Well, folks like me who love films and love this time of year when we can officially start talking Oscar, this is the perfect time to share with you what I found in the November 15th edition of Entertainment Weekly. Their annual 'The Contenders Oscar Predictions' list has been broken down into the top categories, and the one we're really interested in is Best Supporting Actor.
Of the three actors showcased, I've only seen Michael Fassbender's performance in 12 Years a Slave, and Jared Leto in 'Dallas Buyers Club'. I saw both films at TIFF and I saw 'Dallas' the day after 12YAS. As you will note in my brief review write-up on that movie, I was very impressed with the film and felt that both Matthew McConaughey and Jared were great. However, EW has Matthew slated as just a 'contender', not a front runner, but they have Jared as a front runner in Best Supporting. I thought Jared was fantastic and he is deserving of an Oscar nod. But I'm surprised that EW would say that the Supporting Oscar is Jared's to lose. I think it's fair to say that with 12YAS being a more high profile film and with Michael's performance really shaking people to the core, I'm curious as to whom are these voters that EW allude to when they say that Jared Leto's performance has left them "overwhelmed". According to Box Office Mojo 'Dallas' is in limited release since Nov 1st where it started out in 9 theaters, and this week, it's being shown in 35 and earning just shy of $1 million.
It's a great film that deserves much wider release, but like many independent films about the AIDS epidemic, it will get buried under more high profile films. But the fact of the matter is that surely, more critics and "voters" have seen Michael in TYAS than have those seen Jared in Dallas, so I'm just perplexed as to why this little seen film's supporting actor has more front-runner mojo than Michael. Bias all aside, it is curious isn't it? If the voters are swayed more by the likable character, shit, they might as well start etching Jared's name on the Oscar nameplate.
This is the first of many Oscar prediction blog posts, and when the critics awards start in a few short weeks, we'll see then how strong Jared's performance in Dallas is in comparison to Michael's much more talked about performance in TYAS. In the end, both actors deserve a nomination, and I will be happy for either winner, but of course, I'm totally rooting for Michael to go all the way especially since TYAS is going to win the big two (Picture and Director).