As the campaign for Paramount Pictures’ gets pushed to an even more intense and palpable level, there’s another name to consider among the lists for Best Supporting Actor. Up until recently, only Tom Wilkinson, who plays President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tim Roth, who plays George Wallace, was listed on the contenders list for Supporting Actor on Paramount’s FYC site for “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay.
Leaving off a few names from the fray, who are all effective and terrific in their small amount of screen time including Stan Houston (playing Sheriff Clarke), Keith Stanfield (playing Jimmy Lee Jackson), and Henry G. Sanders (who plays Cager Lee). Well, Paramount Pictures seems to have gotten the hint, at least for one of those men because Sanders has now been added to the roster for Best Supporting Actor on the site.
In a minimal amount of screen time, much of the themes evoked in DuVernay and writer Paul Webb’s passion project is executed in the story that surrounds Sanders’ character. Emulating a tragic and emotional arc, Sanders’ delivers one of the film’s best performances and would be an enlightened and deserving choice. Could he break up the party set forth by J.K. Simmons, Edward Norton, and perhaps Ethan Hawke? I don’t think so but a nomination in the vein of someone like Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” could be in the cards and I’d be all for it.
Many veteran actors have been nominated with similar screen time including Alan Alda (“The Aviator”), Hal Holbrook (“Into the Wild”), and Max Von Sydow (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”).
“Selma” also lists Supporting Actress contenders including Carmen Ejogo (just interviewed on the Awards Circuit Power Hour), Oprah Winfrey, and Lorraine Toussaint. David Oyelowo, who plays Dr. King will compete in Lead Actor, where he remains one the prime candidates to win. The film also has an Original Song “Glory,” as performed by Grammy winner John Legend and co-star Common.
“Selma” will open in limited theaters on Christmas Day before going wide on January 9, 2015.