09 July 2008

Worst "Best Supporting Actor" Winners?

For this category, it seems, Jack Palance for City Slickers and Joel Grey for Cabaret are the consensus as the "Worst 'Best Supporting Actors' of All Time." With Mr. Palance I can't disagree, but with Mr. Grey I must take issue and state (again) that the presence of a challenging and win-worthy competitor whom one may feel was "snubbed" does not alone, in and of itself, make the actual winner merit the dishonor of being titled among the "Worst 'Best'" actors ever. Only if the actual winner's performance alone, in and of itself, was clearly undeserving of the Oscar statuette for its sheer lack of quality, would the "snubbed" card possibly be admissible as supporting evidentiary support for an alternate, "should-have-been" winner. The "snubbed" card otherwise, played without such primary evidence of an actually bad performance, is merely just discontentment with the state of things; and its resultant "should-have-been" then, really merely just a personal "I-wanted-it-to-have-been." Can we all be clear on that fact?
Anyway, here are my picks for "Worst 'Best Supporting Actors'":

  • Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules - I feel like I'll probably be alone on this one, but I really just didn't see anything spectacular or outstanding about this performance; like so many others that receive recognition of some kind, it was capable and it fulfilled its task, but really for me it did only that and thus failed to show significant investment and immersion on Mr. Caine's part. It was just Mr. Caine playing the role, not Mr. Caine in the role. I think, he was much more deserving when he was nominated, for example, later for his role in or even earlier for his role in , for which he won his former statuette. This one, however, should have gone to: Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley (or possibly even Tom Cruise, Magnolia).
  • Jack Palance, City Slickers - We all know why. - Should have gone to: Ben Kingsley, Bugsy
  • Don Ameche, Cocoon - He plays a old man so excited about feeling young again, that he can splash around in a pool. How awesome can an actor possibly be at splashing and smiling, that he deserves to be called the "Best Supporting Actor" of that year? I say, not very and the statuette probably should have gone to: William Hickey, Prizzi's Honor
Other amendments, which, I feel I must qualify by stating, were extremely close calls and only serve to distinguish the extremely deserving (i. e., the actual winners) from the most deserving (i. e., those who I think should have won):
  • Javier Bardem's statuette for No Country for Old Men given to Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Alan Arkin's statuette for Little Miss Sunshine given to Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children
  • George Clooney's statuette for Syriana given to Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain
  • Morgan Freeman's statuette for Million Dollar Baby given to Clive Owen for Closer
  • Chris Cooper's statuette for Adaptation given to Christopher Walken for Catch Me If You Can
  • Jim Broadbent's statuette for Iris given to Ian McKellan for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • James Coburn's statuette for Affliction given to Ed Harris for The Truman Show
  • Kevin Spacey's statuette for The Ususal Suspects given to James Cromwell for Babe
  • Joe Pesci's statuette for Goodfellas given to Al Pacino for Dick Tracy
All right, next to tie up the acting categories with Supporting Actress.

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