2022 Oscars Best Supporting Actor nominees: 1 past champ versus 4 rookies

The 2022 Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actor are Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”), Troy Kotsur (“CODA”), Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”), J. K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”). Our odds currently show Kotsur (16/5) triumphing, followed in order of likelihood by Smit-McPhee (37/10), Hinds (9/2), Plemons (9/2), and Simmons (9/2).

Simmons, who won this award in 2015 for “Whiplash,” is the only previous nominee in the group. He is the 73rd man to be recognized for at least two featured performances and the sixth to be added to that list in the last five years after Woody Harrelson, Mahershala Ali, Sam Rockwell, Anthony Hopkins, and Brad Pitt. A second victory would make him the ninth dual champ in this category’s history after Walter Brennan, Anthony Quinn, Peter Ustinov, Jason Robards, Melvyn Douglas, Michael Caine, Christoph Waltz, and Ali.

“The Power of the Dog” is the 21st film to receive more than one nomination in this category and the third to do so in as many years after “The Irishman” (2020; Al Pacino and Joe Pesci) and “Judas and the Black Messiah” (2021; Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield). Including Kaluuya, seven of the men who have been involved in these head-to-head battles have prevailed. The preceding half dozen were Ben Johnson (“The Last Picture Show,” 1972), Robert De Niro (“The Godfather Part II,” 1975), Robards (“Julia,” 1978), Timothy Hutton (“Ordinary People,” 1981), Jack Nicholson (“Terms of Endearment,” 1984), and Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” 2018).

Kotsur has broken new ground as the first deaf male acting nominee in the academy’s nine-decade history. His “CODA” castmate, Marlee Matlin, is the only other deaf performer to have ever caught the attention of Oscar voters, having won Best Actress for “Children of a Lesser God” in 1987. Kotsur is also the first actor to score a bid in this category for a non-speaking, American Sign Language performance. 1971 winner John Mills (“Ryan’s Daughter”) and 2012 nominee Max von Sydow (“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”) were also recognized here for silent roles, but Mills’s character used British Sign Language and von Sydow’s did not sign at all but rather communicated in English via notepad.

This year’s five nominees have an average age of 49, which is only the 35th highest in the category’s history. The record is held by the 2020 bunch, whose ages ranged from 56 to 82 and averaged out to 71. At 69, Hinds could become the 11th oldest supporting male winner, while a victory for either Smit-McPhee (25) or Plemons (33) would place either of them among the 10 youngest. The only one younger than Smit-McPhee to have ever taken this prize is Hutton, who was 20 at the time of his 1981 win. Smit-McPhee is also only the fourth man born in the 1990s to land a bid here after Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea,” 2017), Dev Patel (“Lion,” 2017), and Stanfield.

The most recent victors in this category are Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” 2021), Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” 2020), Ali (“Green Book,” 2019), and Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” 2018). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, airing March 27 on ABC.

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