Oscar Predictions Update: Is Best Supporting Actor a ‘Map to the Stars’?

Pattinson Maps to the StarsIt’s time to look at some of the boys in the Supporting Actor categories with the next set of Oscar Prediction updates.   The Academy Awards are great in their history but offer some head-scratching choices on what they consider lead or supporting.  We are bound for one of those this year which is why you will find names like Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year and Matthias Schoenaerts in Suite Francaise in Best Supporting Actor.

As of now, Mark Ruffalo sits comfortably in front as the brother/coach in Foxcatcher but this is all contingent about where they decide to place co-stars Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.  Early word suggests that Carell could swing in the supporting lineup to make for an easier win, which would leave Ruffalo on the outs.  Early last year, there was a “confirmed source” for Gold Derby that said Carell would definitely be campaigned in Lead Actor.  There’s been no such claim as of yet.

The supporting categories also offer up wildcard choices from time to time.  Lesser performances in Best Picture frontrunners get a big name pulled in for the ride.  In case Birdman becomes the next Sideways of the year, Edward Norton sits at the #2 spot in the lineup.  Over fifteen years have passed since his iconic nomination for American History X and we haven’t seen him really go for it since, unless you count The Painted Veil.  This time, teamed with co-stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts, this could be a welcome back nomination.  

Johnny Depp‘s popularity was at a fever pitch just a few years ago when he steamrolled his way to nominations for Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  Since then, and a whole lot of “Pirates” sequels, Depp is returning to the singing musical alongside Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods.  A role that was nominated for a Tony Award, Depp could gain a lot of veteran swelling from the film community if the performance and film hit the right spot.  He’ll also be doing battle with co-star James Corden.

Foolishly, I may be underestimating the power of the veteran vote going to J.K. Simmons, who has tons of friends in the industry and continues to be “that guy” in movies that everyone loves.  Teamed up with Miles Teller, his film Whiplash, which won at the Sundance Film Festival, seems to have all the creative juices to get him noticed after a long career.  He’ll also have some competition from other vets that include John Lithgow, who is simply fantastic in Love is Strange opposite Alfred Molina, and Steve Buscemi, who I have sneaking suspicion might be a force to be reckoned with in Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler.  Buscemi is still owed on majorly for Ghost World over a decade ago.

ChristophWaltz_BigEyesThere are also some who feel convinced on the prospect of Christoph Waltz‘s upcoming turn in Big Eyes, but are unsure about where he’ll campaign.  The story suggests a lead campaign would not be most foolish thing but we’ve him have success (x 2) in supporting actor when he’s clearly the lead.

This could also be the year that “movie stars” are turned into “serious actors” à la a new wave of the “McConaissance.” Robert Pattinson has been receiving decent ink for his work in David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, which won Best Actress at Cannes for four-time nominee Julianne Moore.  If a narrative builds for the film, perhaps the once penned “Twilight” actor can achieve a new wave of success.  If you ask me, Logan Lerman already proved his abilities as an actor in Stephen Chbosky’s wickedly brilliant The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Following that, Lerman fell into the “Percy Jackson” films and hasn’t come up for air since.  His upcoming role in David Ayer’s Fury could single him out as a serious contender.  Paul Dano and James Franco will also return to prestige pictures in the upcoming Love & Mercy and True Story.  I wonder if those two are bigger threats than we are anticipating?

Check out the new updates in Best Supporting Actor and make sure to leave your thoughts on the race in the comment section.