Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1998


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

James Coburn (Affliction)
Robert Duvall (A Civil Action)
Ed Harris (The Truman Show)
Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare in Love)
Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan)

Biggest Snub:

William H. Macy – Pleasantville

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another year with 5 great nominees and any of them could have won since there was clearly no front runner throughout the awards season since in the end all 4 top Award shows (SAG, Globes, BAFTA and the Oscars) gave the award to a different one of the nominees.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. Robert Duvall 
4. Billy Bob Thornton
3. Geoffrey Rush
2. James Coburn
1. Ed Harris

Movies

5. A Civil ActionVery good legal drama that loses most of its steam towards the end. It’s presented as a David vs. Goliath legal battle but isn’t as inspiring as one would expect. Great cast with Duvall as a definite stand out.
4. AfflictionInteresting story that is not the easiest to sit through. Most of the subject matter is very intense and you don’t know which characters to agree with and which not to. Nolte and Coburn are both amazing here. Coburn definitely deserved his Oscar for this role. Not a movie one can watch over and over tho.
3. A Simple PlanLove the way this story unfolds because it shows how easily good intentions and ideas can snowball out of control. Great cast led by Paxton who once again was able to break free of his supporting actor personage and take the lead here. It is so easy to identify with the characters here because they are seem so normal and down to Earth and could conceivably be seen as people we could know who get into such a situation.
2. The Truman ShowSuch an amazing premise that is well before it’s time. The way that this film presents the world of reality TV is amazingly done and give us so much insight into how the world works and why the genre is so popular. Carrey is superb in the title role and he was snubbed at the Oscars because he should have at least been nominated for Best Actor even if he wouldn’t have won against Benigni. I’m at least quite happy that Weir was recognized for the way he put this story together for us to enjoy and got a Best Director nomination for it. This film in some ways resonates even better after twenty years than it did back when it was made.
1. Shakespeare in LoveGreat movie, Well done, expertly written and acted. Those who are fans of The Bard’s works, will enjoy themselves a lot

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  Coburn is great as an abusive father in this film and it’s among his most intense performances, but it feels too much like a career award instead of just for this performance. Harris does a much better job in TTS and would have been an even more deserving winner.

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

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