Lead or Supporting?

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  • Macbeth
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    #98309

    Many times in films, there is a performer that is given top billing and even is nominated and wins award in the lead category, but is borderline supporting and have only been recognized in Lead because of name value.
    What are some of your personal examples? In recent years they have been slightly more competent putting people into the right category, but there are still some exceptions.

    Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. Lewis received second billing on the poster (after DiCaprio) and was nominated for Best Actor at all the precursors and at the Oscars. His role seemed more Supporting than Lead to me, even though he had a lot of screentime.

    Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland. I know the film was centered around his character, Whitaker seemed borderline supporting to McAvoy’s character. He won Best Actor, so I suppose there wasn’t any advantage had he been nominated in Supporting.

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    vinny
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    #98311

    Woody Harrelson seemed like lead to me in “The Messengers”

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    Halo_Insider
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    #98312

    William H. Macy seemed like he was definitely a lead character in Fargo.

    Anthony Hopkins won the NBR for Best Supporting Actor for The Silence of the Lambs, but earned a Best Actor nom at the Golden Globes and won the Oscar in Lead.

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    GhostOrchid
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    #98313

    A part of “top billing” on posters or credits depends on the star-power and DDL has it.
    I’ve seen “The Pianist” recently and was hugely surprised to see Thomas Kretchmann was the second name after Brody and he was just actually for 5-7 minutes in the movie.

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    Mrs. Doolittle
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    #98314

    William H. Macy seemed like he was definitely a lead character in Fargo.

    Anthony Hopkins won the NBR for Best Supporting Actor for The Silence of the Lambs, but earned a Best Actor nom at the Golden Globes and won the Oscar in Lead.

    Diane Keaton won the (useless) NBR for supporting actor as well. Though everything else she won was for lead actor.

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    Rooney Mara
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    #98315

    It really annoys me  when people go for air time and so one for lead and supporting. Its all about who´s the story is.
    Like this year people saying Christoph being co-lead, even through he had a lot og air time and had a pretty important role, the movie was not really about him or his story, he was just a prop to tell Django´s story.
    Talking about this year also Jennifer´s role is really debatable, while the movie was about Pat, since SLP kind of falls in a romantic comedy root (even through I dont think it is completely) I think Jennifer si in the co-lead step. Bérénice Bejo for example had the same kind of role as Jennifer btu she went supporting.

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    Riley
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    #98316

    If anyone was lead in Blood Diamond, it was Djimon Hounsou, but he went supporting since Leonardo DiCaprio had top billing.

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    Gabriel
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    #98317

    This happens far too often, and it’s very unfair/annoying.

    Meryl StreepThe Devil Wears Prada. She was not the lead, but of course she’s Meryl Streep so it’s almost illegal to put her in the supporting category even if her role actually IS supporting.

    Brad Pitt – Inglourious Basterds. Now, obviously he wasn’t nominated, but the trailer/posters/etc. all made it seem as though he were the main character, even though it was an ensemble film. I assume he was campaigned as the lead for awards season too.

    Jeff BridgesTrue Grit. Bridges is given top billing and the film was marketed as some kind of Jeff Bridges action Western film, when it was Hailee Steinfeld who is the actual main character of the film. He does get a lot of screentime, so I guess you could argue he’s a “co-lead”, but the story really belongs to Steinfeld’s character through and through. Yet she was put in the supporting category. I mean, WTF?

    Denzel Washington Training Day. Ethan Hawke was the lead, but Washington was billed first and won in the lead category. Hawke was put in the supporting category in a truly mind-baffling case of category fraud.

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    nkb325
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    #98318

    It really annoys me  when people go for air time and so one for lead and supporting. Its all about who´s the story is.
    Like this year people saying Christoph being co-lead, even through he had a lot og air time and had a pretty important role, the movie was not really about him or his story, he was just a prop to tell Django´s story.
    Talking about this year also Jennifer´s role is really debatable, while the movie was about Pat, since SLP kind of falls in a romantic comedy root (even through I dont think it is completely) I think Jennifer si in the co-lead step. Bérénice Bejo for example had the same kind of role as Jennifer btu she went supporting.

    I think Berenice Bejo was a little different because while they were both along the lines of romantic comedy, The Arist was really about George and the rise and fall and rise again of his career, and Peppy was just a foil to him and their romance was really more of a subplot, whereas in SLP the story is about how Pat is affected by Tiffany and their relationship, making the romance the main plot

    My main problem is when they try to push younger actors supporting when they are so clearly lead. I know he didn’t get the oscar nom (a snub imo), but Dev Patel was nominated for supporting actor at the SAG. I assume it was because he technically shares the role with the two younger actors, but I feel like he is so clearly the lead in that movie it was really just because he was younger

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    vinny
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    #98319

    Ethan Hawke for Training Day is another good example.

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    Rooney Mara
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    #98320

    [/quote]
    My main problem is when they try to push younger actors supporting when they are so clearly lead. I know he didn’t get the oscar nom (a snub imo), but Dev Patel was nominated for supporting actor at the SAG. I assume it was because he technically shares the role with the two younger actors, but I feel like he is so clearly the lead in that movie it was really just because he was younger[/quote]

    That really bothers me too. Like in Abigail Breslin case,she was obviously lead

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    Riley
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    #98321

    Dev Patel’s character was lead, but Dev Patel the actor had little enough screen time that I was fine with his placement of supporting.

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    ENGLAND
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    #98322

    Denzel was somewhat supportive but he had a great amount of Screentime in Training Day. Meryl was supporting in “Prada.” Jeff Bridges was a lead in True Grit as well as Hailee.

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #98323

    I find Streep in Prada more leading than Witherspoon in Walk the Line.

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    AroundU
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    #98324

    I agree Jeff Bridges was lead in True Grit, but Hailee Steinfeld was definitely not supporting. Very wrong that she was placed there.

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