(Photo : Focus Features)
The Best Supporting Actor race is one of this year's most predictable races. The category is made up of three first time nominees and two actors who have been nominated twice. However, there is one clear front-runner who has won the majority of the precursor awards.
Barkhad Abdi - "Captain Phillips" - Abdi is living the Hollywood dream as he is nominated for his first Oscar for his first film performance. The actor has scored one acting award at the Indiana Film Critics Association but has failed to score any other awards. However, he was nominated for the Golden Globes, British Academy Awards, and Screen Actors Guild. The actor is unlikely to win the award but the nomination is an adequate prize for Abdi's film debut.
Bradley Cooper - "American Hustle" - Cooper received his second nomination for the Academy Awards. He was previously nominated for "Silver Linings Playbook." For his performance in David O. Russell's latest, Cooper has been nominated for the BAFTA and Golden Globe. However, he missed out on the SAG nomination and has yet to win a single precursor award. Cooper is unlikely to win but with "American Hustle's" popularity, anything can happen.
Michael Fassbender - "12 Years a Slave" - Fassbender received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal in the Steve McQueen epic. The actor has garnered a lot of acclaim for his work in Steve McQueen's films and received his first Golden Globe nomination for "Shame." This year, Fassbender was nominated for the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG. He has also won three precursor awards including the Online Film Critics. The actor is unlikely to win but if the Academy decides to surprise, Fassbender is the most probable winner.
Jonah Hill - "The Wolf of Wall Street" - Hill received his second Oscar nomination for his role in the Martin Scorsese film. He was previously nominated for "Moneyball" in the Best Supporting Actor category. This year Hill has been off the radar from the awards circuit and his nomination was a huge surprise for pundits. The actor received no nominations for precursor awards and therefore is unlikely to go home with a single award.
Jared Leto - "Dallas Buyers Club" - Leto received his first Academy Award nomination for his role as Rayon. The actor has swept the Best Supporting Actor precursor awards taking home a total of 27 accolades, including the Golden Globe, the SAG award and the Critics Choice award. However, Leto was not nominated for the BAFTA award because the film was not screened. Nevertheless, Leto is the front-runner and is likely to defeat the competition.
Predictions: Jared Leto will win Best Supporting Actor without any difficulty. If the Academy wants to be unpredictable it will choose Fassbender.