Unlike the Best Supporting Actress category, it’s still too close to call this year’s Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor. But just like its female corollary, the category is filled with uniformly excellent performances from some of today’s best working actors.
As a part of our massive lead-up to Sunday’s Oscars and our own live red-carpet coverage, we have broken down the Best Supporting Actor category, so you know heading into the big night what to expect.
Who Should Win
As pleased as we were to see Christoph Waltz back in full Hans Landa mode, there is only one performance in this bunch that rose above the level of “Really Good Performance.” Philip Seymour Hoffman did something extraordinary in “The Master.” Not only did he provide a measured counter-balance to the insanity that was Best Actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie Quell. Watching the two during the Processing scene, there is no doubting that someone should walk away with a trophy, and while the unconventional nature of the film has scared away most of the Oscar buzz, Hoffman’s greatness is always apparent.
Who Will Win
Everybody loves a comeback story, and strangely enough, this year it’s the comeback of one of the greatest living actors that will lead to Oscar gold. Though Tommy Lee Jones turned in a memorable and awards-worthy role, the Oscar will go to Robert De Niro for “Silver Linings Playbook.” The man hasn’t been nominated in 21 years, and you can bet that many, many people in the Academy would love to play a part in De Niro’s return to his former glory. De Niro gave an emotional and engaging performance, and he deserves the recognition, but with Jones nipping at heels, we have to go with our gut here.
Don’t forget to tune in for our Oscars red carpet live stream Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on MTV.com.