When Mahershala Ali‘s name is called as the Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor (as our Oscar experts predict will happen), the presenter will say that he wins for his heartbreaking role in “Moonlight.” However, just like Alicia Vikander last year who prevailed as Best Supporting Actress for “The Danish Girl,” Ali’s triumph will be for so much more than just a single performance.
In the Oscar eligibility year of 2016, Ali starred in no less than four films (“Moonlight,” “House of Cards” and “Luke Cage”). The breakout star is even coming off his first career Emmy Award nomination for “House of Cards” in which he plays fan-favorite character Remy Danton.,” “Free State of Jones” and “Kicks”) as well as a pair of popular TV series (“
While Oscar voters will be marking their Best Supporting Actor ballot for Ali’s performance in “Moonlight,” it will be impossible for them not take into consideration Ali’s entire body of work for the year. After all, that’s exactly what happened last year with eventual Oscar champ Vikander, whose breakthrough year in cinema included “The Danish Girl,” “Ex Machina,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Burnt.” Voters were so impressed with Vikander’s overall filmography that they couldn’t resist anointing her the winner.
Ali has already won the Critics’ Choice Award for his supporting role in “Moonlight,” and he’s also earned nominations at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. In the coming-of-age film directed by Barry Jenkins, Ali plays Juan, a drug dealer and surrogate father to a young man struggling to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood. Like Vikander, this would be Ali’s first Oscar nomination and, if our experts’ predictions are correct, his first victory.
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