As my look back at the 2022 movie year continues, I’ll spend this week offering up my personal nominees and winners in the four acting categories as well as Best Director.
A note on this week’s song selections: I’m featuring songs that appear in one of my nominated films, but not necessarily the winning film. I’m hoping to unearth some decent tunes in the process, like today’s track by little-known soul artist Harry Krapsho. This one appeared during the end credits of Causeway.
This year’s potential Best Supporting Actor nominees were few and far between. My personal list overlaps almost completely with the actual Oscar nominees.
A few other performances I considered were Mark Rylance in Bones and All, Paul Dano in The Fablemans, Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse, Nicholas Hoult in The Menu, and Steven Yeun in Nope.
My final five:
Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
Gleeson has been delivering soulful, darkly funny performances for 30 years. His role in Banshees is a tough one, asking the audience to have sympathy — or at least understanding — for a man going to insane lengths to hurt a once-dear friend.
Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
I’m so happy to see Henry receive Academy recognition, having watched him crush it on four seasons of Atlanta. Like Gleeson, Henry has a knack for portraying existential weariness. In Causeway, he plays a man wracked with guilt but hopeful for connection, and he steals the movie every second he’s in it.
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
I considered leaving Gleeson or Keoghan out to make room for another movie in this category, but I couldn’t bring myself to drop either of these great performances. Keoghan is heartbreaking as a simple man realizing how little his life has to offer.
Justin Long – Barbarian
In a category full of melancholy performances, I wanted the change of pace offered by Long’s delightful turn. A change of pace is exactly what he brings to Barbarian, too, taking the movie in an entirely new direction as he delivers a hilarious portrait of the world’s most oblivious douchebag.
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Barring a stunning upset, Quan is on his way to the Oscar win for his funny and bittersweet work. Quan plays multiple versions of Waymond Wang — alternately hapless, charming, badass, and romantic — and gives this wild movie its moral center.
And the winner is… Quan. In this universe and every other one.
We need to see Causeway so I can appreciate Brian Tyree Henry’s performance, but I’m with you as to who should win in this category.
I thought Causeway was a good movie and Henry’s performance was wonderful. Still of these choices I pick Gleeson who has amazed me in so many films including this one.
I might make room for some star turns such as Miles Teller or Glen Powell in Maverick or, more likely, Pedro Pascal in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
I didn’t really know Pascal before that film, so he was a complete revelation and will get my first spot. I’ll also make a space for Daryl McCormack for holding his own with Emma freaking Thompson in Leo Grande. And for Andrew Garfield in Spiderman No Way Home for bringing so much emotion to that film. My final two spots will go to Gleeson and Quan. When I see Causeway, I might revise. 😜
I’ll be cheering loudly on Oscar night when they call Quan’s name!
Great list of nominees – both in your post and added in the comments. I, too, have to see Causeway. I’m sure Brian Tyree Henry is wonderful per usual.
I’ll chime in that Steven Yeun in Nope would be a notable addition for me, I thought he nailed it. I also thought Ashton Kutcher brought his A-game to Vengeance and I’d love to recognize his work in that.
I’ll quote my recent Letterboxd review of “Your Place or Mine” in introducing my first entry for my dream Best Supporting Actor noms: “Ashton Kutcher really is that guy”. As always relatable commenter, Maddie, shouted out, the Kutch’s performance in “Vengeance” was out of this world good. Of course, I have somewhat of a soft spot for a long flowing monologue all about the importance of music and by extension the act of recording itself. However, even with checking that bias his performance is uniquely captivating.
Other than that, Justin Long was incredible in Barbarian and capitalized on his screen time providing quite a few laugh out loud moments. I am so filled with joy to see Brian Tyree Henry recognized. He brings such gravity to his roles and he was flawless in “Causeway”. As for who deserves the gold I’d give it to Ashton.