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2014 Oscar Power Rankings: Best Supporting Actor (Sept. 30)

Focus Features

The Oscar contenders are dropping like flies!

OK, so things aren’t quite so dire. But with movies like ‘Foxcatcher,’ ‘Grace of Monaco’ and Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ pushed back to 2014 (or currently in curious limbo), the ongoing Oscar race shifts gears on a daily basis. Where do we stand at the moment? Let’s run through our picks for the current frontrunners in the Best Supporting Actor category. Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below:


Jared Leto, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Last Week: 1

‘The Dallas Buyers Club’ is Matthew McConaughey’s show, through and through. He shines incredibly bright as a Texas redneck who contracts the HIV virus. But McConaughey has outstanding chemistry with co-star Jared Leto, who creates an actual character out of what normally devolves in caricature. Rayon (Leto) is an unfiltered voice, a portal into the gay community for McConaughey’s Ron Woodroof. It is a risky performance, but never a showy performance. The scene Leto gets with James DuMont, playing Rayon’s father, should cement his nomination this year.


Tom Hanks, ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

Last Week: 2

Iconic actor Tom Hanks playing iconic Hollywood entertainer Walt Disney in a behind-the-scenes expose on one of the industry’s most-beloved films? Why don’t you go ahead and take all of the Oscars, ‘Mr. Banks.’ Ironically, Hanks might see himself contending in multiple categories this year. It’s all but guaranteed that the actor will add at least one more acting nomination to his already illustrious resume. But whether it’s for John Lee Hancock’s ‘Mary Poppins’ movie or for Paul Greengrass’ harrowing ‘Captain Phillips’ remains to be seen. Will Hanks make it into two categories, or only one? Place your bets.


Michael Fassbender, ‘12 Years a Slave’

Last Week: 3

Fassbender reunites with his ‘Shame’ and 'Hunger' director Steve McQueen, and while ‘Slave’ is a vehicle for the always excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor, Fassbender emerged from the Telluride and Toronto film festivals as a legitimate Best Supporting Actor contender. There were many who believed Fassbender deserved an Oscar nom for his searing portrayal of a sex addict in ‘Shame.’ The Academy often recognizes people late, so I’m banking on them honoring Fassbender here.


Daniel Bruhl, 'Rush'

Last Week: 4

Ron Howard’s Formula-1 drama ‘Rush’ finally went wide, giving a larger audience its first look at Bruhl’s calculating turn as obsessed racer Niki Lauda. He’s the real deal, a cold counterbalance to Chris Hemsworth’s impulsive James Hunt, Lauda’s natural rival. I’d feel much better about this pick if Howard’s ‘Rush’ opened bigger (it earned an estimated $10 million), but Universal can push Bruhl all season if the film performs well overseas, as expected.


John Goodman, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Last Week: --

The dreaded fifth slot, which feels like it could swing in any direction this year. I’m really waiting for David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ to show its cards. Christian Bale or Jeremy Renner could emerge from that ensemble as a clear-cut nominee. I’m also hearing amazing things about Colin Farrell in ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ which will start screening for critics in the coming weeks. But with ‘Davis’ playing the New York Film Festival, Goodman’s name is floating through the ether, and he easily could earn what miraculously would be his first Oscar nomination.


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