Michael Fassbender | 12 Years a Slave
The Best Supporting Actor nominations were pretty good this year; Bradley Cooper in American Hustle, Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street, Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club, Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave, and then lastly….. unfortunately, we have Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips. I think that all of these actors really put together strong performances, besides Abdi. So I’ll start off with him.
Captain Phillips was probably one of my least favorite films this year. It was put together very well, and overall was not a poorly made movie by any means, but I just thought it was completely boring. So again, Abdi is not horrible with his performance, but I just think this is the worst nomination. His character, while important to the plot, clearly gets in over his head but never earns sympathy because he caused it all. The story is focused on Hanks as Phillips, but I felt like the other Somali pirate was more of a menacing support than Abdi. The main reason this nomination bothers me so much is because other actors, cough… Daniel Bruhl, cough, were snubbed.
However, I digress, because everyone else up for the award really gave great performances. There was Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street, who gave a hilarious and strong performance, but definitely doesn’t win my pick because I felt like I was watching him play a grown up Seth from Superbad. Jonah is great; I think my favorite movie quote of the year is, “bro, come smoke this fucking crack with me,” but quotes like that alone aren’t good enough to earn this award.
Bradley Cooper was great, which is a lot coming from me. I’ve never been truly sold on Cooper; I just always feel like I’m still watching Bradley Cooper, rather than the character he is portraying. Yet, his role in American Hustle, as crazed power hungry FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, changed my opinion on Cooper. Although he was awesome, I still see him as the 3rd place finisher for this award.
So here we are, two choices left and either one is worth of winning the Best Supporting Actor award. Jared Leto was really amazing in Dallas Buyers Club, and I definitely think he will win the award. Seriously, I don’t even feel much of a need to explain the reasoning behind that one, just go watch the film. But! Although I think Leto will receive the Oscar, my personal choice for this is Michael Fassbender. My biggest problem with choosing Leto is that I feel like people get lost in the costume and makeup design of transforming him into a transvestite. The Fass (yes, I seriously refer to him as that), one of my favorite actors, was phenomenal in 12 Years a Slave. His performance as the brutally psychotic slave owner, Edwin Epps, shows the range of his acting ability (why he is my favorite actor) to instantly jump between the polar extremes of being sweet and caring towards his favorite slave, Patsy, or horribly frightening when he forces Solomon to whip her. My favorite scene with the Fass in 12 Years, the one that solidified him as my personal favorite for this category, is when he wakes his slaves up in the middle of the night to dance. He is creepily excited to watch his “property” come please him, which really brought into perspective how messed up people like Epps really were. The Fass delivers a really great performance throughout the entire movie, especially with his mannerisms, and while I am expecting Leto to take the award, I think Fassbender is the more deserving candidate.