The Best Supporting actor race is currently the most ambiguous race of the season with many contenders, but very little buzz.
The biggest contender in the category is Michael Fassbender for his turn in "12 Years a Slave." After the premiere of the movie at the Telluride Film Festival, critics and pundits were hailing Fassbender for his intense turn. With the Academy snubbing the actor for his lead role in "Shame" in 2011, voters will have to think twice about leaving the actor out of the race.
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Another big contender is Matthew McConaughey for his work in both "Mud" and in "The Wolf of Wall Street." "Mud" received rave reviews, hailing his performance as a triumph. However, the early release and the fact that he played the title character could lead to category confusion. McConaughey's performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street" has not been seen yet, but based on the trailers, he seems to have the showiest role of the film.
Yet another actor with two roles in contention is Bradley Cooper. His starring role in "The Place Beyond the Pines" won him critical praise. However, the film's early release date and the fact that the movie was criticized for its experimental structure could harm his bid for the film. Cooper's other film "American Hustle" has yet to premiere and therefore it's too early to call its nomination chances.
Tom Hanks is also predicted to get nominated for playing Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks," while Mark Ruffalo could get his second nomation for his turn in "Foxcatcher."
Meanwhile, Jared Leto's eccentric performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" is considered a long shot but after reviews out of Toronto, Leto could finally be up for an Oscar. James Franco's performance in "Spring Breakers" is yet another threat as the actor impressively transformed into his character.
A few contenders who could potentially get nominated include Jeremy Renner for "American Hustle," "Will Forte" for Nebraska," Josh Brolin for "Labor Day" George Clooney for "Gravity," Ryan Gosling for "The Place Beyond the Pines" and Brad Pitt for "The Counselor."
It may be too early to know but as of now the competition looks very small.
1. Michael Fassbender - "12 Years a Slave"
2. Tom Hanks - "Saving Mr. Banks"
3. Matthew McConaughey - "Wolf of Wall Street"
4. Mark Ruffalo- "Foxcatcher"
5. Bradley Cooper - "American Hustle"
6. James Franco - "Spring Breakers "
7. Jared Leto - "Dallas Buyers Club"
8. Ryan Gosling - "The Place Beyond the Pines"