Best Supporting Actor Oscar slugfest: Mahershala Ali vs. Timothee Chalamet?

Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”) had been sitting pretty atop our Best Supporting Actor Oscar predictions for months until Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) bumped him down two weeks ago, but one of Gold Derby’s editors is still on the Timmy Train — for now.

“It’s a tough one. I still have Timothee at No. 1, but I could be convinced,” Marcus James Dixon says in our Best Supporting Actor slugfest with Chris Beachum and myself (watch above). “He was so great in that. And I was not a big fan of ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ but ‘Beautiful Boy’ — his performance just completely blew me away and they kind of owe him one for last year, whereas Mahershala, they don’t owe him anything; they just gave him an Oscar. The Golden Globes owe Mahershala, remember. They did not give him a Golden Globe for ‘Moonlight.’ So I could see Mahershala winning at the Globes, I could see Timothee winning at the Oscars.”

Chalamet, who’ll be 23 by the Oscars, would be the category’s second youngest winner ever, and Dixon concedes that Oscar doesn’t typically reward young men. However, more twentysomethings have won in supporting (four) than in lead (one), which was where Chalamet contended last season for “Call Me by Your Name.”

Ali, meanwhile, is trying to be the seventh performer with a 2-for-2 Oscar record, just two years after prevailing for “Moonlight.” Beachum is hedging on him because multiple wins don’t usually occur in such a short span. “I know it’s happened. I had somebody the other day bring up Christoph Waltz,” he says of the actor winning his second supporting statuette for “Django Unchained” (2012) three years after his first for “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). “That was more than two years and the entire category was Oscar winners, so somebody was getting another Oscar in that category.”

With this year’s race so up in the air, Beachum admits, “I don’t know what to do.” He can picture multiple people winning, including Richard E. Grant as Melissa McCarthy‘s fun-loving, unreliable friend in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “A Star Is Born”‘s Sam Elliott filling the “unrewarded veteran” slot. Both are in our predicted top five, along with reigning champ Sam Rockwell, back with “Vice,” but Dixon recently removed Rockwell in favor of “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan, who will get extra buzz with “Creed 2” coming out in two weeks.

“This is a guy who’s been building up equity like crazy,” Beachum says. “That’s a possibility.”

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UPLOADED Nov 7, 2018 4:26 pm