Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1980

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Judd Hirsch (Ordinary People)
Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People)
Michael O’Keefe (The Great Santini)
Joe Pesci (Raging Bull)
Jason Robards (Melvin and Howard)

Biggest Snub:

Anthony Hopkins – The Elephant Man

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a pretty weak year for nominees and it was between 3 relatively new actors, a veteran and a TV comedy actor who took a dramatic turn with his perfromance.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. Jason Robards
4. Joe Pesci
3. Michael O’Keefe
2. Timothy Hutton
1. Judd Hirsch


4. Melvin and HowardPretty boring film that doesn’t work well at all. The story meanders along too much and feels like it’s way too choppy and is missing integral parts to the story itself. Robards was nominated for an Oscar for his brief supporting role but it feels more like a nomination solely because he is a great actor and not necessarily due to his performance in this film itself.
3. The Great SantiniSimilar to all of the adaptations of his books, this is just a poor attempt to do justice to such a great novel. Duvall and O’Keeffe are both excellent but the story still feels extremely choppie as if something was missing now and again.
2. Raging BullThis is a great movie largely due to the amazing transformative performance by De Niro. The story itself is quite brutal and dark and shows sometimes how life can imitate art depending on the personalities involved. The boxing scenes are well choreographed and you quite often feel as if you are in the ring right there with them. There are many scenes are feel like roadside accident but despite the blood, we all can’t stop trying to catch a glimpse of what happens.
1. Ordinary PeopleGreat directorial debut of Redford. Excellent story that really delves into how tragedy can affect ordinary people’s lives. Amazing cast.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  In a somewhat weak year it’s surprising that Hirsch and Hutton didn’t split the votes but either would have been a worthy choice here.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1980

  1. a). disagree wholeheartedly that it was a weak year. the SNUB was not in this category – it was no nomination for Donald Sutherland. Agree on surprise at no vote split – but Hutton was the far better role. And Pesci was spectacular in Raging Bull + could have easily won here.


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