Oscars Watch Guide: Best Supporting Actor

Michael Springthorpe
7 min readNov 11, 2022


It’s the Super Bowl of character actors! Updated 1/11/23

As is usually the case with Oscar, Best Supporting Actor is shaping up to be a fun, stacked category this year. While my Predictions only boast three individual movies, the long list boasts a tight roundup of exciting and award-worthy actors, especially if you expand it beyond what is likely. Best Actor is a notably sparse category this year, but Supporting holds multiple unawarded legends, rising stars, and oddball features with long filmographies.

In this series, starting below with the aformentioned category, I will outline my Predictions, On Decks, and Dark Horses to get nominated in the eight “major” Oscar categories. Hell, I’ve even thrown in Springthorpe’s Wild Card, a movie or role with zero chance of gettin nominated, but 100% worth your time. For each, I provide my take on the film and where (or when) you can find them. Let’s get going!


Paul Dano — The Fabelmans

Where to Find It: On VOD now!

Oscar Power: Paul was the assumed likely Supporting Actor out of this movie a year ago (“Oh he plays Steven Spielberg’s father? Yeah, give him an Oscar.”), but after people saw Judd Hirsch, he plummeted downwards. Fortunately, the precursors have started to salvage him. While it’s not likely for movies to get two nominations in the same category, this year holds the potential for doing that twice, so it’s weirdly more likely.

Springthorpe’s Take: I’m not as big a Paul Fano as some folks, but I’m not a Paul Hatero, either. He is, however, very good in this movie, and deserves anything coming for him. As long as it’s positive!

Judd Hirsch — The Fabelmans

Where to Find It: On VOD now!

Oscar Power: The Fabelmans was once the knockdown, drag-out frontrunner for Best Picture, and Judd Hirsch — who apparently only appears in a few key scenes — was once positioned to be the locked-in winner in this category. While his win has all but escaped his grasp, his nomination is as surefire as any.

Springthorpe’s Take: I am not immune to beloved older actors playing funny, crotchety, and heartwarming grandpas (or great uncles) in prestige dramas. Judd is only in one scene, but my god is he vital to this movie’s whole point. Great!!!

Brendan Gleeson — The Banshees of Inisheerin

Where to Find It: On HBOMax now!

Oscar Power: Brendan is ostensibly the co-lead of this movie, but the producers have smartly decided to run Colin as the only lead performance. Unfortunately, that means Brendan is competing here against his costar, which should end badly for both of them. Except that….it won’t? If anything, Banshees is set to get the same Acting quartet as Power of the Dog did last year.

Springthorpe’s Take: He’s great in the movie! A role that on the surface doesn’t look like much, but when you really watch it, he’s doing some really impressive restraint and face acting. Plus, he lost 5 fingers for the role.

Barry Keoghan — The Banshees of Inisheerin

Where to Find It: On HBOMax now!

Oscar Power: Here’s the thing — even if Barry doesn’t get an Oscar, he still wins the Cutest Little Boy Award (for being the cutest little boy in any movie all year). It’s tough! He’s got a costar nominated in the same category as him, and that costar is a bigger deal! But as this category hits critical mass, Barry (and Paul) is looking to be lifted with the rising tide.

Springthorpe’s Take: Far and away my favorite pick between the two Inisheerin boys, Barry is showing us a brand new side of himself in this movie. Who knew he could be so sweet and earnest?!

Ke Huy Quan — Everything Everywhere All At Once

Where to Find It: On Showtime now, which is not a usual streamer, but is definitely worth it for more than just this (it’s A24’s go-to streamer home!)

Oscar Power: As EEAAO stampedes into the season, it has three beloved actors with long careers in acclaimed genre films that have never even been nominated for an Oscar sitting on its roster. Ke Huy Quan was once the shakiest of the three, but with wins and nominations across the board (including winning all three major Critics’ awards AND the Golden Globes!), Waymond Wang has emerged as not only a serious contender, but a 20-ton steamroller.

Springthorpe’s Take: If I was in charge, Ke would already have his Oscar. Just like with Michelle Yeoh, the sheer volume of different performances that he needs to play, along with intricate martial arts, is astounding.

On Deck

Eddie Redmayne — The Good Nurse

Where to Find It: On Netflix now!

Oscar Power: Eddie Redmayne is one of the okayest Best Actor winners of the 2010s. He’s fallen a bit from favor as he’s been tied up in the Fantastic Beasts movies basically since he won (give or take a misguided Danish Girl), so he’s not the It Boy he was in 2014. But playing a creepy killer is a pretty good attempt at awards attention!

Springthorpe’s Take: Yeah yeah yeah, he’s creepy and idiosyncratic. I, personally, would love if there was real purpose behind that instead of just doing an Acting 201 showcase.

Dark Horses

Anthony Hopkins — Armageddon Time

Where to Find It: On VOD now!

Oscar Power: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is literally addicted to giving nominations to beloved older actors playing charming grandparents. They might even do it twice this year. Anthony certainly feels like the most likely acting nod of Armageddon Time, but having just won in 2020, he may “not be due another award yet”.

Springthorpe’s Take: Repeat after me: I am not immune to beloved older actors playing funny, crotchety, or heartwarming grandpas in prestige dramas. But also no thank you.

Brian Tyree Henry — Causeway

Where to Find It: On AppleTV+ now!

Oscar Power: This movie has been very quiet. But maybe it’s the Quiet Movie That Could? If anybody is set to benefit from it, though, it’s BTH. JLaw already has an Oscar, and the movie is too small to ripple anywhere else. BTH has the feeling of someone “who will be nominated one day”. Maybe this easily accessible-enough drama will make that time now.

Springthorpe’s Take: Causeway is one of the smallest movies of the year, but BTH is so good. He wouldn’t make my ballot this year, but his performance is a strong proof-of-concept for “Skilled Dramatic Actor Brian Tyree Henry”.

Ben Whishaw — Women Talking

Where to Find It: In theaters now!

Oscar Power: Women Talking was once poised to be a major acting player in this year’s awards. As the season has galloped along, the movie has been notably snubbed in many cases. The most likely source of this is the many (amazing) female stars cannibalizing each other’s chances. Fortunately for Ben Whishaw, he plays damn near the only male character that matters. Plus, this would be makeup for him voicing Paddington.

Springthorpe’s Take: In a movie where many female actors yell and fight with each other, quiet little Ben Whishaw gets — purposefully, I think — left in the dust a bit. He has a near stranglehold on the scenes not taking place in the barn, but those were also my least favorite parts.

Springthorpe’s Wild Card

Matt Rogers — Fire Island

Where to Find It: On Hulu now!

Why It Has No Chance: Disney and Searchlight absolutely screwed this movie by not releasing it in theaters. That means it’s ineligible for the Oscars! I think that’s just silly.

Springthorpe’s Take: I’ve been a fan of Matt’s since when he and his best friend, Bowen Yang, were just dumb gay podcast hosts. To see them both become dumb gay movie stars has been amazing! He is the Dumbest and Gayest you could ever be in this movie; laugh-out-loud funny, but with plenty of heart along the way. (Plus, you can now see his dumb, gay special Have You Heard of Christmas? on Showtime!)



Michael Springthorpe

Camp Director, Teacher, Performer, and Writer who moved to New York City, then realized there's no woods here. @springthorpeman on Twitter and Instagram.