Friday, February 23, 2007

Oscars 2006: Actor In a Supporting Role

OK so I'm nearly done. I've left the two tightest major races until last. That's, of course, the still five-way dash for the Best Picture prize, and the kind of open -- in the sense that nobody's really sure Eddie Murphy has the respect here -- Supporting Actor category. I simply must leave BP till the very end (I'm still undecided) so here are the guys ajudged of propping up their films (and leads) the best.

Actor In a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children
Dijmoun Hounsou - Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Who should win? Four out of these five performances are great, but only one will likely make my final line-up in this category -- the incredible Jackie Earle Haley. Of the five films noted here, Little Children is the one I like the least, and yet his haunting performance reels you in, even amongst shallow relationships and trigger-happy injections of pretension. His role may be very showy but if you look at the rest of the performances (2 drug addicts, a desperate father, and a wisecracking cop), he's in the more subtle bracket here.

Who will win?
Now this is the question. I'm inclined to believe that Mark Wahlberg can be ruled out here. This isn't the kind of role that wins oscars and truthfully, he's a bit young for this. As is Dijmoun Hounsou, who despite being nominated three years ago, would shock if he were to take home the golden guy. It's baity but this kind of award usually goes to either a veteran or a showman, which leads me to the likely Arkin Vs. Murphy showdown.

Eddie Murphy has a couple of critic awards, the Golden Globe, the SAG, an entertaining (and human) role, and a high Hollywood profile. But is he respected enough? He really only ever does comedy, or some form of it, and often it's not of the tasteful variety (Has anybody seen the Norbit trailer? Ugh). Alan Arkin, on the other hand, is a veteran oscarless actor with a funny role in a Best Picture nominee. Yet Arkin has only the BAFTA to show for himself. But what of the comeback kid? Jackie Earle Haley. His role isn't really identifiable (neither are the others), and his character isn't very likeable either. But still, Little Children has a decent presence at these Oscars, and he has the most critic awards of any nominee. Could he steal in?

Long story short... Arkin has gained momentum. Whether it's enough to win is debatable. I'm going for an Alan Arkin win, but it's close.

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