02 March 2014

In a Supporting Role: Part II - The Gentlemen

by Kevin Powers

What a category! Some of my favorite actors duking it out. But, here's the deal all you My So-Called Life fans:  Jared Leto, yes! Jordan Catalano himself, has the prize in the bag.

Too bad, Jonah!

Barkhad Abdi in Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips

What a great story this young man makes! A Somali transplant discovered in Minneapolis lands a movie role and gets an Oscar nomination. His performance is fierce in a movie that is pure ferocity. Tom Hanks plays the title role of hijacked and captured Captain Richard Phillips, but it's Abdi's Somali pirate leader, who stepped up and stole the show and the support of the Oscar voters. He's probably 2nd place if I had to guess.

Bradley Cooper in David O. Russell's American Hustle

Cooper can do anything, and this is his finest work. He is dumb, yet quick-witted. He gives himself perms. He goes to discos. He plays FBI Agent Richie DeMaso, orchestrator of the Abscam shakedowns. His work alongside the other great performers in this movie is, in my opinion, second only to Jennifer Lawrence. He won't win, but I wish he would. This character is just perfect for him and he plays it crazy good.

Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave

Another absolute wild man of a character, Fassbender (the guy's everywhere right now) plays Edwin Epps, a sadistic Louisiana plantation owner in love, in many different ways, with slavery and his slaves. His performance is riddled with sweat and fire. I wonder how hard it must have been to play such a character. Fassbender is an incredible actor and will win an Oscar someday. He won't tonight.

Jonah Hill in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street

A sentence I never thought I'd utter in 2007:  Jonah Hill received his second Oscar nomination. He is a sight to behold in Scorsese's DiCaprio vehicle about ultimate excess and corporate greed. He plays Jordan Belfort's (DiCaprio) right-hand man. An overweight, toothy, bespectacled drug addict, he goes toe-to-toe with Leo throughout the show and that says something. His performance is loud and frenzied and hardcore. This is one of my favorite performance of the year...period.

Jared Leto in Jean-Marc Vallee's Dallas Buyers Club

As Rayon, a 1980s Dallas drag queen with AIDS, Jared Leto comes out of nowhere and wins the Oscar. He has been out of the game for awhile, but you would never know. This is a performance that Oscar has and will always cherish. It is fine work in a fine film alongside a fine leading performance (see Leading Actor: Matthew McConaughey).

Powers' Favorite: Tie - Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper

Powers' Prediction: Jared Leto

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