According to our 27 Oscar experts from major media outlets, Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) has widened his lead over Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) in the race for Best Supporting Actor. Dafoe, who has dominated the critics awards, now has the backing of 15 experts and odds of 12/5 to win an Oscar. Rockwell has nine votes and odds of 3/1 (See the rankings of the experts in 22 Oscar categories.)
Let’s take a look back at the top 10 performances by Dafoe over the years. See where his two Oscar-nominated roles ranked on our list.
10. “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988)
Dafoe played the titular character, Jesus Christ, in Martin Scorsese’s seminal film. Despite the controversy surrounding the premise of the picture,Dafoe earned praised for his performance.
9. “The Boondock Saints” (1999)
Dafoe stars as FBI Agent Paul Smacker, a brilliant but emotionally troubled gay man assigned to the murders linked to the MacManus brothers.
8. “The Hunter” (2011)
In one of his lesser-known films, Dafoe plays Martin, a hunter assigned to track down and kill the last remaining Tasmanian tigers. He imbues the marksman with grit, determination and a surprising amount of heart.
7. “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” (2004)
He steals scenes in this Wes Anderson film as Klaus Daimler and his delivery of the line “Thanks for not picking me” is genius.
6. “Finding Nemo” (2003)
He lends his voice to Gill, Nemo’s scarred mentor, and gives his character mysterious, hidden depths.
5. “Mississippi Burning” (1988)
He clashes with co-star Gene Hackman as they play partners in the FBI investigation into the disappearance of civil rights activists in Mississippi.
4. “Shadow of the Vampire” (2000)
In this film depicting the making of “Nosferatu,” Dafoe portrays actor Max Schreck who played Count Orlok. Dafoe’s performance was hailed universally and earned him his second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
3. “Spider-Man” (2002)
The first of the three films in which Tobey Maguire played the webbed crusader is one of the best comic book movies ever. Dafoe’s dual role as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin is a big part of its success. He conveys the crazed madness of the villain while also showing us his vulnerability.
2. “Platoon” (1986)
He reaped his first Oscar bid for his featured role in Oliver Stone‘s Best Picture champ as the good-hearted Sergeant Gordon Elias. He is pitted against Sergeant Robert Barnes (Tom Berenger) in the darkest days of the Vietnam War and ends up giving his life to save his men.
1. “The Florida Project” (2016)
As Bobby, the kindly hotel manager, delivers a performance full of heart and tenderness. He is the soul of the movie.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.