Brian Tyree Henry in “Causeway”
Historically among the main acting categories, Best Supporting Actor is where the Film Bitch Awards diverge most strongly from Oscar’s path. Oscar tends to use the category for co-leads (anathema to us!) or for career achievements (that’s fine when the performance is excellent but otherwise, no thanks!) or for star turns that are fine but don’t do much for your host here. So imagine my surprise when Oscar exhibited mostly good taste in this category this year robbing us of a superiority complex in our exceptional taste in this category (haha). During awards season it was a pleasant surprise to see Barry Keoghan pick up steam (despite internal competition from a co-lead, which often ruins the chances for honors for supporting actors) for Banshees of Inisherin. And he even won the BAFTA this weekend!
On nomination morning my biggest inclusion thrill was the long shot triumph of Brian Tyree Henry in Causeway…
Though I beieved it would happen for months, given his growing reputation among his peers and a tremendous performance, I was beginning to lose hope. There was little reason to expect that his film would score elsewhere and, as Eddie Redmayne and Danielle Deadwyler and countless others have discovered in the past, it’s a treacherous matter to have precursor heat but no widespread support for your overall film. Essentially “coattails” work in all directions. People are either thinking about specific films when they’re voting or they aren’t.
I haven’t decided on my own Gold Medalist yet but it won’t be Ke Huy Quan. Nevertheless I’m thrilled about his forthcoming Oscar. Though his “narrative” — child star who quit the business discouraged due to lack of roles for someone like him only to return decades later in a beloved hit — has done far more work in making him a lock to win the statue than his acting, in a happy turn of events the performance is wonderful! It’s a joy when unbeatable narratives actually coalesce around worthy work. That combo is less frequent than we’d like!
The similarities from Oscar’s lineup to my own end with those three.
Paul Dano in “The Fabelmans”
I also chose Albrecht Schuch’s anchoring sidebar in All Quiet on the Western Front for my final lineup. Finally, I absolutely couldn’t live without Paul Dano from The Fabelmans in the Best Supporting Actor grouping. Pity that Oscar could! (I confess though that I have my own biases and favored ‘types’ just as Oscar does and just as everyone does if they really investigate their own ballots. Throughout the two decades of the Film Bitch Awards there have been multiple “sensitive dads” nominated but it’s not a character ‘type’ that tends to excite Oscar’s acting branch, who are very binary about these things preferring any ‘nurturing’ characters to be female.)