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The Road to the Oscars: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

5 February 2014 By Nick Salacki, Columnist No Comments

Hello Towerlight readers. Nick here, once again.

Did you all enjoy last week’s column about the Academy Award nominees for Supporting Actress?

In case you forgot, I named my predicted winner as Lupita Nyong’o from “12 Years a Slave.”

This week’s column is dedicated to the Academy Award nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

The official nominees are Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips,” Bradley Cooper for “American Hustle,” Jonah Hill for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Michael Fassbender for “12 Years a Slave” and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Barkhad Abdi begins his career in Hollywood by starring in Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips” as Muse, one of three Somali pirates who hijack an American cargo ship and take its captain hostage. You may remember my review of this film in an October 2013 issue of the Towerlight.

Abdi has already made his mark in Hollywood by giving a thrilling performance, surprisingly landing him his first Oscar nomination and hopefully more roles.

Even though that’s impressive, Abdi is lucky to be even nominated.  As a newcomer, his nomination is a surprise, but still impressive to see.

Bradley Cooper receives his second Oscar nomination by starring in David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” as Richie DiMaso, a wild FBI agent who works with and forces two con-people into a high stake scheme against a New Jersey mayor.

Like Abdi, Bradley Cooper is also lucky to be nominated. He is the least deserving of all nominees.

In this film, it seemed like Cooper was playing the character with no special spark to his performance, like he didn’t care. Cooper’s nomination is carelessly given.

Jonah Hill also receives his second Oscar nomination by starring in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” as Donnie Azoff, the outrageous stock broking partner of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort.

Even though I was rooting for a nomination for Hill, I was actually surprised that the Academy actually went through with it. But when all is said and done, I am surprised and very happy to see Hill truly make a name for himself as a two-time Academy Award nominee. I enjoyed his performance. His nomination is a surprising joy.

Michael Fassbender becomes an official Academy Award nominee after starring in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” as the ruthless slave owner Edwin Epps, one of his slaves being Lupita Nyong’o’s Patsey.

I knew Fassbender was Oscar material ever since “X-Men: First Class;” it was only a matter of time until the perfect role came up. His character in “12 Years a Slave,” which allowed Fassbender to make use of his gripping talent, couldn’t be a better beginning for Fassbender on his journey to Hollywood greatness. His nomination is well deserved.

Jared Leto also becomes an official Academy Award nominee after starring in Jean-Marc Vallée’s “Dallas Buyers Club” as transgender AIDS patient Rayon who befriends Matthew McConaughey’s Ron Woodroof, soon becoming partners in a secret AIDS medication distribution business.

I am not familiar with Leto’s acting, so it felt nice walking into The Charles Theater not knowing what to expect.

What I saw was a captivating performance to remember. Not only from his beautiful acting, which my eyes were glued to, but also from his preparation for the role.

Portraying an AIDS patient, Leto needed to remain on a strict diet leaving his body’s ribs poking skinny. Leto’s performance is golden perfection.

Even though this group of actors is not the most impressive and satisfying in the history of the Academy Awards, I know that one of them stands out from them all. By my judgment, the most deserving nominee is Jared Leto.

I feel like Leto is the type of actor who knows how talented he is but he rarely lets himself shine. After his strange relationship with Hollywood, maybe a prestigious award will bring him out of his shell.

Hollywood has been waiting for someone different, someone unique, someone like Leto.

After all is accounted for, my vote goes to Jared Leto and I believe the same for the Academy’s.

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