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The Conversation: 2015 Oscar Predix: From Tough-love to Full Out Love…Simmons is No-Brainer Pick for Best Supporting Actor

The Nominations: Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall in “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”
Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

Shoulda Been a Contender: Ben Mendelsohn for “Starred Up

The long neglected character actor had another slew of titles release this year, but his supporting turn in David Mackenzie’s underrated Starred Up should have made this short list.

Should Win: J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash

Of the five nominees, Simmons gives the most visceral, sometimes terrifying performance in Whiplash. Having already grabbed the Golden Globes, BAFTA, SAG and the Indie Spirits award tomorrow, Simmons is the heavy favorite.

Could Win: None

Unfortunately, it seems there’s little room for surprise in this year’s Best Supporting Actor category. Edward Norton is the certified second place vote getter.

Will Win: J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash

The award has been pegged for Simmons basically since the premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. A long time character actor, it’s one of the few instances where a deserving actor may be honored for a deserving performance, and not say for the actor’s filmography.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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