Who will win topsy-turvy Best Supporting Actor race at Oscars?

One of the most difficult Academy Award races to predict this year is Best Supporting Actor. Not only are all five nominees already Oscar champs (that has never happened before in an acting category), but they have been trading off victories at the precursor prizes.

None of the men chosen by the four major critics’ groups made the cut with the Oscars. Both the  Gotham critics and National Society feted Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike” and “Bernie“), the LA scribes went with Dwight Henry (“Beasts of the Southern Wild“) and the National Board of Review winner was Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”).

Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln“)
Jones gets odds of 12/5 and is the choice of nine of our 26 experts, two of nine editors, and 42% of users. Key to this frontrunner status is his win at the SAG Awards; 11 of the 18 SAG champs have repeated at the Oscars, including the last five in a row. 

He also contended at the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes and BAFTA for playing Thaddeus Stevens, a radical Republican congressman who wants to abolish slavery.

Jones won this category in 1993 for “The Fugitive” and this is his fourth overall nomination.

-ADDPREDICTION:85:7:Click to predict Best Supporting Actor Oscar:ADDPREDICTION-

Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook“) 
De Niro is tied with Tommy Lee Jones with 12/5 odds even though he did not win a single major award this season. He is predicted to prevail by 12 experts, four editors, and 29% of Users.

He was nominated at both the Critics’ Choice and SAG swards for playing the understanding father of a bipolar man. However, he was snubbed by the Golden Globes and BAFTA. 

De Niro is a two-time Oscar champ with wins in both Best Supporting Actor (“The Godfather Part II,” 1974) and Best Actor (“Raging Bull,” 1980). This marks his seventh career nomination, and the first since “Cape Fear” in 1991. 

RELATED: Can anyone beat Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor?

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Christoph Waltz ( “Django Unchained“)
Waltz is in third place with odds of 10/3 and the support of five experts, three editors, and 23% of Users. He just won this category at BAFTA. Since the British shifted these kudos in 2000 to take place during Oscar voting, seven of the 12 winners have gone on to claim the Oscar. He also won at the Golden Globes, where 10 of the past 12 champs have repeated at the Oscars. 

However, Waltz did not contend for either the SAG and Critics’ Choice awards for playing Dr. King Schultz, a German inmigrant dentist turned bounty hunter. Since the Critics Choice Awards began in 2001, every Oscar winner for Supporting Actor has contended at both those kudos and SAG. 

Waltz won his only previous Oscar bid — “Inglourious Basterds,” 2009 — which came in this category.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master“)
Hoffman is ranked in fourth place at 15/2 with 5% of user votes but no first place votes from either our experts or editors. He prevailed at the Critics’ Choice and seven of the dozen winners of that award have gone on to Oscar victories.

He was nominated by the Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA for playing Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a new philosophical movement. Of the five performances, his is the only one not in a Best Picture contender.

Hoffman won Best Actor (“Capote,” 2005); this marks his fourth overall nomination. 

Alan Arkin (“Argo“)
Arkin is in last place at 9/1 with no votes from experts or editors, and less than 1% from Users.

He reaped bids from BAFTA, Golden Globes, SAG, and Critics’ Choice for playing Lester Siegel, a Hollywood producer who sets up a fictional movie to help the CIA. However, he lost all those races.

Arkin won this category in 2006 for “Little Miss Sunshine” and he has a total of four career nominations.

16 thoughts on “Who will win topsy-turvy Best Supporting Actor race at Oscars?

  1. I hope Hoffman wins. He should and deserve it.

    Honestly, I have no clue who will end up winning:
    -Hoffman gives the best performance, maybe of his career. He has just about the most screentime, and is a larger than life character, but is there enough love for it?
    -Will Waltz honestly win again so soon for another QT film?
    -One of DeNiro’s more emotional performances, great deal of humor. Hasn’t won in over 30 years, but will he do it again the same night Lewis wins his 3rd, too? He hasn’t won any major prizes except for the BFCA ensemble. If Lawrence loses actress, will DeNiro be Playbook’s lone win?
    -Jones emerged as frontrunner, and has the SAG, but will Lincoln’s decreasing buzz diminish Mr. Grumpy’s chances. Lewis could end up as Lincoln’s only winner, if Spielberg loses director.
    -Arkin will only win if Argo goes onto sweep everything, I believe.

    So all in all, I have no idea whatsoever. Jones is probably the safest pick, with Waltz also being a logical pick, but I wouldn’t feel safe making any bets.

  2. Defintely my pick is for Mr. DENIRO, i agree with you Jack, I’ve seen all the perormances and personally he’ gives the most intrinsic performance of them all. Rarely does an actor of that caliber understand the role so perfectly that stays throughout the whole film supporting the leading roles. I hope and expect he takes the Oscar.

  3. This contest is a toss-up, I agree. I still don’t feel very confident on making picks in this and the original screenplay race. I’m waffling on animation too. I think I’m going to go with Waltz. Yeah…Waltz is definitely going to be my pick. But I would be perfectly fine with De Niro winning if that happened.

  4. It would be strange if De Niro’s won the Oscar without a major pre-cursor….. but that’s what I think is gonna happen. He is the one who seems to want it the most, he’s campaigning the hardest and seems to have the support of Harvey, despite Waltz also being in the same camp.

  5. I beginning to think that SLP could go home empty-handed and that Weinstein will realize that he should have pushed Django a lot harder than he did.

  6. I’ve seen everyone’s performance except Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, and I’ve gotta say that Christoph Waltz is taking it this year. Tommy Lee Jones pretty much played Tommy Lee Jones. Alan Arkin was good, but the performance wasn’t Oscar worthy. Robert De Niro was good and actually surprised me with the fact that he could play quiet and calm for once; don’t get me wrong I think he’s a great actor, his 70’s to early 90’s work is almost unbeatable, but the last two decades he hasn’t not shown much range. Having said all of that, the performance didn’t feel Oscar worthy, it merely felt like a solid comeback. Christoph Waltz made every scene that he was in Django much more enjoyable. Admittedly he was really the lead, but he did an extraordinary job with his moments on screen. He was the heart of the movie. I think Waltz winning the Golden Globe and the BAFTA puts him ahead of everybody at this point. The only reason he wasn’t nominated for SAG was because Harvey Weinstein didn’t send the screeners out to the voters. Imagine if he was nominated and would have won that award…would we even be having this discussion?

  7. I just realized that Christoph wasn’t nominated because Django wasn’t even done editing by the time the SAG nominations were announced in early Dec (Thanks Rob and Chris). Just got done watching The Master and Philip Seymour Hoffman was great.
    My Rankings for Best Supporting Actor would be as follows:
    1. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
    2. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
    3. Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
    4. Alan Arkin – Argo
    5. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

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