I am happy to announce the nominees for the 3rd(!) Annual Pretentious Film Awards given by yours truly. The first category is Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. And the reliable men are...
Christian Bale in The Fighter
Showy and actorly, but not without purpose. He chews the scenery, yes, but he does so while imbuing Dicky Ecklund with humor, specificity and deep felt humanity.
Andrew Garfield in Never Let Me Go
In many ways, Garfield's Tommy is the center of what makes Never Let Me Go so devastating. Communicative, evocative and nuanced. Bonus points for the eyes, which seem intent on breaking your heart at nearly every turn. (Note: He's also fabulous in The Social Network).
John Hawkes in Winter's Bone
An underappreciated character actor, Hawkes is a best in show for Winter's Bone. He sells Teardrop's shift from a near caricature, to a deeply emotional fleshed out human with an integral backstory. The film's best lines ("I already told you once with my mouth") seem to roll off his tongue with shocking ease.
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Seemingly effortless, but so funny and so controlled. Every movement, every verbal nuance speaks to the charm, the smarmy exterior and the self-satisfaction. Ruffalo proves his chops here as an underused and underrated comedian ("Let's just go for it. It's out there..."). He earns the film's biggest laughs.
Miles Teller in Rabbit Hole
A brief role, but a pivotal one played with aching realism. He gifts a movie filled with burned, jaded adults with untested and naive optimism. Nicole has Teller to thank for some of her best scenes in the film.
Matt Damon works wonders in True Grit. Vincent Cassell is delightful in Black Swan, but the turn feels slightly unrealized.
Jeremy Renner adds another great turn to his impressive resume with The Town. Ben Mendelsohn is subtle and frightening as "Pope" in Animal Kingdom.