Andy Serkis 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Oscar Campaign: Which Best Supporting Actor Contender Should Get Left Out?
"THE TIME IS NOW," screams the new For Your Consideration ad for Andy Serkis's motion-capture performance in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' before focusing on this money quote from TIME magazine critic Richard Corliss: "Serkis gives a performance so nuanced and powerful it may challenge the Academy to give an Oscar to an actor who is never seen in the film." Convincing! Just one problem: who would you knock out of the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor to include Serkis?
Of the 30 Oscar experts polled over at GoldDerby.com, only curmudgeonly Jeff Wells has Serkis on his ballot (apparently 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' doesn't qualify as a Joe Popcorn movie), ranked behind presumed Best Supporting Actor favorite Christopher Plummer ('Beginners') and Max Von Sydow ('Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close') -- two actors who appear 30 and 20 ballots, respectively.
Other popular names according to the GoldDerby.com experts include Albert Brooks ('Drive'; 28 ballots) and Kenneth Branagh ('My Week With Marilyn'; 21 ballots), with Jonah Hill ('Moneyball'; 8 ballots), Jim Broadbent ('The Iron Lady'; 7 ballots), Nick Nolte ('Warrior'; 6 ballots) and Patton Oswalt ('Young Adult'; 5 ballots) rounding out the presumed nominees. Which leaves no room for Serkis's striking and groundbreaking work in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes.'
And yet! One thing that should be clear from the list of possible Best Supporting Actor nominees is that this is a weak field. Plummer seems destined to win, Brooks is locked in for a nomination -- his win at the New York Film Critics Circle was a nice boost for his candidacy -- and Von Sydow is thought to be as well, but after that it's a mess. Plus, with 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' not even screening yet, there's the chance that the Von Sydow hype is just that, and he'll fall out of the race after viewing. Stranger things have happened.
All of which is to say, don't discount Serkis from Oscar consideration quite yet. It's not like there are five entirely worthy candidates for Best Supporting Actor this year, and Serkis was clearly one of the better performers in 2011. Whether the acting branch agrees, remains to be seen.
Who would you leave out of the Best Supporting Actor race to include Serkis? Your thoughts are welcome below.