- Supporting Actor
- Robert Duvall for The Judge
- Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
- Edward Norton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
- Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
- J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
Robert Duvall plays a grumpy old dude, so you probably already know roughly what his performance is like. He's pretty strong, and I actually rather liked it. That said, I watched this movie less than three weeks ago and have forgotten most of his performance. Make of that what you will.
It's too bad for Ethan Hawke that simply starring in Boyhood won't win him an Oscar, because this is his best shot at one for acting yet. He gives a pretty nuanced emotional performance and really nails the down-to-earth dad bit.
Edward Norton does what Edward Norton does: steal every bit of screen time he has. His self-important character has the best scenes and the best performances in the film. Honestly, Birdman might have been almost boring without him.
Maybe the best two things I can say about Mark Ruffalo here are: he doesn't look like Mark Ruffalo and he isn't being nominated for seducing a partnered, monogamous lesbian. He maybe gives the best performance of anyone in Foxcatcher, but that says almost nothing at all.
J.K. Simmons is going to win this. He just is. It's so nice to see him in a serious role and not bumbling about in Spiderman anymore. His character's mere presence creates tension throughout the film. He's palpably ferocious when he's not tricking you into thinking he's a caring, chill dude. Whiplash did a lot of things right, but it's not a best picture nominee with anyone in this role other than Simmons.
Will win: J.K. Simmons
Should win. J.K. Simmons