Another really strong category. I ended up leaving several names off this list too. Notably: Michael Keaton (Spotlight), Brian D’Arcy James (Spotlight), Ryan Reynolds (Mississippi Grind), Oscar Issac (Ex Machina), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Jason Statham (Spy), Andre Holland (Black or White), Ryan Gosling (The Big Short), and Ben Vereen (Time Out Of Mind) missed the cut this year.
10) BOBBY CANNAVALE (DANNY COLLINS)
Cannavale really is a great actor. Playing the forgotten son of a rock star, he really embraced the role. I think people forgot about the film, or felt he was overshadowed by Al Pacino, but I never felt that. He was great in every scene, whether he was battling his father, or cancer. Truly a great performance.
9) MARK RUFFALO (SPOTLIGHT)
Another consistent performance from Ruffalo. It was really hard trying to figure out who to put on this list from Spotlight. Ruffalo? Keaton? D’Arcy James? all three were great, and had their own moments. There’s something about Ruffalo, when he’s given these really “brainy” roles with lots of dialogue. He nailed it perfectly in A Normal Heart, and he really did a very similar thing here. It’s the type of performance that caters to his strengths, which is why he stood a little above his co-stars.
8) NICHOLAS HOULT (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)
Again, another performance I was surprised didn’t get more traction when talking about awards. There was a push for Theron, but not Hoult, who really gave an over the top (yet not campy) performance as Nux. A very promising young actor.
7) WALTON GOGGINS (THE HATEFUL EIGHT)
What happens when an already successful and praised TV actor finds the right film role? Well, for Bryan Cranston it led to an Oscar nomination. For Goggins, he was left out in the cold this year, just like he was in The Hateful Eight. In a cast full of talent, Goggins really stood out to me as the most memorable.
6) MARK RYLANCE (BRIDGE OF SPIES)
A theatre actor breaks through and gets noticed. Rylance is really just an immersive character actor, and it’s nice to see a character actor getting recognized by mass audiences for once. Every once in a while, one of them breaks through, and it just might be Rylance’s year.
5) SYLVESTER STALLONE (CREED)
It was Stallone’s best performance in a long time. That’s why everyone is excited. He truly is the heart of the story of Creed. To allow himself and allow his iconic character to prove that he is only human is why everyone really connected to the film. It was surprising, and Stallone took the leap of faith from Ryan Coogler, which I think was the right choice, and why Stallone is getting all the love. Sometimes, you have to be willing to take a big risk.
4) PAUL DANO (LOVE AND MERCY)
Such a crime that he wasn’t nominated for Love and Mercy. It’s really a great performance. Playing half of Brian Wilson, and sharing the role with John Cusack, Dano proved himself again as one of the most daring actors in Hollywood. He chooses really unique roles, always trying to keep himself from being the kind of actor that would be typecast. I think Dano has tried really hard to not form a “type” for himself, or have people say “that’s a Paul Dano type of role”, because he really can do anything. Hopefully, one day the Oscars will recognize that.
3) JACOB TREMBLAY (ROOM)
Do the Oscar voters know it’s OK to nominate a child? Cause, they forgot to nominate Jacob Tremblay. Yes, his performance was good enough for it. It’s unusual to find that kind of depth and honesty in a child his age. The last time I saw it was with Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam. #snubbed
2) IDRIS ELBA (BEASTS OF NO NATION)
I mean, the Oscars couldn’t find room for Idris Elba? Really? He’s a praised actor, the film was loved by critics, I don’t know what went wrong. He was a frontrunner for the nomination this whole time, and for good reason. He’s incredible. He almost was my #1 pick, until I saw The Revenant. I’m angry that he wasn’t nominated. Not because he’s black, but because he really deserved this nomination. He deserved it more than other people I have on my list. I would have been fine with no Ruffalo, for example, if Elba had made the cut. It’s just a giant fuck up.
1) TOM HARDY (THE REVENANT)
Yo. Method acting. Hardy really became that character. He had two great performances this year (and also Mad Max). He deserved a nomination for something, and I’m glad he got it. He’s my pick for Best Supporting Actor this year. A performance that I didn’t expect, from an actor I love. Tom Hardy is one of the best actors working today.