I’m pretty well caught up with the most-discussed performances in this category. The only two major ones I have yet to see are Sam Rockwell in Vice and Richard E. Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me? I really regret having missed the latter and hope it shows up on demand soon.
The following actors made my shortlist but missed the cut for the final five:
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Ali seems like the likely winner in this category, so I felt ok about leaving him out of my personal top five. He does a lovely job as the repressed Don Shirley, a man who feels he belongs nowhere.
Sam Elliott – A Star is Born
Elliott has graced movie and TV screen with his incredible moustache and his incredible voice for more than 50 years. He packs a punch in some of this film’s most moving scenes.
Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy
I hated this movie but can’t deny that Chalamet gave it his all as a drug-addicted young man who won’t allow himself to be rescued.
Brian Tyree Henry – If Beale Street Could Talk
Beale Street is at its best when diving into the lives of the characters surrounding the main couple, especially Henry’s wrongly-jailed Daniel Carty. His extended monologue is the film’s most compelling moment.
Tim Blake Nelson – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Nelson plays the titular character with a smile and a wink that almost masks the deadness in his eyes. He plays with the Coens’ fanciful dialogue like a kitten with a ball of yarn.
I’d be happy to see any of those men nominated, but here are my personal faves:
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
My biggest problem with BlacKkKlansman was that I felt it was more Flip Zimmerman’s movie than Ron Stallworth’s. In part that’s because Flip was the cop whose life was always on the line, and in part it’s because Driver gave the film’s best performance. I can’t hold that against him.
Hugh Grant – Paddington 2
It’s a shame Grant’s name hasn’t come up more often in awards season. He offers up a screwball tour de force as Phoenix Buchanan, an egomaniacal actor (is that redundant?) whose talent for disguise makes him an exceptional thief. This is the definition of a supporting turn that elevates the entire film.
Russell Hornsby – The Hate U Give
It’s so sad that a topical and entertaining film with a 97% Rotten Tomato ranking, based on a best-selling book, failed to find an audience and is now completely off the radar. Hornsby is fabulous as Maverick Carter, a former gang member turned loving father. His early scene telling his kids how to behave during a traffic stop is heartbreaking and infuriating.
Nicholas Hoult – The Favourite
In a movie dominated by a trio of standout performances by women, Hoult nearly steals the show as the conniving man alternately playing them and getting played. He sums up the film’s theme quite nicely with a typically ribald observation: “Favour is a breeze that shifts direction all the time. Then in an instant you’re back sleeping with a bunch of scabrous whores wondering whose finger’s in your arse.”
Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
Superhero movies are usually only as good as their villain, and in Jordan’s Killmonger, Black Panther has one of the very best. You know he’s nailed the part when you find yourself kinda sorta with him even after he’s murdered several people in cold blood.
I don’t have a definitive winner among this group. I would honestly be thrilled if any one of them took home the trophy. Let’s give it to Russell Hornsby for playing a man we could all stand to understand better.
Tomorrow: A roundup of some non-acting categories
Sit, kitty cat,
We won’t get home for hours.
Listen to the rain on the roof go
Let’s have a drink
And shelter from the showers.
Rain, rain, don’t go away,
Fill up the sky.
Rain through the night.
Cozy and dry.
Listen to the rain on the roof go
It’s not a hurricane.
Listen “plink” to the