Best Supporting Actor
George Clooney; Syriana
Matt Dillon, Crash
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
William Hurt, A History of Violence
Who Should Win: Best Supporting Actor is typically the first award rewarded and it sets the tone for the evening. If Matt Dillon wins, expect Crash to win Best Picture. If Jake Gyllenhaal wins, then it will be Brokeback Mountain‘s night. William Hurt will not win becuase 10 minutes of screen time usually does not generate Oscars plus he has already won. Paul Giamatti is my favorite. He was snubbed the last two years and he never fails to amaze.
Who Will Win: Although his surprise win at the SAG Awards makes Giamatti a frontrunner in this category (he is the actor’s actor after all), I don’t expect him to win. Instead, George Clooney will because voters will want to award him for his unbelieveably successful year. And if he does win, his speech if guaranteed to be hilarious.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Junebug
Catherine Keener, Capote
Frances McDormand, North Country
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
Who Should Win: This is a tough race to judge. Each actress could win this category if their competiton was weaker. I loved them all. McDormand is the most endeering character in North Country, Adams is a delight, Williams is heartbreaking and she made you forget she was ever on Dawson’s Creek, Weisz is a force. But it is indie-queen Catherine Keener who deserves this award. She delivered for stellar performances this year (for The Interpreter, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The 40-Year Old Virgin and Capote). In fact, she is long overdue for an Oscar.
Who Will Win: Rachel Weisz. I loved her in this role, I loved this movie (I think Ralph Fiennes was overlooked, but that’s a different issue)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Terence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
David Stratharin, Good Night and Good Luck
Who Should Win: It is the same saga as it is with the Best Supporting ACtress Category. Each of these performances could have gathered an Pscar if the competeion was weaker. Unfortunately for Howard, Ledger, Phoenix, and Strathairn, Philip Seymour Hoffman is Truman Capote. Simple enough.
Who Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman. No doubt about it.
Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Keira Knightley, Pride and Prejudice
Charlize Theron, North Country
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Who Should Win: I’m not jumping on the bandwagon with this one. Felicity Huffman should win. Although Witherspoon was charming and brought the sass of June Carter Cash into her performance, Huffman took a challenge. She played a man in a low-budget indie film. But that is where the problem is. Most Academy voters didn’t see Transamerica.
Who Will Win: Reese Witherspoon. Yeah, she does derserve it and I’ll be glad if she wins, but I want Felicity Huffman to win so much more.
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
Paul Haggis, Crash
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Bennett Miller, Capote
Steven Speilberg, Munich
Who Should Win: George Clooney. (Gasp I didn’t say Ang Lee!) Through a black and white movie, by bringing the integrity of journalism to the big screen, with the astounding performance by David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow, and by creating the true feeling of fear during McCarthyism, Clooney crafted a film of sheer brilliance.
Who Will Win: Ang Lee. Brokeback Mountain was visually pleasing and Lee took the difficult subject matter to a level that few directors could have accomplished.
Good Night, and Good Luck
Who Should Win: Another tough category. Crash speaks to the LA voting base of the Academy. Good Night and Good Luck resonates with liberals. And Brokeback Mountain is a fine movie. Each should win.
Who Will Win: Brokeback Mountain. It is a landmark film in the history of cinema. It will win unless Crash decides to crash its hat trick.