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Oscars 2017 Category Breakdown: Best Supporting Actor

Every year, as we lead up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category; what the trends are, how the guilds and stuff help (or don’t), etc. I also do it as a precursor to my giant Oscar ballot. I get most of the heavy lifting out of the way here, so that way when I get to the article, I’m just kind of riffing on how I think it’ll turn out and talking myself into all the bad decisions. It’s like college. And this is the pregame.

How these articles work is — I give you all the previous winners and nominees of each of the categories, then tell you how accurate each of the respective guilds and precursors are in what they vote for versus what wins the Oscar, tell you how each of them voted this year, then give you this year’s category, along with a quick rundown of how we ended up with that category (what was a surprise, etc). After that, I rank each of this year’s nominees in terms of how I see them right now in terms of their likelihood to win. Which is nothing more than my perception (notice that underline, even though you won’t) of how the category seems at the moment based on everything I know and have seen. Which will give you a general sense of the favorites.

Today is Best Supporting Actor, which at this point feels pretty locked, but that doesn’t mean it’s over quite yet.

Year Best Supporting Actor Winners Other Nominees
1936 Walter Brennan, Come and Get It Mischa Auer, My Man Godfrey

Stuart Erwin, Pigskin Parade

Basil Rathbone, Romeo and Juliet

Akim Tamiroff, The General Died at Dawn

1937 Joseph Schildkraut, The Life of Emile Zola Ralph Bellamy, The Awful Truth

Thomas Mitchell, The Hurricane

H.B. Warner, Lost Horizon

Roland Young, Topper

1938 Walter Brennan, Kentucky John Garfield, Four Daughters

Gene Lockhart, Algiers

Robert Morely, Marie Antoinette

Basil Rathbone, If I Were King

1939 Thomas Mitchell, Stagecoach Brian Aherne, Juarez

Harry Carey, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Brian Donlevy, Beau Geste

Claude Rains, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1940 Walter Brennan, The Westerner Albert Basserman, Foreign Correspondent

William Gargan, They Knew What They Wanted

Jack Oakie, The Great Dictator

James Stephenson, The Letter

1941 Donald Crisp, How Green Was My Valley Walter Brennan, Sergeant York

Charles Coburn, The Devil and Miss Jones

James Gleason, Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Sydney Greenstreet, The Maltese Falcon

1942 Van Heflin, Johnny Eager William Bendix, Wake Island

Walter Huston, Yankee Doodle Dandy

Frank Morgan, Tortilla Flat

Henry Travers, Mrs. Miniver

1943 Charles Coburn, The More the Merrier Charles Bickford, The Song of Bernadette

J. Carrol Naish, Sahara

Claude Rains, Casablanca

Akim Tamiroff, For Whom the Bell Tolls

1944 Barry Fitzgerald, Going My Way Hume Cronyn, The Seventh Cross

Claude Rains, Mr. Skeffington

Clifton Webb, Laura

Monty Woolley, Since You Went Away

1945 James Dunn, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Michael Chekhov, Spellbound

John Dall, The Corn is Green

Robert Mitchum, The Story of G.I. Joe

J. Carrol Naish, A Medal for Benny

1946 Harold Russell, The Best Years of Our Lives Charles Coburn, The Green Years

William Demarest, The Jolson Story

Claude Rains, Notorious

Clifton Webb, The Razor’s Edge

1947 Edmund Gwenn, Miracle on 34th Street Charles Bickford, The Farmer’s Daughter

Thomas Gomez, Ride the Pink Horse

Robert Ryan, Crossfire

Richard Widmark, Kiss of Death

1948 Walter Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Charles Bickford, Johnny Belinda

José Ferrer, Joan of Arc

Oskar Homolka, I Remember Mama

Cecil Kellaway, The Luck of the Irish

1949 Dean Jagger, Twelve O’Clock High John Ireland, All the King’s Men

Arthur Kennedy, Champion

Ralph Richardson, The Heiress

James Whitmore, Battleground

1950 George Sanders, All About Eve Jeff Chandler, Broken Arrow

Edmund Gwenn, Mister 880

Sam Jaffe, The Asphalt Jungle

Erich von Stroheim, Sunset Boulevard

1951 Karl Malden, A Streetcar Named Desire Leo Genn, Quo Vadis

Kevin McCarthy, Death of a Salesman

Peter Ustinov, Quo Vadis

Gig Young, Come Fill the Gap

1952 Anthony Quinn, Viva Zapata! Richard Burton, My Cousin Rachel

Arthur Hunnicutt, The Big Sky

Victor McLaglen, The Quiet Man

Jack Palance, Sudden Fear

1953 Frank Sinatra, From Here to Eternity Eddie Albert, Roman Holiday

Brandon de Wilde, Shane

Jack Palance, Shane

Robert Strauss, Stalag 17

1954 Edmund O’Brien, The Barefoot Contessa Lee J. Cobb, On the Waterfront

Karl Malden, On the Waterfront

Rod Steiger, On the Waterfront

Tom Tully, The Caine Mutiny

1955 Jack Lemmon, Mister Roberts Arthur Kennedy, Trial

Joe Mantell, Marty

Sal Mineo, Rebel Without a Cause

Arthur O’Connell, Picnic

1956 Anthony Quinn, Lust for Life Don Murray, Bus Stop

Anthony Perkins, Friendly Persuasion

Mickey Rooney, The Bold and the Brave

Robert Stack, Written on the Wind

1957 Red Buttons, Sayonara Vittorio de Sica, A Farewell to Arms

Sessue Hayakawa, The Bridge on the River Kwai

Arthur Kennedy, Peyton Place

Russ Tamblyn, Peyton Place

1958 Burl Ives, The Big Country Theodore Bikel, The Defiant Ones

Lee J. Cobb, The Brothers Karamozov

Arthur Kennedy, Some Came Running

Gig Young, Teacher’s Pet

1959 Hugh Griffith, Ben-Hur Arthur O’Connell, Anatomy of a Murder

George C. Scott, Anatomy of a Murder

Robert Vaughn, The Young Philadelphians

Ed Wynn, The Diary of Anne Frank

1960 Peter Ustinov, Spartacus Peter Falk, Murder, Inc.

Jack Kruschen, The Apartment

Sal Mineo, Exodus

Chill Wills, The Alamo

1961 George Chakiris, West Side Story Montgomery Clift, Judgment at Nuremberg

Peter Falk, Pocketful of Miracles

Jackie Gleason, The Hustler

George C. Scott, The Hustler

1962 Ed Begley, Sweet Bird of Youth Victor Buono, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Telly Savalas, Birdman of Alcatraz

Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia

Terence Stamp, Billy Budd

1963 Melvyn Douglas, Hud Nick Adams, Twilight of Horror

Bobby Darin, Captain Newman, M.D.

Hugh Griffith, Tom Jones

John Huston, The Cardinal

1964 Peter Ustinov, Topkapi John Gielgud, Becket

Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady

Edmond O’Brien, Seven Days in May

Lee Tracy, The Best Man

1965 Martin Balsam, A Thousand Clowns Ian Bannen, Flight of the Phoenix

Tom Courtenay, Doctor Zhivago

Michael Dunn, Ship of Fools

Frank Finlay, Othello

1966 Walter Matthau, The Fortune Cookie Mako, The Sand Pebbles

James Mason, Georgy Girl

George Segal, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Robert Shaw, A Man for All Seasons

1967 George Kennedy, Cool Hand Luke John Cassavetes, The Dirty Dozen

Gene Hackman, Bonnie and Clyde

Cecil Kellaway, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Michael J. Pollard, Bonnie and Clyde

1968 Jack Albertson, The Subject Was Roses Seymour Cassel, Faces

Daniel Massey, Star!

Jack Wild, Oliver!

Gene Wilder, The Producers

1969 Gig Young, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Rupert Crosse, The Reivers

Elliott Gould, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Jack Nicholson, Easy Rider

Anthony Quayle, Anne of the Thousand Days

1970 John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter Richard S. Castellano, Lovers and Other Strangers

Chief Dan George, Little Big Man

Gene Hackman, I Never Sang for My Father

John Marley, Love Story

1971 Ben Johnson, The Last Picture Show Jeff Bridges, The Last Picture Show

Leonard Frey, Fiddler on the Roof

Richard Jaeckel, Sometimes a Great Notion

Roy Scheider, The French Connection

1972 Joel Grey, Cabaret Eddie Albert, The Heartbreak Kid

James Caan, The Godfather

Robert Duvall, The Godfather

Al Pacino, The Godfather

1973 John Houseman, The Paper Chase Vincent Gardenia, Bang the Drum Slowly

Jack Gilford, Save the Tiger

Jason Miller, The Exorcist

Randy Quaid, The Last Detail

1974 Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II Fred Astaire, The Towering Inferno

Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Michael V. Gazzo, The Godfather Part II

Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II

1975 George Burns, The Sunshine Boys Brad Dourif, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Burgess Meredith, The Day of the Locust

Chris Sarandon, Dog Day Afternoon

Jack Warden, Shampoo

1976 Jason Robards, All the President’s Men Ned Beatty, Network

Burgess Meredith, Rocky

Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man

Burt Young, Rocky

1977 Jason Robards, Julia Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Turning Point

Peter Firth, Equus

Alec Guinness, Star Wars

Maximilian Schell, Julia

1978 Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter Bruce Dern, Coming Home

Richard Farnsworth, Comes a Horseman

John Hurt, Midnight Express

Jack Warden, Heaven Can Wait

1979 Melvyn Douglas, Being There Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now

Justin Henry, Kramer vs. Kramer

Frederic Forrest, The Rose

Mickey Rooney, The Black Stallion

1980 Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People Judd Hirsch, Ordinary People

Michael O’Keefe, The Great Santini

Joe Pesci, Raging Bull

Jason Robards, Melvin and Howard

1981 John Gielgud, Arthur James Coco, Only When I Laugh

Ian Holm, Chariots of Fire

Jack Nicholson, Reds

Howard Rollincs, Ragtime

1982 Lou Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman Charles Durning, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

John Lithgow, The World According to Garp

James Mason, The Verdict

Robert Preston, Victor Victoria

1983 Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment Charles Durning, To Be or Not to Be

John Lithgow, Terms of Endearment

Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff

Rip Torn, Cross Creek

1984 Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields Adolph Ceasar, A Soldier’s Story

John Malkovich, Places in the Heart

Pat Morita, The Karate Kid

Ralph Richardson, Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes

1985 Don Ameche, Cocoon Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Africa

William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor

Robert Loggia, Jagged Edge

Eric Roberts, Runaway Train

1986 Michael Caine, Hannah and Her Sisters Tom Berenger, Platoon

Willem Dafoe, Platoon

Denholm Elliott, A Room with a View

Dennis Hopper, Hoosiers

1987 Sean Connery, The Untouchables Albert Brooks, Broadcast News

Morgan Freeman, Street Smart

Vincent Gardenia, Moonstruck

Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom

1988 Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda Alec Guinness, Little Dorrit

Martin Landau, Tucker: The Man and His Dream

River Phoenix, Running on Empty

Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob

1989 Denzel Washington, Glory Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing

Dan Aykroyd, Driving Miss Daisy

Marlon Brando, A Dry White Season

Martin Landau, Crimes and Misdemeanors

1990 Joe Pesci, Goodfellas Bruce Davidson, Longtime Companion

Andy Garcia, The Godfather Part III

Graham Greene, Dances with Wolves

Al Pacino, Dick Tracy

1991 Jack Palance, City Slickers Tommy Lee Jones, JFK

Harvey Keitel, Bugsy

Ben Kingsley, Bugsy

Michael Lerner, Barton Fink

1992 Gene Hackman, Unforgiven Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game

Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men

Al Pacino, Glengarry Glen Ross

David Paymer, Mr. Saturday Night

1993 Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive Leonardo DiCaprio, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Ralph Fiennes, Schindler’s List

John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire

Pete Postlethwaite, In the Name of the Father

1994 Martin Landau, Ed Wood Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction

Chazz Palminteri, Bullets Over Broadway

Paul Scofield, Quiz Show

Gary Sinise, Forrest Gump

1995 Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects James Cromwell, Babe

Ed Harris, Apollo 13

Brad Pitt, Twelve Monkeys

Tim Roth, Rob Roy

1996 Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire William H. Macy, Fargo

Armin Mueller-Stahl, Shine

Edward Norton, Primal Fear

James Woods, Ghosts of Mississippi

1997 Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting Robert Forster, Jackie Brown

Anthony Hopkins, Amistad

Greg Kinnear, As Good as It Gets

Burt Reynolds, Boogie Nights

1998 James Coburn, Affliction Robert Duvall, A Civil Action

Ed Harris, The Truman Show

Geoffrey Rush, Shakespeare in Love

Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan

1999 Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules Tom Cruise, Magnolia

Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile

Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley

Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense

2000 Benicio del Toro, Traffic Jeff Bridges, The Contender

Willem Dafoe, Shadow of the Vampire

Albert Finney, Erin Brockovich

Joaquin Phoenix, Gladiator

2001 Jim Broadbent Iris Ethan Hawke, Training Day

Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast

Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Jon Voight, Ali

2002 Chris Cooper, Adaptation. Ed Harris, The Hours

Paul Newman, Road to Perdition

John C. Reilly, Chicago

Christopher Walken, Catch Me if You Can

2003 Tim Robbins, Mystic River Alec Baldwin, The Cooler

Benicio del Toro, 21 Grams

Djimon Hounsou, In America

Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai

2004 Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby Alan Alda, The Aviator

Thomas Haden Church, Sideways

Jamie Foxx, Collateral

Clive Owen, Closer

2005 George Clooney, Syriana Matt Dillon, Crash

Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man

Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain

William Hurt, A History of Violence

2006 Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children

Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond

Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls

Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

2007 Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War

Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild

Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

2008 Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight Josh Brolin, Milk

Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt

Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

2009 Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds Matt Damon, Invictus

Woody Harrelson, The Messenger

Christopher Plummer, The Last Station

Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones

2010 Christian Bale, The Fighter John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Jeremy Renner, The Town

Mark Ruffalo, The Kids are All Right

Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

2011 Christopher Plummer, Beginners Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

2012 Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained Alan Arkin, Argo

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

2013 Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

2014 J.K. Simmons, Whiplash Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

2015 Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

 

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

2016 Mahershala Ali, Moonlight Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Since this is an acting category, SAG is the precursor you wanna look at. However, for this particular acting category, SAG is the least accurate predictor we have. They are 14/23 all time, which isn’t terrible, but also not a guarantee. Their misses include:

  • Idris Elba in 2015. Mark Rylance won the Oscar.
  • Tommy Lee Jones in 2012. Christoph Waltz won the Oscar.
  • Eddie Murphy in 2006. Alan Arkin won the Oscar.
  • Paul Giamatti in 2005. George Clooney won the Oscar.
  • Christopher Walken in 2002. Chris Cooper won the Oscar.
  • Ian McKellen in 2001. Jim Broadbent won the Oscar.
  • Albert Finney in 2000. Benicio Del Toro won the Oscar. (He won Best Actor for SAG that year.)
  • Robert Duvall in 1998. James Coburn won the Oscar.
  • Ed Harris in 1995. Kevin Spacey won the Oscar.

One of them was the Benicio year, so if we wanna scrub that, they’re still 14/22, which is still not a 2/3 majority. Though we should take some solace in the fact that they’ve only missed three times since 2006, and one of those times, the winner wasn’t even nominated at SAG.

Of the 9 (or 8, depending on what you wanna do in 2000) years where SAG got it wrong, here’s how BAFTA did:

  • 2015, they had Mark Rylance
  • 2012, they had Christoph Waltz
  • 2006, they had Alan Arkin
  • 2001, they had Jim Broadbent (but for the wrong film)
  • 2000, they had Benicio

It should be worth noting that in 2005, they had Jake Gyllenhaal instead of Paul Giamatti, in 2002 they also had Christopher Walken, 1998 they had Geoffrey Rush (for a film in which he was not nominated) and 1995 they had Tim Roth instead of Ed Harris. BAFTA is weird before 2000, but generally, what I’m seeing is, a lot of the time they will have the winner SAG doesn’t have.

BFCA, meanwhile, of all those years, only had the Oscar winner when the others didn’t in 1995 (Kevin Spacey tied with Ed Harris) and 2002. They straight up had Chris Cooper when no one else did. (That was also one of my first big Oscar triumphs as well, so that’ll always sit well with me.) 1998, they had Billy Bob Thornton, which means that was a complete toss-up all around. 2000, they had Joaquin Phoenix, but I have no idea where Benicio was in their balloting since they had no nominees. 2001, they had Ben Kingsley (another toss-up year). 2005, they also had Paul Giamatti. 2006, they also had Eddie Murphy. 2012, they had Philip Seymour Hoffman, and 2015 they had Sylvester Stallone.

So not as helpful, but if something’s coming in and they’re different, maybe they can tip it.

And because this is such a dicey category, we’re doing something I never do unless I have to — bring in the Golden Globes.

  • 2015, they had Sly.
  • 2012, they had Christoph Waltz.
  • 2006, they also had Eddie Murphy.
  • 2006, they had George Clooney.
  • 2002, they had Chris Cooper.
  • 2001, they had Jim Broadbent
  • 2000, Benicio won.
  • 1998, they had Ed Harris.
  • 1995, they had Brad Pitt.

The biggest ones there are Broadbent, Cooper and Clooney. And they with BAFTA signaled the Waltz second win. I think, with all those bodies, you can get a good sense of where it’s going.

I’ve, of course, set all that up to make it irrelevant, as to this point, this is an open and shut category.

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson,  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This felt like it was gonna be the category all the way through. SAG had 4/5, putting Steve Carell (a perennial favorite of theirs) over Christopher Plummer (which is likely because they didn’t see the movie in time. The Globes didn’t give a fuck and straight up put Plummer on their list, only they had Armie Hammer instead of Woody Harrelson. BAFTA had Hugh Grant (for Paddington 2!) instead of Richard Jenkins, and BFCA just shotgunned the entire thing, with two Call Me By Your Name entries, no Harrelson, no Plummer and Patrick Stewart for shits and giggles.

So, looking at this, you saw consistency throughout, with Dafoe, Rockwell and Jenkins for the most part. Woody had SAG and BAFTA and looked solid as the fourth. The only question was — is Armie Hammer gonna get on without SAG (unlikely, but possible. Though more unlikely considering he had a SAG nomination for J. Edgar and got nothing in 2011), or are they gonna make the Spacey statement and go with Plummer, a previous winner? This category made all the sense in the world (not remotely sorry) as the final one.

And then, as of now, Rockwell won the Globe, he won BFCA, he won SAG, and BAFTA is in a week. He wins that too, shit’s locked. For now, we have more than enough information to parse through this one.

Rankings:

5. Jenkins — None of the acting nominees in this film ever felt like serious contenders for a win. Sally Hawkins was the only one, and she fell behind the furthest in the early stages of the race. He gives a lovely performance and he’s someone they respect a lot… but where are the votes coming from? You could make a case for him up to fourth, but that’s about it. People don’t just sweep vote for films even in the acting categories, and as much as you might want it to happen, you can’t make a logical argument for how it can happen. Just don’t see it.

4. Plummer — The Spacey thing is what makes him the ultimate wild card. If he pulled off a win somewhere I might have said we could have something here. But I don’t know. I don’t think enough people actually watched the movie. I think some people will see it as a stunt that he was even nominated (because they didn’t see the movie and how much his performance is in it and is important to it and is quite good in it), and I think that others, even if they liked the performance, would find reasons to take any of the other nominees over him. I only see a small amount of people who not only saw the performance and liked the performance, but would also vote for the performance. However, the people who simply want to make the statement is the wild card here. I don’t think, as cynical as it sounds, that it’s still ‘of the moment’. I think people are kind of over the whole thing and there aren’t as many as you’d think who would take him simply for that statement, which is why he’s only fourth. Maybe I’ll convince myself otherwise and put him third or second. We’ll see.

3. Harrelson — He has to overcome Rockwell, a favorite who is also in the same film as him. But people love Woody, and there’s definitely a contingency who thought he gave the better performance. Him not being in the film as much and not having the arc that Rockwell has hurt a little bit. But hell get votes. Enough to overcome the rest, I don’t know. But I do know some people who would openly vote for him over Rockwell, and I think, since people loved the performances in the movie a lot, he’ll get a fair share of votes from that. I don’t think he’s truly got a chance, but I think he’s closer to the #1 than you might think at first blush.

2. Dafoe — Back in November, I’d have told you he was a slam dunk to win this category. Man, how things have changed. Fortunately, there’s not a whole lot else here, because I’d have, in another year, dropped him to like, fourth. This is a clear situation where someone is so strong in the nominations stage and then has zero chance of winning once they get into the category. But if it’s gonna be anyone, it’ll be him. Jenkins would shock us all, especially since BAFTA did’t even nominate him. Plummer is the statement, but I don’t know if people even saw the performance enough to care or if the nomination is enough. I guess you could argue he’s got a bigger chance. Harrelson has to overcome a favorite in his own film. That’s a tall order to think it’s him, even though I do think there’s a contingent of people who will find him as the better performance. Not enough to win, but enough to get him somewhere. Dafoe is the only person left. I think people were sufficiently impressed by the performance enough, like him enough, and there are enough people looking to definitively throw support under someone that’s not in Three Billboards to get him second choice. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how I’m seeing it now.

1. Rockwell — He has three out of the main four precursors, and his movie won SAG Ensemble. They like the performances. They really like him as an actor. Unless BAFTA takes a sharp left turn, he’s got this locked. And even if BAFTA takes a sharp left turn, he’s still the favorite going into Oscar night. You can start trying to argue why he won’t win, but you can’t argue that he’s not the favorite. That’s simply looking at the data.

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