Probably my favorite category in all awards, I think Best Supporting Actor often has the most diversity in what nominees will be picked (would a performance like Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder *really* have a chance of getting a nomination in the Best Actor category?), so it's also the most fun to predict. Here is what I have so far:
1. Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Ever since it's release this summer, I have heard nothing but great things about Plummer's performance. Though I'm sure part of that is due to the nature of his role (he's dying of cancer, and just came out of the closet: Grade-A Oscar material), I'm sure that the veteran actor (who only just recently earned his first Oscar nomination, also in the Supporting Actor category) is deserving of his praise. With its strategically placed Blu-ray/DVD release, Beginners should still be fresh to Academy voters, and I would say Plummer has a very good chance for another nomination -- perhaps even a win.
- 90% chance
2. Viggo Mortensen - A Dangerous Method
Though some people believe Mortensen will be considered a leading actor for his portrayal of Sigmund Freud, I have heard too many rumors of him fitting more comfortably into what would be considered a supporting role in David Cronenberg's latest picture. Biographical performances have always been an Academy favorite, so I feel Mortensen's performance could easily earn a nomination.
- 85% chance
3. John Hawkes - Martha Marcy May Marlene
Almost every review for Martha Marcy May Marlene right out the gate has highlighted Hawkes' calculated performance, but will his "backwoods creeper" be too similar to his previous performance in Winter's Bone to receive a nomination? I doubt it, as everything I've read about him in this movie points to an Oscar nomination. As always, time will tell, but at this juncture I'd say Hawkes has a very good chance.
- 80% chance
4. Albert Brooks - Drive
Call it wishful thinking, but if Brooks' performance in Drive isn't a viable candidate, I don't know what is. Of all the supporting performances I've seen so far this year, his stands out the most, and upon reading other people's opinion on the movie, I know I'm not alone on this. Though there have been incredible amounts of praise pouring in for this movie, I doubt it will take home many awards (just a hunch), but Brooks still has a good chance in my eyes.
- 70% chance
5. Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Almost all of Branagh's career up to this point has been mimicking Laurence Olivier's, and now Branagh will finally have a chance to play the man himself. We know he has mastered his Shakespearean turns, but will he be able to capture the mannerisms of Olivier himself? According to my one and only source (who shall remain nameless), Branagh is a perfectly valid candidate for a nomination here, with a very solid and entertaining performance -- though what you might call "comic relief", which could potentially hurt his chances. But one thing's for sure; he's primed for the part.
- 60% chance
Other potential nominees:
Nick Nolte - Warrior
- 40% chance
Armie Hammer - J. Edgar
- 35% chance
Jim Broadbent - The Iron Lady
- 30% chance