Oscar Handicap 2008: Supporting Actor and Actress

In this article, we will examine recent voting patterns for the two Supporting Acting categories.

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

Best Supporting Actor

I accept that this category is Javier Bardem’s to lose. His killing machine was the best part of his movie. I just hate that it had to come in the same year Casey Affleck proves he is the better actor in his family once and for all.

The Breakdowns

1) Winners in this category have been first time Oscar winners 26 of the last 29 times (89.66%). Advantage: Affleck, Bardem, Holbrook, Wilkinson

2) As long as you’re not the youngest nominee, you’ve won 26 of 29 times (89.66%). Advantage: Bardem, Hoffman, Holbrook, Wilkinson

3) Playing a fictional character has helped the winner 24 of 29 times (82.76%). Advantage: Bardem, Wilkinson

4) As long as you’re not the nominee in the lowest grossing film in this category, you’ve won 23 of 29 times (79.31%). Advantage: Bardem, Hoffman, Holbrook, Wilkinson

5) Xenophobia is alive and well in this category, as actors playing American characters have won 22 of 29 (75.86%). Advantage: Affleck, Hoffman, Holbrook, Wilkinson

6) As long as you’re not the oldest nominee, you’ve won 21 of 29 times (72.41%). Advantage: Affleck, Bardem, Hoffman, Wilkinson

7) Best Supporting Actor winners have come from original screenplays 20 of 29 (68.97%). Advantage: Wilkinson

8) The winner of the Golden Globe in this category has gone on to win the Oscar 17 of 29 (58.62%). Advantage: Bardem

9) Winners in this category have represent films without a Best Actor nominee 17 of 29 times (58.62%). Advantage: Affleck, Bardem, Hoffman, Holbrook

10) The Best Supporting Actor has appeared in a film released before October 1st 15 of 29 times (51.72%). Slight advantage: Affleck, Holbrook

11) The SAG Award winner in this category has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category 6 of 13 times (46.15%). Disadvantage: Bardem

By The Numbers

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: +1, -2, -3, -4, +5, +6, -7, -8, +9, +10, -11 (143 of 303, 47.19%)

Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men: +1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, -7, +8, +9, -10, +11 (190 of 303, 62.71%)

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War: -1, +2, -3, +4, +5, +6, -7, -8, +9, -10, -11 (159 of 303, 52.48%)

Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild: +1, +2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7, -8, +9, +10, -11 (170 of 303, 56.11%)

Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, -8, -9, -, 10, -11 (207 of 303, 68.32%)

Personal prediction for Best Supporting Actor: Hal Holbrook

Personal choice for this category: Casey Affleck

Best Supporting Actress

If you are looking for one category that might help you break away from Oscar pool, this might be the one that will break many ties, with four possible winners.

The Breakdowns

1) As long as you’re not the nominee in the lowest grossing film, you’ve won 28 of the last 29 times (96.55%). Advantage: Dee, Ronan, Ryan, Swinton

2) As long as you’re not the youngest nominee, you’ve won 25 of 29 (86.21%). Advantage: Blanchett, Dee, Ryan, Swinton

3) First-time nominees in this category have won 25 of 29 times (86.21%). Advantage: Dee, Ronan, Ryan, Swinton

4) Playing a fictional character has helped the winner 22 of 29 times (75.68%). Advantage: Dee, Ronan, Ryan, Swinton *

5) Winners in this category have represent films without a Best Actress nominee 21 of 29 times (72.41%). Advantage: All actors

6) Xenophobia is alive and well in this category, as actresses playing American characters have won 21 of 29 (72.41%). Advantage: Blanchett, Dee, Ryan, Swinton

7) As long as you’re not the nominee in the highest grossing film in this category, you’ve won 19 of 29 times (65.52%). Advantage: Blanchett, Ronan, Ryan, Swinton

8) The SAG Award winner in this category has gone on to win the Oscar in the same category 8 of 13 times (61.54%). Advantage: Dee

9) The Best Supporting Actress winner has been honored for their performance in a Best Picture nominee 17 of 29 times (58.62%). Advantage: Ronan, Swinton

10) Golden Globe winners in this category have gone on to win here 15 of 29 (r%). Advantage: Blanchett

By The Numbers

The smart money is on Amy Ryan and the sentimental favorite is the extraordinary Ms. Dee, but the numbers give a slight advantage to the criminally underrated Ms. Swinton.

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There: -1, +2, -3, -4, +5, +6, +7, -8, -9, +10 (130 of 274, 47.45%)

Ruby Dee, American Gangster: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, -7, +8, -9, -10 (186 of 274, 67.88%)

Saoirse Ronan, Atonement: +1, -2, +3, +4, +5, -6, +7, -8, +9, -10 (163 of 274, 59.49%)

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, -8, -9, -10 (192 of 274, 70.07%)

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, -8, +9, -10 (197 of 274, 71.90%)

(* As Cate Blanchett is playing Bob Dylan, even though her character is never called “Bob Dylan” anywhere but in the trailer for the film, she does not qualify in this factor.)

Personal Prediction for Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee

Personal choice in this category: Cate Blanchett

All articles in this series:

Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Score, Best Editing and Best Art Direction
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature

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