Next up in our recap of nominees for the 84th academy awards is Best Supporting Actor. These are the guys behind the guys (behind the guys? No, scratch that — it’s too many guys).
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Branagh plays Laurence Olivier, who gets very snippy indeed with Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl in 1956. I’m a big Ken (that’s what his friends call him) Branagh fan, and a big Olivier fan, so I love that that Branagh plays Olivier.
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
In another movie based on true events, Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand, the young stats genius who helped Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane radically remake his team. It’s an interesting movie from what seems a fairly un-interesting concept, and Hill did a good job with it, but I’m not completely convinced his performance is worthy of an Oscar.
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Nick Nolte turned in a solid performance as a recovering alcoholic who trains his estranged son for a mixed martial arts tournament. I know — we’re all sick of that role getting nominated for an Oscar every year. Anyway, I’m rooting for Nick Nolte, because he’s Nick Nolte.
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
The always-excellent Christopher Plummer has added another choice role to his filmography with his performance as Hal in this movie about familial relationships. Hal is the father to Ewan McGregor’s Oliver. After his wife dies, Hal comes out, finds a boyfriend, and then is stricken with cancer. Plummer’s scenes are in flashbacks, based on Oliver’s memories of his father.
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Von Sydow has had a long and well-regarded career, but his role as the friend of a boy who lost his father in 9/11 might be his most notable. He doesn’t speak one word during the film, so his performance is mostly based on expression. The movie was not a critical success, but Von Sydow was highly lauded.
So those are your nominees. Who am I picking to win? I’m going with Nick Nolte, in hopes that I can will him to an Academy Award.
We’ll have more Oscars coverage next week leading up to the big night.