Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 2004

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Alan Alda (The Aviator)
Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
Jamie Foxx (Collateral)
Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)
Clive Owen (Closer)

Biggest Snub:

Peter Sarsgaard – Kinsey

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with some great nominees and just about any of them would have been worthy of winning especially since there was no clear cut winner during the entire awards season which saw several splits as winners along the way.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. Clive Owen
4. Alan Alda
3. Jamie Foxx
2. Morgan Freeman
1. Thomas Haden Church


5. CloserInteresting idea that just doesn’t work well enough. The cast is superb but the way that the story is presented just makes things too confusing. None of the characters feel sympathetic enough and there is little reason to care about any of them or what will happen as the story moves along. The dialogue is crisp and sometimes witty but even that can’t make up for the messiness of the plot.
4. The AviatorThis is a great idea for a story because there is so much to explore here. That is also the problem with the way that it is presented since the film clocks in at nearly 3 hours and it feels that way. There are too many scenes that move along too slowly and keep the pacing of it all at a breakneck crawl. Great cast helps this along with Blanchett becoming to first actor to win an Oscar for portraying an Oscar winner. They do a wonderful job showing the eccentricities of Hughes but this would have probably been much better if it was tackled as a miniseries instead of a long feature length film.
3. CollateralInteresting idea that works largely due to the performance of Foxx who plays his characters very realistically. Love the way that the story gets more gripping as things move along as we slowly begin to grasp everything that is happening.  Not really sure why Foxx was nominated for a supporting actor award at the Oscars because his role is clearly the lead one here even if Cruise has a bigger name.  The film manages to keep things thrilling throughout due to the way that they slowly feed us more and more information as to what is truly transpiring.
2. Million Dollar BabyPowerful and moving film about decisions in life and living with those decisions. Very deserving of winning Best Picture. Eastwood, Freeman and especially Swank are all superb here.
1. SidewaysAll 4 of the main actors are superb here because they give the film such a realistic feel to it. The story and plot is so down to Earth that it is quite easy for most people to relate because it shows what a real true friendship could be like. The characters have flaws but still we root for them all to get what they want. One doesn’t need to be a connoisseur of wine to like this film because all you need to know is explained properly. Clearly the beat film of the year IMHO and it was beaten out slightly for Best Picture that year by Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  I understand why Freeman was given the Oscar for this role, but it feels much more like he got a bit of a boost due to his past snubs. Church was the best of the bunch, but the chances were slim that he would win for that role.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 2004

  1. Kind of agree with you here. As good as Freeman was – and always is – this has a hint of “career award” to it. Haden Church was superb in Sideways (as was Paul Giammatti – who wasn’t even nominated!) and I would’ve gone with him. Everyone was very good this year. As for Foxx – no it wasn’t really a supporting performance – but since the studio was going to mount a Best Actor campaign for Cruise – they weren’t about to pit them against one another. As it turned out – Cruise wasn’t even nominated – and Foxx WON for Best Actor in “RAY”.


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