Best Supporting Actress
I haven’t seen A Most Violent Year and I’m really hoping Jessica Chastain is incredible in it because I’m finding it hard to find a front-runner in the supporting actress category. Everyone seems pretty equally good/not great. Meryl Streep is, well, Meryl Streep and can’t being awesome but I can think of many times that she was even more awesome and her nomination seems to be partly out of habit. Her last song was still one of the best parts of Into the Woods though. Joan Clarke brings out the best of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and Keira Knightley brings out the best in Benedict Cumberbatch. Their friendship is one of the best parts of the movie and- with Cumberbatch being so spectacular- it can be easy to underestimate how good Knightley was. But the movie still belongs to Turing. I loved watching the cast of Boyhood play their characters as they grow with them over a period of 12 years but it would seem strange to give Patricia Arquette an acting award for a movie that tries so hard to make you forget that these are actors. Finally, Emma Stone has some very nice moments in Birdman but is mostly over-shadowed by Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.
I’m still waiting for someone to wow me in this categoryand its all up to Chastain now. But in the meantime, Arquette came the closest.
Best Supporting Actor
I’m really falling behind here. I have not seen either The Judge or Whiplash. I hear great things about both Whiplash and J. K. Simmons’ performance and I can’t wait to see it. I have heard not so great things about The Judge but I normally like Robert Duvall so I’ll keep an open mind.
Of what I’ve seen, I’m on Team Edward Norton for now. Birdman apparently had a strenuous shooting schedule with actors having to film up to 15 pages of dialogue at a time and Ed rises to the ocassion, not having been this good in a long time. Ethan Hawke is one of those actors I almost never like but I thought he seemed uncharacteristically sincere in Boyhood and his performance matures as his character does. As for Foxcatcher, everyone I talk to has a different idea of who was the best in Foxcatcher but Mark Ruffalo being nominated over Channing Tatum is baffling to me.
I’m voting Ed Norton but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Simmons changes my mind once I finally see Whiplash.