Best Supporting Actor nominees

Oscars 2016: Best Supporting Actor predictions. Is Stallone the one to beat?

For instance, it’s hard to see what Christian Bale’s offbeat banking seer brings to The Big Short that wouldn’t have been adequately reflected by its Best Picture nomination. Ditto Mark Ruffalo’s nod for Spotlight, a film whose smoothly blended ensemble is perhaps its greatest asset. You sense he’s here (as opposed to cast-mates Michael Keaton or Liev Schreiber) because his performance’s relatively high quirk quotient made him easy to pick: in other words, well done for being noticeable in a film we really like.

Mark Rylance is a little more like it. As Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, he’s enormously watchable, throwing off an enigmatic twinkle that glints at the film’s edges even when story-wise, he’s on the other side of the planet. The Academy will also be keen to induct this titan of the stage and first-time nominee into the Hollywood club.

Christian Bale and Adam Mckay on the set of The Big Short

Doubtless they harbour similar feelings for the year’s other first-timer, , whose nomination for The Revenant caps this enormously popular actor’s most successful year to date (other highlights include Legend and Mad Max: Fury Road). Voters will probably feel that a nomination will suffice for the time being – though when it comes to The Revenant, which is chewing its way through awards season like a CGI bear on Leonardo DiCaprio’s leg, who knows what’s possible?

Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance on working with Spielberg Play! 01:57

But the runes read Stallone. Firstly, he’s great in Creed in a way that Academy members will respond to: gnarled mentor is an endearing type. Secondly, his biggest threat stat-wise – Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, the Screen Actors’ Guild award-winner, and Golden Globe and Bafta nominee – isn’t a contender. And thirdly, he’s due: though he’s no Daniel Day-Lewis, Stallone is well-loved by his peers (see that standing ovation at the Globes) and is back in the running – and for the same role that brought him to the Oscars for the very first time in 1977, no less.

Will win: Sylvester Stallone (Creed): almost 40 years after he was first nominated for playing Rocky, it’s a happy-ever-after too hard to resist

Should win: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). A stage actor first and foremost, but he just gets cinema. His Coen-tickled dialogue (“Would it help?”) is cute, but the film’s astonishing, wordless opening sequence says it all.

See also:
  • movie thesis
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