Best Supporting Actor, 2003
(Click on the linked film titles for reviews of the corresponding films.)

This race is so dull.
All five seem like default picks.
Let's stay short and sweet.

Alec Baldwin
The Cooler


Critics like his work.
Scary and sad is a good mix.
If not him, then who?


Movie's D.O.A.
Baldwin's temperamental.
The nod is plenty.

Benicio Del Toro
21 Grams

He broods with the best.
Traffic earned voter respect.
If not him, then who?

Already has one.
Does this guy need another?
Why not spread the wealth?

Djimon Hounsou
In America

Sympathetic role.
Owed a nod for Amistad.
If not him, then who?

Sentimental role:
How much Martyr is too much?
Film might be too small.

Tim Robbins
Mystic River

Finally makes good,
Playing ball with Penn and Clint.
If not him, then who?

Won the right awards.
Partnered with the right woman.
What is not to like?

Ken Watanabe
The Last Samurai

Blew Tom off the screen.
Made the film seem less clichéd.
If not him, then who?
Speaks little English.
Unknown women have more luck.
Hasn't won a prize.

WHO WILL WIN: Tim Robbins, Mystic River
Much of Mystic River's emotional claim hangs on our empathy for Robbins' wounded character and our dismay at his future treatment. The movie clearly worked for Oscar voters, and Oscar has always had sympathy for burly men reduced to frowns and tears.

WHO SHOULD WIN: Djimon Hounsou, In America
Not acting for the ages, perhaps, but after a long career stuck in exoticist caricatures, his empathetic performance actually made In America's screenplay seem much tougher and more honest than I suspect it reads on paper.

...AND WHO OUGHTA BEEN INVITED: Peter Sarsgaard has a wagon of critics' prizes and a Golden Globe to show for his heroic underplaying in Shattered Glass; sometimes it's better to be the unnominated candidate everyone thinks should have won than to be the undeserving winner that everyone will scratch their heads about a year from now.

Home 2003 the Oscars E-Mail