2011 Oscars: Who Will Win Best Supporting Actor?

It’s Day 2 of my road to the 83rd Academy Awards this Sunday night. Yesterday, I aimed the spotlight at five talented ladies who gave remarkable performances in supporting roles. Today, it’s the guys’ turn to take front and center for their Academy-worthy acting.

For 2011’s Best Supporting Actor race, the field consists of three Oscar virgins in John Hawkes, Mark Ruffalo and Christian Bale. It also includes two previous nominated actors, Jeremy Renner and Geoffrey Rush, with Rush taking home the golden statue in 1996 for his performance in “Shine“. While there is a clear favorite among the bunch, nothing is ever guaranteed until the winner is announced on Oscar night. Check out my predictions below and see who’s won what during the 2010-11 awards season.

Christian Bale

Movie: The Fighter
Previous Nominations: First time nominee

Bale scores one of “The Fighter’s” three acting Oscar nods and seven in total. Christian has been cleaning up during this awards season, scoring wins at all the major awards: SAGs; Golden Globes; Broadcast Film Critics; and BAFTAs. Not bad, considering he wasn’t even Mark Wahlberg’s first choice. Both Brad Pitt and Matt Damon were cast to play Dicky Eklund, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Prior to winning practically everything, many thought Bale would score a nod but didn’t have a chance to win due to his cray cray profanity-fueled tirade caught on tape on the set of “Terminator Salvation“. Let’s hope for his sake, the DOP on that film isn’t an Academy voter. Unless, a major upset is in the works, Bale’s got this in the bag.

John Hawkes

Movie: Winter’s Bone
Previous Nominations: First time nominee

The 51-year-old has been working steadily in films since 1985. He’s appeared in films like “Miami Vice”, “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer”, “The Perfect Storm”, and “From Dusk Till Dawn” to name a few, but without a doubt “Winter’s Bone” is his career-making performance. All season long, she’s been racking up the nominations from critic’s awards, but never from any of the major precursors. That is, until now. Hawkes scores his first Oscar nomination, and as the old adage goes… it’s just an honor being nominated. Definitely the longest shot out of the five to win this category.

Jeremy Renner

Movie: The Town
Previous Nominations: The Hurt Locker (2009)

I love, love, love Jeremy Renner and glad his work on Ben Affleck’s “The Town” was recognized by the Academy. He was soooooo good in this film. This is the second year in a row, Renner has been honored and just like last year for “The Hurt Locker”, Renner will most likely be going home empty-handed on Oscar night. Even though he’s been nominated at all the major precursors, he hasn’t secured one single win. That doesn’t bode well for his chances on Sunday night. Maybe third time is a charm. He’s got “Thor” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” coming out in 2011. LOL. Oh well, there’s always 2012.

Mark Ruffalo

Movie: The Kids Are All Right
Previous Nominations: First time nominee

I just finished professing my love for Jeremy Renner, and now it’s Mark Ruffalo’s turn. I love, love, love, love (notice the fourth love) this guy. His portrayal of Paul Hatfield, anonymous sperm donor for both Annette Benning & Julianne Moore’s kids, was pitch-perfect. With Christian Bale winning all the awards, Ruffalo has had to settle for just being nominated like Jeremy Renner. His best chances of winning an award this year will be the Independent Spirit Awards being handed out the night before the Oscars.

Geoffrey Rush

Movie: The King’s Speech
Previous Nominations: Shine (1996 – Won), Shakespeare In Love (1998), Quills (2000)

By and far, the most established and honored actor of the bunch. Geoffrey Rush is brilliant as Lionel Logue, King George VI’s stuttering coach. If there was anyone that could derail’s Christian Bale’s road to Oscar glory, it would be Rush. With three previous nominations, it’s clear the Academy loves him. Plus, “The King’s Speech” is the most nominated film at this year’s awards. Then when you factor his wins at the BAFTAs and the cast ensemble award at the SAGs, Geoffrey certainly has a decent shot.

2011 Oscars: Who Should Win Best Supporting Actor?

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Final Prediction

Unless PricewaterhouseCoopers royally eff things up and loses Christian Bale’s votes, his name will be in that sealed envelope. A part of me is hoping he doesn’t win, so we can see him freak out, lose it and spew expletives left, center and right.

WILL WIN: Christina Bale
SHOULD WIN: Geoffrey Rush

Totally Snubbed

Andrew Garfield

Movie: the social network
Previous Nominations:

Just like Mila Kunis’ snub in my “Best Supporting Actress” prediction post, I’m shocked Andrew Garfield didn’t score an Oscar nod. His work was amazing, if not superior, to Jesse Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg portrayal. How can you nominate the lead of the film without recognizing the work of the major supporting actor they’re playing off from. Luckily, Garfield is young and talented and I have no doubt he’ll earn Academy love sooner, rather than later.

  • YES! Geoffrey Rush SHOULD win. But he already has an oscar so they’re gonna give it to Bale.

    And as far as Andrew Garfield goes…it was a strong year for this category. stronger than actor. go figure.,