With the special night almost here, Moviefone will be releasing a set of staff predictions each day this week (in countdown fashion) for the six major categories. We kicked it off Monday with Best Picture, and have brought you Best Actor and Best Actress, so now we turn our attention to a race with a few established veterans and one particularly fresh face: Best Supporting Actor.
You've likely heard the names Bradley Cooper and Jared Leto, but newcomer Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips") has broken out in his very first acting role to nab an Oscar nomination and a surprising BAFTA win, leaving many wondering if he has a real chance at winning an Oscar.
We've already given you the beat on the Best Supporting Actor nominees, so now let's break down our favorites to win the award. Here, we've listed the actors we expect to win, and then, more importantly, who we think should win.
Who Will Win: Jared Leto. So far, Leto has already snagged a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for his transformative portrayal of transgender AIDS patient Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club." He's also received many, many critics awards for the role, making his win the closest to a sure thing at this year's ceremony.
Who Should Win: Jared Leto. The man hasn't acted in five years. Then he bursts back on the scene with a role that astounds everyone -- critics, audiences, and fellow actors -- and even upstages the movie's lead, Matthew McConaughey. That is some serious talent. Leto's passion and respect for the character reads in every scene, and it's clear, from interviews and his performance, that he was incredibly invested in his character. Jordan Catalano, we hardly knew ye.
Who Will Win: Jared Leto. It comes down to Michael Fassbender and Leto for the boldest dramatic performances. And while Leto is kind of an oddball in the stuffy world of the Academy, he's also very into the campaigning process, while Fassbender has gone on record to say he doesn't care. Leto's the kind of artsy cult of personality that the Academy usually rewards with Supporting Awards.
Who Should Win: Michael Fassbender. Actors who make physical transformation for a role are routinely heralded, but it takes a special kind of intensity to create a character that's ugly to the core. Fassbender doesn't drastically alter his cosmetic appearance, but he taps into something dark to make a truly harrowing, overwhelming turn as an abusive, slave owning, religious fanatic.
Who Will Win: Jared Leto. Like Cate, Jared has been cleaning up at all of the early awards shows. He's the front runner in this category with good reason. The physical transformation is an accomplishment in itself, and when coupled with Leto's haunting and heartbreaking performance as Rayon it's a recipe for an Oscar. Don't expect anything to change between now and Sunday.
Who Should Win: Jared Leto. The praise for Jared in this role is completely warranted. He will and should win Sunday night. And I'm only a little bit mad that he's a prettier woman than I am.
Who Will Win: Jared Leto. Simply put, this is a one-man race. After a several year hiatus, Leto came back in a role that was perfect for him. He dazzled as Rayon, a transgender AIDS patient in "Dallas Buyers Club" and supplies an ideal tender touch opposite Matthew McConaughey that heightens both their performances. Like McConaughey, he looks deathly thin throughout the film and we all know how much the Academy loves weight loss. He's won every major award thus far and there's no reason to think that might change come Oscar night.
Who Should Win: Jared Leto, for all the reasons I've stated above. I do, however, want to use this space to commend what will absolutely be career-defining performances by Jonah Hill and Michael Fassbender.
What's your pick? Tell us in the comments below, and find out which star wins Best Supporting Actor when the Oscars air live Sunday, March 2 at 7 ET / 4 PT on ABC.
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