Thursday, September 10, 2015

The 2014 RyMickey Awards - Best Supporting Actor

Traditionally, the Best Supporting Actor category always feels the weakest to me year after year.  This year felt a little strong with my top eight feeling like legitimate contenders.

Best Supporting Actor of 2014

Also in the running...
(in alphabetical order)
Zac Efron - Neighbors
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Tye Sheridan - Joe

Honorable Mentions

8. Will Arnett - The Lego Movie
An overhyped film for certain, but the vocalized vigor that Arnett brings to the character is hilarious.

7. Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
The least showiest of the three main roles in Foxcatcher, Ruffalo's character finds himself at the emotional cruxes of the upheavals of his brother Mark (Channing Tatum) and John DuPont (Steve Carell).  While he isn't afforded the same arc as his fellow characters, Ruffalo succeeds in being the audience's way into this tricky story.

6. Gene Jones - The Sacrament
As a sleazy southern religious zealot, Gene Jones emotes a docile tone that hides some crazily warped religious sensibilities.  He's scary...and that's just what's needed for the film.

And the Top Five...

5. Ed Norton - Birdman
By far the best acting aspect of Birdman, Norton sometimes makes Michael Keaton look like a bad actor -- but that may be the point...or maybe it isn't.  There's a palpable sense of excitement whenever Norton's on the screen and it was a welcome treat throughout the overrated film.

4. Chris Pine - Into the Woods
I never looked at Chris Pine as being one who excelled at comedy, but his take on the pompous, arrogant, and utterly uncharming Prince Charming was one of the best aspects of Into the Woods which already had assembled a strong ensemble.

3. Gary Poulter - Joe
In his one and only film role (he died shortly before the film was released), Gary Poulter brings a terror to the screen as the drunken, abusive father to his teenage son.  Poulter was found by the director living on the streets of Austin, Texas, and the obviously hardened lifestyle he lived makes Poulter's role feel more natural than most of what we see in films.

2. Henry G. Sanders - Selma
Admittedly, Henry G. Sanders' role in Selma is little more than a glorified cameo, but as the grandfather of a young man killed by police officers in the title city, I was riveted by his few scenes.  When he breaks down in the morgue...powerful stuff...

1. J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
Simmons is a powerhouse here.  With a shaved head, tight t-shirt, and muscular physique, his jazz instructor character Terrence Fletcher is an imposing figure.  On the surface, there seems to be only brutality and anger, but as the film progresses, we begin to see that there's more underneath the surface of Fletcher.  His repartee with his newest protégée is captivating as we find ourselves unable to turn away from the nastiness, while also slowly coming to an understanding as to why he acts this way towards his students.  As I said -- a powerhouse performance that holds up just as strongly upon repeat viewings.

Previous RyMickey Award Winners
2013    --    2012
2011    --    2010


  1. Chris Pine is supposedly funny in Stretch (which I saw you reviewed by I haven't seen yet) and he's in the new Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp series on Netflix.

  2. Pine is soooo over-the-top in Stretch...but it works for the most part. It was certainly a side of him that I hadn't really seen before, but I think he's definitely successful when it comes to comedy if Into the Woods and Stretch are any indication. (It should be noted that while I didn't hate Stretch, you certainly shouldn't go into it with high expectations.)