2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Supporting Actor

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

(UPDATED: MARCH 9, 2015)

Supporting categories are never easy to predict this far out.  You have to try to foresee a standout from a Best Picture contender, a case of category fraud, or just have a really good feeling about someone in particular.  Looking at the contenders for this year, there are more than enough to choose from on the male side.

Ken Watanabe‘s role in Gus Van Sant’s upcoming “Sea of Trees” opposite Matthew McConaughey looks like a role that will undoubtedly be a co-lead but since McConaughey is the bigger name, Watanabe will compete in the Supporting category.  If Watanabe were to be nominated, he’d be the second most nominated Asian actor in Oscar history.  Only Ben Kingsley has been nominated multiple times (Kingsley is of South Asian descent, father is Indian from Kenya).  I’m sure there are many placing bets on Tom Hardy‘s performance in “The Revenant” opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.  Hardy has been up and coming with the critics and members for years with outstanding works under his belt (“Bronson”).  

Ralph Fiennes missed out big this past year for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” where he stood out as the single best aspect of the film.  He’ll likely have some goodwill leftover bringing some attention to “A Bigger Splash.”  Kevin Kline finds himself back in the hunt after missing out for “Life as a House” a few years back.  This time, he’s back with his “Sophie’s Choice” co-star Meryl Streep in Jonathan Demme’s “Ricki and the Flash.”

Alan Alda beat some pretty big odds to sneak in for “The Aviator” in 2004.  With a role in Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” he’s one of many veterans that will be seeking the attention of the Academy.  Kevin Bacon still remains Oscar-nomination-less for his stellar career.  Perhaps a decently received turn in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” can bring him to the Dolby stage?  Kurt Russell is one of many men in Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” that will be looking for some Academy love.  Russell’s closest bout with the Academy was for 1983’s “Silkwood.”  In a role that sounds like it can be potential LEAD, Harvey Weinstein may be able to work some magic on a large ensemble.  Same goes for Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, and Demian Bichir.  Make a pick with any of them.

Dominic West was a standout in last year’s Golden Globe-nominated “Pride” and will be playing Ernest Hemingway in “Genius.”  But will people be reminded of Corey Stoll’s ignored work too much?  He will also have competition from co-stars Jude Law and Guy Pearce.  Forest Whitaker will be trainer with a heart of gold in Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw” with Jake Gyllenhaal.  Chris Cooper will be in Jean Marc Vallee’s “Demolition” while Steve Carell looks to capitalize on his first Oscar nomination with a role opposite Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in “Freeheld.”

Kyle Chandler has been a stapled supporting player in several films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Spectacular Now.”  He’s quickly becoming one of those dependable actors that is starting to build the overdue narrative.  Is “Carol” the possibility?  There’s also Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight,” whose looking to build off his nomination for “Foxcatcher” and Cillian Murphy is said to have a substantial part in “In the Heart of the Sea.”  There’s plenty more to discuss.  We have to let this one play out.

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. Alan Alda

Bridge of Spies
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COMMENTARY:
In a category made for veterans, a role in a Steven Spielberg film could yield some attention for this former Oscar nominee.
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2. Ken Watanabe

Sea of Trees
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Opposite Matthew McConaughey in Gus Van Sant's next movie, it sounds like something that will be very much about the acting.
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3. Kevin Bacon

Black Mass
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Six degrees of Kevin Bacon has been a staple of the film community for years. Perhaps a role in Scott Cooper's Whitey Bulgar biopic has something for him to sink his teeth into.
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4. Kurt Russell

The Hateful Eight
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Quentin Tarantino has done wonders for his actors in the past. "The Hateful Eight" has a large ensemble and Russell's role sounds like there's a possibility that it could steer lead. Call it a hunch, but this could be Russell's moment a la Michael Keaton.
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5. Idris Elba

Beasts of No Nation
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This is a role that could go either way (he's listed on Lead Actor). The Netflix streaming on the same day as release may not be something that Oscar will notice but for now, we'll wait.

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THE NEXT FIVE

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6. Tom Hardy

The Revenant
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"Warrior" and "Bronson" were all standouts for his career. Alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Alejandro G. Inarritu's revenge tale offer some great scenes.
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7. Dominic West

Genius
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Playing Ernest Hemingway. Oscar-bait role.
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8. Kevin Kline

Ricki and the Flash
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Reunited with Meryl Streep (playing her husband) in this Jonathan Demme picture.
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9. Forest Whitaker

Southpaw
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Playing the trainer to Jake Gyllenhaal's boxer character in Antoine Fuqua's film. Pushed by the Weinsteins. Could be a no-brainer if its a standout.
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10. Ralph Fiennes

A Bigger Splash
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Missed for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (and a slew of other performances). Sounds like the kind of role that could be a standout.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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11. Michael Madsen

The Hateful Eight
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A favorite of Tarantino's films and could have his opportunity to get cited. Lots of internal competition though.
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12. Samuel L. Jackson

The Hateful Eight
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The internet called foul on his omission for "Django Unchained." They'll yell loud for this but who knows if its a possibility.
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13. Mark Ruffalo

Spotlight
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The reaction to Ruffalo winning the SAG award was quite surprising. He's loved in the actors community and sooner or later, they'll feel compelled to reward him.
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14. Chris Cooper

Demolition
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Jean Marc Vallee works magic for his actors. Cooper is a loved veteran in the community.
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15. Emory Cohen

Brooklyn
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Cohen's breakout in "The Place Beyond the Pines" was quite memorable. The word for his work in "Brooklyn" out of Sundance was strong.
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16. Cillian Murphy

In the Heart of the Sea
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Murphy's past work in films like "Breakfast on Pluto" was well received and he's very much liked by the critics. Ron Howard's big epic could pull in many mentions including some acting.
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17. Jude Law

Genius
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Playing Thomas Wolfe, a role that can easily garner attention. Internal competition awaits.
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18. Guy Pearce

Genius
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Playing F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of "The Great Gatsby" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Could be the type of role that voters love. Internal competition awaits.
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19. Steve Carell

Freeheld
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Fresh off his nomination for "Foxcatcher," opposite Julianne Moore and Ellen Page may give some leverage in another Oscar race.
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20. Kyle Chandler

Carol
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The leading male in a female cast could have him standout in the crowd, especially sharing scenes with Cate Blanchett.
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ALSO IN CONTENTION

21 Dane DeHaan – Life

22 Michael Fassbender – Slow West

23 Nick Offerman – Me & Earl & the Dying Girl

24 George Clooney – Money Monster

25 Casey Affleck – Triple Nine

26 Tye Sheridan – Last Days in the Desert

27 Aaron Paul – Fathers and Daughters

28 Bruce Dern – The Hateful Eight

29 Bradley Cooper – Joy

30 Jason Clarke – Everest

OTHER CONTENDERS

31 Edgar Ramirez – Joy

32 James McAvoy – Victor Frankenstein

33 Sean Harris – MacBeth

34 Tim Roth – The Hateful Eight

35 Adam Driver – Midnight Special

36 Dean Norris – The Secret in their Eyes

37 Gabriel Basso – The Whole Truth

38 Robert Pattinson – Queen of the Desert

39 Albert Brooks – Concussion

40 Jamie Blackley – Irrational Man

*=could go LEAD

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