“Room” has been acclaimed by critics for the performances of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as a mother and son held captive for years. Larson currently leads the Best Actress race according to 11 of the 20 expert Oscar journalists we’ve polled, but what about Tremblay? The film’s distributor, A24, is campaigning him for Best Supporting Actor, which is more hospitable to younger actors than the lead category. Could he become the youngest winner in Oscar history?
While Shirley Temple won a honorary Oscar in 1934 at age six, the youngest competitive winner was Tatum O’Neal, who was 10 when she prevailed as Best Supporting Actress for “Paper Moon” in 1973. Tremblay turned nine on October 5, so he would set a new Oscar record.
But the Oscars have been more generous to girls than to boys. Three actresses have won Oscars before their 20th birthdays – O’Neal at 10, Anna Paquin at 11 (“The Piano,” 1993) and Patty Duke at 16 (“The Miracle Worker,” 1962) – while no such actors have prevailed. To date, the youngest male acting champ is Timothy Hutton, who was 20 when he claimed Best Supporting Actor for “Ordinary People” in 1980.
Could Tremblay break new ground for child actors? Our forum posters are discussing his chances in our forums. Read some of their comments below, and click here to join the discussion. Make sure to make or edit your own Best Supporting Actor predictions using our easy drag-and-drop menu at the bottom of this post.
Xoxo0: It’s one of the best performances of the year so far that is universally acclaimed by critics and by audiences whve has seen it … Since he’s perfection in this very difficult and demanding role, Jacob could pull the upset. It would be a refreshing change to not see the Oscar handed to another veteran for a lifetime achievement award.
Tennisfreak: Probably not. The Oscars are usually very reluctant to give young people awards and when they do it has always, always been actresses who have won as juveniles. That being said his and Brie Larson’s performances are astonishing.
Gabriel: It’s a lead performance, so I hope not. It wouldn’t be fair to real supporting performances.
ConMan: Yes. I initially believed that the race would be between [Idris Elba] and Tremblay. After seeing “Beasts of No Nation,” I think Elba’s performance is too slight to win … Plus “Room” is my predicted winner for Picture, so it’s only fitting that Tremblay should be the frontrunner.
How do you think Tremblay will fare at the Oscars?
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Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX