filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actor of 2015

Rolling right along with my votes for Best Supporting Actor…

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Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation

  • Much has been made of the terrifying impact of his guerrilla warfare commandant, but the most masterful moments of the performance are as he loses dominance over his child soldiers – the impotence with which he clings to his his blind warpath lingers after the chills.

Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina

  • Isaac turns the a reclusive, proselytizing scientist on the page into a study of intellectual, broski misogyny. He’s the embodiment of the film: mysterious, elusive, sexual, and just this side of bonkers. Bonus points for cutting up that fucking dance floor. (More here!)

Michael Keaton – Spotlight

  • His Robby Robinson stears the Spotlight team, but Keaton is the ensemble’s beacon. Much of the film’s ability to go deeper than procedural relies on Keaton’s arc of guilt over his own role in the systemic disregard to the victims depicted. He doesn’t just ace it, he’s the film’s rageful center. (More here!)

Jason Mitchell – Straight Outta Compton

  • As his Eazy-E’s emerges as a major talent, we sense the breakthrough of a future superstar in Mitchell. His intense and passionate portrayal rises above the film’s greatest-hits approach and becomes its emotional core. Emotionally varied and heartbreaking.

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

  • Stallone seizes every opportunity here to illuminate new, unexpected sides to a cinema icon, clearly energized by director Ryan Coogler’s honest approach to the legacy. To Stallone’s (and Coogler’s) further credit, this Rocky Balboa would be just as clearly defined and complete without a franchise preceding it.

The Almost-Made-Its and The Winner after the jump…

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filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actress of 2015

Here’s the start of filmmixtape’s first Best of the Year superlatives. Yes, some things will be coming at their own pace – I have a few major things to see. It may be late, but I’m a completist, dammit. I’m starting off with what is always my favorite category: Best Supporting Actress.

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Rose Byrne – Spy

  • Every withering word out of her mouth in etched in marble. Byrne’s comedic gifts are absurdly under-valued against larger comedy names, and she’s been found unexpected honesty in hilarious performances in Neighbors and Bridesmaids. But she’s never been this uproariously precise or taken given broad humor this much brains.

Nihal G. Koldas – Mustang

  • Her grandmother is as both funny and urgent as the film needs her to be, but she’s never as anonymous as her character’s standing in the film’s patriachy. An extension of the film’s quintet of girls, she’s terrified, passionate, and loving in her own way. So much of the danger we feel for the girls come from the equal mix of fear and compassion on her face.

Sarah Paulson – Carol

  • Suggesting a complete life sideways of the love story at the film’s center, Paulson is dynamically present in every one of her few scenes. The Abby she creates is never the expected stock friend role in a love story – she shares a deeper connection to Carol and grants more kindness in Therese than some throwaway. She finds variety and range, crafting an Abby that is randy, defiant, and devoted.

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

  • She aces the high degree of difficulty: compellingly human beyond even sexual intrigue, but never humanly articulated. Like the film, she maintains tension by never overplaying her hand into outright menace or innocence. Still fascinating on multiple viewings, it’s a uniquely physical performance though she’s often perfectly still.

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

  • Verbally dexterous as necessary to Aaron Sorkin’s relentless screenplay, you can clearly sense the actress energized by the challenges she aces along the way. She fleshes out Joanna Hoffman as more of a complete person than the rest of the ensemble floating in Jobs’s orbit, every bit believably disarming Jobs in the final act by digging deep and finding the film’s emotional core.

See who almost made the cut and filmmixtape’s winner after the jump!

Continue reading “filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actress of 2015”

For Your Consideration: Best Supporting Actor – Oscar Isaac “Ex Machina”

Criminally unrecognized by awards voters and general audiences (perhaps until next month with Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Oscar Isaac has been quietly giving the most diverse range of characters of an actor his age. One of the best lead male performance of the decade was his work in the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis, a showcase for his gifts of subtlety and sorrow, but also for unexpected wowza musical talent.

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In Ex Machina, he gets to play with a full toolbox of mystery. The performance mirrors the film’s delicate balance of big ideas, moral indifference, and sexual undercurrent. Isaac often underplays moments that lesser actors could have turned into moustache-twirling, allowing the film’s darker ideas to speak for themselves. He plays the film’s narrative cards close to the chest but is still an open book, enticing and alluring to the audience and Domhnall Gleeson’s protagonist. Unyielding to the sinister and kooky elements, it’s also the sexiest performance of the year to boot.

Check in with filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar Predictions!