Two Veterans Battle It Out For Best Supporting Actor

Categories: Film

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Two of the candidates for this year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar are really extraordinary old people.

Christopher Plummer shines in Mike Mills's Beginners as the father of the Mills character (played by Ewan McGregor), who comes out of the closet at 75 and really starts to live.

Plummer himself is in his '80s, has had a distinguished career on stage and screen, and was nominated once before (for supporting for The Last Station).

I'll forgive him the time he looked at me like I was a pile of crap when I asked him about The Sound of Music. (I had no idea he loathes it. Double shame on him!)

Another contender is Warrior's Nick Nolte, who also plays a father going through a crossroads -- this one a recovering alcoholic who totters back into his sons' lives pleading for forgiveness and redemption.

At first, I thought, "Another mumbly performance from Nolte," but his work has real grit to it, and in one particular confrontation scene with son Tom Hardy, he tears your heart out, throws it to the ground, stomps on it, and puts it back in.

Nolte, 70, has been nominated twice before, for Best Actor (The Prince of Tides, Affliction), but he has never copped the gold.

So which one will get the prize?

I'd say definitely ...

Probably Plummer. Beginners is his new beginning, and besides, Nolte's Oscar mojo has been going down a bit in the last few months.

It's all in the timing!

And let's not rule out Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, and Max von Sydow, either.


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15 comments
mjm
mjm

"(I had no idea he loathes it. Double shame on him!"

no wonder he looked uncomfortable on the Oprah cast reunion w/ Julie Andrews (whom he did not get along with). but when Mammy Oprah calls, you beckon.

Rogie
Rogie

As someone who'd been forced by religious elements to watch Sound of Music more than once (in an actual theater, during its original run), I'd say: give the Plummer a break. This is a rare case where the .1 percent (as opposed to the 99.9 percent who love the movie) deserve the right to enjoy bashing the production. CP speaks for the few who found it cloying, square, and unbearably cornpone.

tony adams
tony adams

Did they cut Plummer's scene with Betty White where she turns him gay?

Honks
Honks

So many good choices this year! I love Xtopher Plummer....straight....just British LOL

billyjoe
billyjoe

Furthermore, if Plummer wants the Oscar, he better be as pleasant and engaging with  journalists as was Sandra Bullock during the months and weeks leading up to her win for "The Blind Side." And that means fielding the inevitable "Sound of Music" questions that he so detests. That's the role he'll always be chiefly known for.

Mitigating factor: If he wins, Plummer won't have to worry about the infamous Oscar curse because he'll likely expire before the jinx kicks in.

Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer

I hope Christopher Plummer will win. 

At 82 years old, Christopher Plummer is at thetop of his game. Coming off his only Oscar nomination (for 2009’s The LastStation), Plummer does absolute wonders in Beginners. 

I’ve seen him as good, but never better,than he is in Beginners. Give the man an Oscar.!!!

billyjoe
billyjoe

Uhh, Musto. I read this item several times over and still could not find the title of Nolte's movie. Is that your fault or the Village Voice copy editor's?

Musto
Musto

Another thing in Plummer's favor is that the Academy loves straight people playing gays. And Plummer, I guess, is straight--just British.

Candyland
Candyland

I think you're right. Plummer has it in the bag, though Albert Brooks seems to be the 'hip' choice for critics' groups.

Harold
Harold

What about Madonna???

Parker
Parker

Well, he had no problem signing on to do it.

billyjoe
billyjoe

The title of the Nolte movie is "Warrior."

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

That's called professionalism. All he signed up for was to perform the role expertly, which he did. Just his bad luck that fans of the movie expect him to be a fan as well. (And he's in good company BTW. Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe were vocal about disliking their signature roles.)

billyjoe
billyjoe

And unless his publicist does a yeoman's job of deflecting or prohibiting SOM questions, that's what most of the shallow TV journalists are going to focus on....I can hear the 11 pm news promos already: "Remember Captain Von Trapp? Well, he's now a friend of Dorothy....story after the break."

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