The second in MaverickFilm.Co’s series looking at who will win the big Oscars this year.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominees: Jeff Bridges- Hell or High Water, Mahershala Ali- Moonlight, Dev Patel- Lion, Michael Shannon- Nocturnal Animals, Lucas Hedges- Manchester by the Sea.
Who will win:
Dev Patel, having claimed the equivalent BAFTA, looks likely to triumph here too. Patel relished the chance to escape “goofy” typecasting and dive into a role with more depth, as he told Vulture.com – “the experience was life-changing for me, to get a role that felt so substantial. I wasn’t a goofy sidekick caricature, tech-geek guy. It was thoroughly soulful and emotional. And it took me on this journey that was so nourishing that I just thought, Oh god, it must be special […] A lot of films are never like this”.
Elaborating on his frustration Patel said- “you know, it’s kind of hard because a lot of the work I do does stem from, ‘I’m playing an Indian guy,’ because I am one. So people will kind of package that into me playing the same character all the time. But I think that’s kind of unfair”.
If Patel claims the Oscar and Lion sees more success it could represent a slight revival for the Weinstein Company who have struggled critically of late. Lion does come across a little Oscar-bait-y but it’s immersive and certainly better than many recent Weinstein offerings (cough, Southpaw, cough).
Who should win:
It’s a notable anomaly that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is omitted from the nominations. Having taken the Golden Globe for his supporting role in Nocturnal Animals he will have been hoping for the chance to claim an even bigger prize on the back of the role. Instead the academy nominated co-star Michael Shannon whose only previous nomination came for his performance in 2008’s Revolutionary Road.
Many cinema goers would be relieved to see Ali or Patel take the Oscar though in an effort to re-dress the white washing of the Oscars…
Mahershala Ali, having been nominated across the board (in the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars,) for his role in Moonlight, seems to have a solid chance of taking the award. It’s Ali’s first nomination for an Academy Award.
Jeff Bridges effectively reprised his Rooster Cogburn role from 2010’s True Grit, a similar (if modernised) classic cowboy was on show. He’s seems unlikely to take the Academy Award despite a memorable performance.
Ali and Lucas Hedges are likely to be Dev Patel’s main challengers for the Oscar. Interestingly on a statistical level, according to Rotten Tomatoes polls, Lion was rated higher than Moonlight by fans where Moonlight was held in higher esteem by critics. Manchester by the Sea has taken plenty of plaudits too and Lucas Hedges will be very much in the running and seeing both Hedges and Affleck take the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor in a Leading Role awards, respectively, isn’t impossible.
Many cinema goers would be relieved to see Ali or Patel take the Oscar though in an effort to re-dress the white washing of the Oscars that the Academy were so thoroughly accused of last year. Whoever wins, this one will be an interesting race and contains some great performances.
By George Storr