Sunday, October 07, 2012

The Fifties for 2012: Best Supporting Actor

Probably the most off-the-map of my acting lineups, though I'm still more sanguine than some people about the Bongo King's chances to wind up on the big year-end rosters.



Best Supporting Actor
Simon Russell Beale for The Deep Blue Sea, for holding a steady flame under his character's uxorious devotion, but keeping his shame, disdain, and mystification simmering alongside it;

Daniel Henshall for The Snowtown Murders, for finding new variations and a bearish modesty inside the trope of the disarming, fatherly sociopath, slipping him quietly into the movie;

Noé Hernández for Miss Bala, for staying elusive in a film that can feel overdetermined, hinting he is the girl's best ally and worst threat, working some layered agenda;

Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike, for embracing while expanding his persona, blending camaraderie and self-interest, fears about middle age and voluptuous delight in his body; and

Brian Murray for In the Family, for serving the character and the film by keeping complexity at a minimum, showing us a very savvy lawyer driven by straightforward decency.

Honorable mentions start with Steve Carell for dialing down so self-effacingly in Hope Springs but reading as sincere, intelligent, and interested rather than blank; Dwight Henry for balancing volatility, eccentricity, and adoration in such complicated proportions in Beasts of the Southern Wild; and Bruce Willis for tacitly and tenderly putting across the fully dimensional adult character that Moonrise Kingdom sorely needs, without signaling immediately that the character is headed that way. Philip Seymour Hoffman has galvanizing moments in The Master, several of them nicely underplayed, though the performance also comes outfitted with scenes and flourishes that don't fully cohere (though that's partly due to the script). Seth Rogen manages his anti-typecasting well in Take This Waltz, yet he too suffers for some of his writer-director's miscalculations, as in his indulgent montage of post-breakup grief.  And no, I didn't forget Michael Fassbender in Prometheus; I just wasn't that taken with him, or surprised by anything in his perfectly skillful performance.

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7 Comments:

Blogger James T said...

Not that I necessarily think he's worthy of even a mention, but his performance made me want to see at least others mention him and I'm talking about Pettyfer.

No, the fact that he's currently my most bed-able man on earth has nothing to do with it. At all..

4:57 PM, October 07, 2012  
Blogger Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I knew it was coming but YAY for the Beale mention. I REALLY REALLY liked The Deep Blue Sea, of course, but I don't think you need to love it that much to like the performances. I love him for his line-readings, but upon re-watch what gets me most about his performance are his expert reaction shots. That visit to Hester is a series of shots of him responding to just what her life has turned to and he telegraphs so much with those looks.

For me Ed Norton plays that thoroughly real "adult" character which Moonrise Kingdom needs and gets (although I suspect that Anderson might intend for it to be Bruce). Norton is probably my favourite performance in a film I already like a good deal.

(I wonder if I'm the only one who liked McConaughey in Bernie more than McConaughey in Magic Mike, where I feel he's doing a bit more with a lot less.)

5:27 PM, October 07, 2012  
Anonymous Liz said...

Andrew--I am totally with you on McConaughey in "Bernie," and I'm thrilled to find someone else who feels that way.

I love the Beale mention as well. I thought Weisz was very good in "The Deep Blue Sea," but Beale was truly the standout for me.

6:55 PM, October 07, 2012  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@James: I know Tim Robey thinks Pettyfer's best in show in MM. I didn't quite react that way, but he sure held his own and committed to that quiet fuck-up of a character.

@A:EE: That sequence of Beale's is my favorite, too. I just don't respond well to Norton anymore, and felt he was straining to hard for a Wes Anderson vibe in MK, whereas Willis seemed so much more effortless. But that's obviously just a taste thing. I usually don't have such nasty break-ups with actors I used to admire, but Edward and I just don't speak anymore. I am sure he is crushed.

@Liz: So fun having so much backup on Beale! I'd wondered if people noticed him among the fanfare over Weisz and the general internet crush on Hiddleston (who I also think is good, but I've never liked him as much as I did in Unrelated). I haven't seen Bernie yet so can't comment yet, but I'm getting good feelings about it, and strong reports from friends, in addition to you and Andrew.

11:40 PM, October 07, 2012  
Blogger Fisti said...

Henshall is currently my winner in this category. Such an inspired take on a cliched character. He floored me. That scene with the dog...the aggresive nature with which he exposed his inner manipulator...it was brilliantly played.

7:24 AM, October 08, 2012  
Blogger Glenn said...

By far the weakest category of all so far my mine. I liked Beale, as well as Chris Messina in "Ruby Sparks", Fassbender in "Prometheus", and Ray Liotta in "Killing Them Softly", but nothing yet to really get me all that excited.

11:29 PM, October 08, 2012  
Anonymous Tina Shoshanna Struthers said...

Love Bernie...but McConaughey is not Oscar worthy in Bernie...lots of fun though.

11:46 AM, December 09, 2012  

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