Before “The Fabelmans” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Paul Dano was the presumptive favorite to win Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Spielberg‘s semiautobiographical drama. But there has been a major shift in the forecasts of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed. Dano has lost a little bit of ground, slipping down to second place, while his co-star Judd Hirsch has skyrocketed to third place.
There are currently 17 Experts betting on the Oscars. Of those, 12 are predicting a Best Supporting Actor nom for Dano with two saying he’ll win for his role as the father of a teenage boy who aspires to be a filmmaker: Susan King (Gold Derby) and Jazz Tangcay (Variety). But now there are 11 predicting a nom for Hirsch with three picking him to win as the boy’s elderly uncle: Michael Musto (Queerty), Christopher Rosen (Gold Derby), and Peter Travers (ABC). All of those predicting Hirsch’s victory updated their forecasts after the film’s premiere at TIFF, where it won the People’s Choice Award.
Hirsch would fit the longtime trend of Best Supporting Actor going to older performers as a kind of de factor lifetime achievement honor. Consider Jack Palance (“City Slickers”), James Coburn (“Affliction”), Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), to name a few. But don’t write off Dano just yet. This time last year Jesse Plemons was predicted to be the stronger Best Supporting Actor Oscar candidate for “The Power of the Dog” until the film screened and Kodi Smit-McPhee shot up. But in the end both actors ended up with nominations.
Still, both Hirsch and Dano will have to get past the current Oscar front-runner for Best Supporting Actor, Ke Huy Quan for playing a patient and loving husband and father in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” He’s got seven Experts backing him up for the prize: Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Wilson Morales (Black Film and TV), Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Brian Truitt (USA Today), and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby). Check out the Experts’ complete Oscar predictions here.
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