Being nominated for Best Supporting Actor is like being declared 2nd best two times over. Not only are you not the main star of the film (nor do you get paid as much, probably), but you’re automatically cast into the role of “supporting” the actor we all paid to see. It’s like the rum raisin of ice cream flavors. It’s the eggs to the bacon at breakfast. It’s like the Leslie Knope to the Ron Swanson (God, I wish we could do TV awards). The important thing to remember is that when you’re nominated for Best Supporting Actor, you basically have nothing left to lose. It’s an awesome feeling.
That being said, this year’s nominees for, I guess, last year’s movies are part of the quirkiest line-up of actors/characters I’ve ever seen. I mean, we’ve got Fozzie the Bear (The Muppets), Ben Kingsley (Hugo), Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), Albert Brooks (Drive), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners). I mean, they should all just make a satiric heist film together. Then they’d all be nominated for Best Actor awards! Yay!
I’m a jackass.
Um, so yeah… Excuse me while I nerd out for a second about Albert Brooks… because ALBERT BROOKS JUST BESTED THESE 2ND BEST BITCHES. WOOO!!!
Albert Brooks’ role in Drive was probably one of the least anticipated roles of 2011, just because no one really saw it coming. I mean, here’s a guy who’s made his career sporadically directing quirky and–at the time–innovative comedies and dramas from the 70’s up until the late 90’s who in 2011 suddenly up and appears as a gangster in a thriller? I mean, wow! What a game-changer! If you’ve become a fan of Brooks simply by watching Drive, then you must check out his films where he both directs and stars, starting with Defending Your Life, his undisputed masterpiece.
Despite Albert Brooks’ win, the other Best Supporting noms (who apparently can’t even make the distinguished pleasure of being 2nd best now) were just as interesting and compelling in their own right. Patton Oswalt’s performance in Young Adult was understated, yet poignant, coming from the outrageous stand-up comedian. Ben Kingsley’s role in Hugo was sentimental and surprising, coming from the guy who basically plays the villain in any movie. Charlie Day played up his It’s Always Sunny persona well in Horrible Bosses. Fozzie was marvelous and charming in The Muppets (or that guy’s hands were, I guess). Philip Seymour Hoffman was a pleasure as always in The Ides of March. And Christopher Plummer was sensitive and sweet in Beginners.
Overall, all these actors should be proud of their accomplishments, because the only acknowledgements that should really matter are the ones we give to those who had the most profound effect on each of us.