One can instantly sense a similarity in characters played by Oscar-nominated actors in a supporting role. The characters played by Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges and Dev Patel in their respective films are rooted in likability and sensitivity. On the other hand, Jeff Bridges and Michael Shannon play tough cops in Hell or High Water and Nocturnal Animals respectively. While Mahershala Ali is a favourite to win, Jeff Bridges can surely cause an upset. Academy Awards would want to send a message to Donald Trump (Mahershala Ali is a black Muslim) through Mahershala Ali. One can expect a great acceptance speech if Mahershala Ali wins. Here’s the list of all actors nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role category:
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Mahershala Ali plays a drug-dealer in Moonlight who becomes a father-figure to Little — a black boy growing up in a poor neighbourhood of Miami. His presence in Moonlight is like a calm wave of the sea, lending a soothing effect to the movie. Mahershala is present on screen for short time yet he succeeds in creating an impression on you.
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
What one observes in Hell or High Water is how easily Jeff Bridges can fit into a character and completely own it. Jeff has played a West Texas lawman with such accuracy and precision that one rarely gets to see such performances. His mannerisms, demeanour is as old and arrogant as rural outskirts of Texas. Hell or High Water provides one a window to the life of poor white Americans and helps to understand why Donald Trump won the election. Jeff’s character works as a link between the viewer and two brothers who rob several branches of a bank to salvage their farmland.
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Lucas Hedges is a revelation in Manchester by the Sea. His portrayal of a fatherless teenager in the movie is refreshing. Instead of playing it safe, Lucas Hedges brings the right amount of humour, intelligence, maturity and grief to his character. He is just brilliant as a teenager who is grappling with the sudden demise of his father.
Dev Patel (Lion)
Lion rides on the arresting performance by child star Sunny Pawar. Yet, Dev Patel somehow becomes important to this gripping tale of longing and reunion. As a grown-up Saroo Brierley, Dev beautifully brings the emotional dilemma on screen. Dev Patel — in an interview with Entertainment Weekly — talks about his role, “Just as a person, this is probably the most nourishing experiences I had on a film set working with Nicole Kidman and Garth Davis. I love going to India, there are so many people on the sets and there’s so much energy. I loved that experience.”
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
This is Michael’s second Oscar nomination. He had got an Oscar nomination for playing a mentally ill man in The Revolutionary Road in 2009 co-starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. He plays a detective who is investigating a crime in a story-within-story in Nocturnal Animals.