Oscars 2010: Best Supporting Actress and Actor


Although the leading performances get all the glamor and attention, supporting actors and actresses are the best. They go to those characters that steal scenes, people playing incredibly convincing character roles or even impersonations. Sometimes they’re so good like in a year such as this one that there’s one clear favorite.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Mo’nique for Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire
  • Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
  • Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air
  • Penelope Cruz for Nine
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart

In this category, the exciting part is that Penelope Cruz (last year’s winner in this category) is the lone veteran. I did not see Nine but she does play the mistress in the film, which I know is a great part, so I’m sure she’s terrific and in the deserving category.

Also in the deserving category is Anna Kendrick. She plays a more believable recent college graduate than I do and I’m actually a recent college graduate. Poised for a huge year in 2010 with another Twilight film a couple anticipated comedies, this is the beginning of something special for Anna and she deserves it. Her character dynamic and her performance as funny as it is touching.

Head honcho of the deserving category is Mo’Nique. Her emotional speech before the Welfare officer (Mariah Carey) at the end is the reason this film was a guaranteed Best Picture nominee. Somehow she turns an abhorrent monster into a human being with her performance.

Haven’t seen Crazy Heart but I know Maggie Gyllenhaal is a heck of a talent, so I trust that, but I’m not sure I agree with Vera Farmiga making the list. She’s talented, no doubt about it. Alex is a sexy character with a heck of a personality, but I didn’t come out of that film moved or inspired by her performance at all. She’s just an interesting character, nothing more or less.

Prediction: Mo’Nique for Precious

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
  • Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
  • Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
  • Christopher Plummer for The Last Station
  • Matt Damon for Invictus

Unfortunately, I’ve only seen two of these nominated performances, but I hardly think it matters. I will say outright that I agree with Matt Damon’s nomination. He was worthy of a nomination for The Informant!, so I think it’s basically justice for him to be honored for playing Francois Pienaar of the South African rugby team. He was good, to be truthful, in that part. He played an inspiring leader and he managed to stand out while sharing screen time with Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Talk about a shadow.

I felt like Stanley Tucci should’ve gotten nominated for Julie & Julia because he was a hysterical delight in that film as opposed to a murderous pedophile and The Lovely Bones wasn’t received nearly as well. He’s a terrific actor, however and he deserves this first Oscar nomination.

Woody Harrelson is another terrific actor that I’m glad to see with a nomination, his second after The People vs. Larry Flynt. He’s often cast in roles where he plays dumb or crazy people, so I understand not associating him with good acting, but he’s terrific.

Acting luminary Christopher Plummer getting nominated is like giving Meryl Streep a nomination. Every time he’s on screen in a decent film he’s probably worthy of nomination. I wouldn’t expect him to win in any case.

Then there’s the newcomer and the likely winner, Christoph Waltz. I think there should be a rule in place that if you impressively speak three or more languages in one film that you should automatically receive a nomination. The reason he wins, however — the reason many villains win Oscars — is because he simply steals the scenes he is in. Hands down he was the best part of Inglourious Basterds.

Prediction: Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds