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HollywoodChicago.com Analyzes 10 Oscar Contenders For Best Supporting Actor, Actress

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CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com film critic Adam Fendelman has analyzed the 10 nominated contenders for best supporting actor and best supporting actress (five in each category) and reveals his selections for the top prize. Hosted by Jon Stewart, the 80th Academy Awards ceremony will be presented on Feb. 24, 2008.

Best Supporting Actor Nominees

Casey Affleck, “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford”
Adam Fendelman says: Everyone remembers who assassinated Jesse James, but no one recalls who mowed down Robert Ford shortly thereafter. While Casey’s delivery of the spineless character might indeed embody Ford with authenticity, he ultimately shoots himself in his own back with a laissez-faire performance.

Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
Ben Affleck (left) and brother Casey Affleck on Oct. 10, 2007 at the
Chicago International Film Festival premiere of “Gone Baby Gone”.
Photo credit: Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com


Javier Bardem, “No Country For Old Men”
Adam Fendelman says: No words necessary. The Oscar goes to Javier. (Disclosure: More words in this space only waste your time. We instead decided for no-nonsense brevity and award the haunting and brilliantly chilling villain with no contest. If the academy deviates from this path, something’s seriously gone awry.)

Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men
Javier Bardem in “No Country For Old Men”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Adam Fendelman says: We empathize for him here. After devouring the best-actor cake for “Capote,” the reality is he’s always brilliant and doggedly steals the show whether or not he’s in a lead or supporting function. The only reason he falls short in this category for this year is because he’s ousted by Javier Bardem.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Hal Holbrook, “Into the Wild”
Adam Fendelman says: As if he’s not actually acting, you absolutely feel his pain when denied a beautifully benevolent offer to father the family fearing Emile Hirsch. We wish two Oscars could be dished out here, and if the academy does side with him, it’ll be not only because of this performance but also his body of work.

Hal Holbrook on Jan. 26, 2008
Hal Holbrook on Jan. 26, 2008.
Photo credit: WireImage.com


Tom Wilkinson, “Michael Clayton”
Adam Fendelman says: We take back the reverie for two Oscars in this category. There should actually be three equally shared between Javier, Hal and Tom. Wilkinson’s spot-on performance as an insanely intelligent but nonetheless insane maniac is one of the year’s most memorable and clearly defined supporting men.

Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Best Supporting Actress Nominees

Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There”
Adam Fendelman says: We know the rules. Of course an actress can score the winning nod both for best actress and best supporting actress. Because we so resiliently have Cate winning the best-actress statue for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” our chips are all in on the academy being distracted for awarding her doubly.

Cate Blanchett on Jan. 26, 2008
Cate Blanchett on Jan. 26, 2008.
Photo credit: WireImage.com


Ruby Dee, “American Gangster”
Adam Fendelman says: We have no shame confessing that we looked her up to see who the heck she was. Yes, she played Denzel Washington’s tough-loving mama, and we do grant props for her crack at slapping straight his gansta’ ways. You can’t take the chow outta the dog, of course, and this film’s entirely overshadowed by him.

Ruby Dee in American Gangster
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Saoirse Ronan, “Atonement”
Adam Fendelman says: With two award wins and eight nominations, being recently born in 1994 is only a testament to Saorse’s burgeoning talent. She has a piercing way about her, and while her Oscar run will only go as far as a supporting-actress nomination, keep a vigilant eye on this one to take the big trophy in the future.

Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Amy Ryan, “Gone Baby Gone”
Adam Fendelman says: Oh. My. God. We can only assume Wikipedia’s not in a joking mood in its entry for Amy Ryan, which is a third justifiably comprised of lines actualizing the fact that she is nominated for this award by eight societies and actually won – we repeat loudly: WON – from 19. We can’t argue here with the masses.

Amy Ryan on Feb. 3, 2008
Amy Ryan on Feb. 3, 2008.
Photo credit: IMDb


Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton”
Adam Fendelman says: While she has cutthroat competition in this year’s category from Amy Ryan, her delightfully shady character and bona fide ways as a high-powered, high-paid corporate snake earn Tilda Swinton a well-deserved first Oscar nomination. She’s just one penny short, though, for the big ticket.

Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton”.
Photo credit: IMDb


Discuss this on our discussion boards here!

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman

By ADAM FENDELMAN
Editor-in-Chief
HollywoodChicago.com
adam@hollywoodchicago.com

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