvey Keitel received killer reviews for “Youth” and it sounds like its a co-lead role that will undoubtedly get pushed supporting.  That always helps.  Mark Rylance was heavy in the trailer for “Bridge of Spies” but Alan Alda could factor in.  Then there’s the recent runner-up Michael Keaton in “Spotlight” alongside co-star Mark Ruffalo.  I have this sneaking suspicion that we need to look at Donald Sutherland in “Forsaken,” a film that will screen at TIFF.  We just have to wait for it all to unravel.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Kurt Russell

"The Hateful Eight"
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Tarantino has done marvelous things for Supporting Actors and by early word and the looks of the film, Russel's characterl is said to be the standout.
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2. Harvey Keitel

"Youth"
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A veteran in supporting actor looks to good on paper. A previous nominee that could get lots of career votes. The word from Cannes was positive for him and the film.
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3. Tom Hardy

"The Revenant"
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With staggering performances in films like "Warrior" and "Bronson," Hardy hasn't found his way with the Academy yet. "Mad Max: Fury Road" could help him along the way or his dual role in "Legend" from Warner Bros..
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4. Jeff Daniels

"Steve Jobs"
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The fact that he's gone this long without an Oscar nomination is criminal. Maybe he can finally wash the stink of "Dumb & Dumber To." Is his role big enough?
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5. Mark Rylance

"Bridge of Spies"
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Disney has endless buckets for their films and "Bridge of Spies" will have all their attention. Based on the trailer, Rylance looked like a standout. He's also having a great year with popularity from "Wolf Hall."

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THE NEXT FIVE

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6. Ralph Fiennes

"A Bigger Splash"
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His miss last year for the warmly received "Grand Budapest Hotel" reminded all of us that this guy still has no Oscar (and only 2 nominations). Doesn't really compute when you think about it. This seemingly sounding dramedy may present a unique opportunity.
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7. Michael Shannon

"99 Homes"
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He muscled out some big competitors when he landed his surprise nomination for "Revolutionary Road" (a very deserved one I might add). He's an actor's actor, who many love and the reception from TIFF 2014 was that he delivers another great performance. "Freeheld" could help too.
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8. Samuel L. Jackson

"The Hateful Eight"
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Is Jackson a threat for his first Oscar? "Django" gave some hope and "Pulp" seems like decades ago. You never know. Lots of possibilities with a large cast.
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9. Sam Elliott

"Grandma"
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He hits it out of the park in his brief yet completely memorable scene in "Grandma." It's the type of performance that can get pulled in (and actually win).
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10. Ewan McGregor

"Miles Ahead"
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He's still without an Oscar nomination (how is this possible?). Perhaps teamed up with Don Cheadle, and if the film hits in a big way, can finally right the wrong that began with "Moulin Rouge" and "Trainspotting."

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Michael Keaton

"Spotlight"
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His loss for "Birdman" stings still. The story and narrative were all there but in the end, I'm guessing he barely lost. When a popular actor finally breaks through, Oscar tends to get obsessed (look at Johnny Depp for comparison). This serious drama may have the pull. Is he lead though?
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12. Mark Ruffalo

"Spotlight"
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Mark Ruffalo landed in frontrunner status early on last year for "Foxcatcher" but was rolled over by J.K. Simmons and Edward Norton. He's a respected actor who feels like one of those that's destined to win. We're just waiting on THE ONE. Could this be a lead push though?
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13. Billy Bob Thornton

"Our Brand is Crisis"
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Billy Bob Thornton has had a career resurgence with TV's "Fargo" and he's playing what's said to be a "James Carville" like character.
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14. Benicio del Toro

"Sicario"
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The word out of Cannes was that he's another standout in a great film. They do like him when he's on. Just depends on how far the film can go.
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15. Dominic West

"Genius"
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Playing Ernest Hemingway. Oscar-bait role. Who knows who will stand out though? There are three literary figures in the film. They may all be glorified cameos.
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16. Bradley Cooper

"Joy"
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Playing a HSN-like network executive. He's three in a row. Watch out for another bout with director David O. Russell in tow. He's becoming the default choice.
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17. Robert DeNiro

"Joy"
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Playing Joy's father, which could give him some nice, tender moments, or something completely different based on the script changes. Internal competition awaits.
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18. Donald Sutherland

"Forsaken"
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Teamed up with his son Keifer in a western, this veteran actor has never been nominated. The film is debuting at TIFF. Watch out if the word is positive.
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19. Oscar Isaac

"Ex Machina"
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The guy is a machine right now. Cranking out great performance after great performance. He also has "Mojave" later this year which he's another standout. Though the genre isn't friendly to this category, the narrative is building substantially for the actor for a future nomination. Oh, yeah...he's in "Star Wars" too.
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20. Christoph Waltz

"Tulip Fever"**
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Another villainous sounding role (is it getting a little tiresome?). He's also the "bad guy" in "Spectre." Two-time winner shows love and support.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Bradley Whitford – “I Saw the Light”

22 Emory Cohen – “Brooklyn”

23 Michael Madsen – “The Hateful Eight”

24 Seth Rogen – “Steve Jobs”

25 Chris O’Dowd – “The Program”**

26 John Cusack – Love & Mercy“*

27 John Goodman – “Trumbo”

28 Kyle Chandler – “Carol”

29 Billy Magnussen – “Bridge of Spies”

30 Bruce Dern – “The Hateful Eight”

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 Kevin Bacon – “Black Mass”

32 Benedict Cumberbatch – “Black Mass”

33 Jude Law – “Genius”

34 Steve Carell – “Freeheld”

35 Cillian Murphy – “In the Heart of the Sea”

36 David Morse – “Concussion”

37 Gabriel Basso – “The Whole Truth”**

38 Harrison Ford – “The Age of Adaline”

39 Michael Sheen – “Far from the Madding Crowd”

40 Brendan Gleeson – “Suffragette”

*=could go LEAD
**=could be pushed back to 2016

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