Best Supporting Actor typically goes to an overdue industry veteran, which in this case is looking to be Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project.
Best Supporting Actor is a packed category at the Oscars this year and filled with industry favorite actors that all have narratives to break into the race. However, it seems like Willam Dafoe (The Florida Project) is going to be the one to beat. His subtle but heartfelt performance has won over raves from critics that astonish over the fact that he’s only been nominated twice at the Oscars in this category — Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire. And he’s the perfect fit for a winner of this category, which usually goes to a hard working veteran character actor. He’s the one to beat.
There are two supporting actors from Call Me By Your Name in contention, which is always a difficult call to make. It’s rare to get more than one nomination in an acting category at the Oscars and it hasn’t happened in this category since 1991 when Bugsy got two noms. However, the more likely candidate from Call Me By Your Name is Michael Stuhlbarg. Though his screen time is short, his big “Oscar scene” is one of the most impactful and buzzed about of the movie. Armie Hammer still has a chance, but it’s going to be difficult if Stuhlbarg becomes the consensus pick.
Another veteran character actor in the running is Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Though Frances McDormand is getting a lot of praise for her steely performance, Rockwell has become a standout from the cast. His bigoted cop role is the kind of villain that is often nominated in Best Supporting Actor, but more importantly his character has an arc. And that’s one of redemption. Rockwell is well-regarded in the industry and a nomination could be seen as a career achievement award.
If Dunkirk, is the Best Picture frontrunner like it seems to be, then it’s going to have to nab at least one acting nomination — Best Picture winners rarely win without one. And since this is the only category that it has contenders in, there’s a good chance it gets someone in. The most likely person is Mark Rylance. He’s arguably the best known of the ensemble after Tom Hardy, has recently won an Oscar, and has the most traditional acting scenes. However, he doesn’t do anything particularly memorable, but people have been nominated for less.
The last spot is going to come down between Hammer, Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), and Jason Mitchell (Mudbound). Jenkins is another veteran character actor who is finally getting his due. He earned an Emmy recently for Olive Kitteridge and has gotten strong notices for this film. However, like Hammer, he has another co-star that could spoil his chances with Michael Shannon who always seems to surprise in this category. Mitchell is having a banner year between Mudbound, Kong: Skull Island, and Detroit. Plus, he was thisclose to getting a nomination for Straight Outta Compton a couple years ago. However, the reaction to Netflix from the Oscars hasn’t been good and it’s yet to be seen how Mudbound is reacted to during awards season.
Some other contenders include Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Ben Mendelsohn (Darkest Hour), and Ray Romano (The Big Sick).
Check out our 2018 Oscar Predictions!
- Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
- Michael Stuhlberg, Call Me By Your Name
- Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Mark Rylance, Dunkirk
- Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Other Contenders (in alphabetical order):
- Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Ben Mendohlson, Darkest Hour
- Jason Mitchell, Mudbound
- Ray Romano, The Big Sick