Oops, I forgot to cover Best Supporting Actor in my "best Oscar wins of past decade" list that we did for supporting actress, actress and actor. Now that the 2009 film year has its statues... the decade lists can finally wrap. Christoph Waltz swept nearly all of the 30ish (?) prizes that are given out each film year (from minor critics organizations to precursors to the big one itself, Oscar) but it didn't get tiring to see him win for his evil Nazi because he never repeated a speech. A neat trick that more sweepers should try and master.
Like Mo'Nique, another deserved sweeper, I do find it interesting to imagine what would have happened had he not been around this year. If Inglourious Basterds hadn't opened, would it have been Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) vs. Christopher Plummer (The Last Station) down to the finish line? Or does the whole chemistry of a category change if one element is removed? Theorize with me in the comments.
My favorite Oscar wins in supporting actor this decade are the following...
...with apologies to Jim Broadbent in Iris (2001). He was fantastic, sure, and he won at exactly the right time in his career (a rarity!) but I just wish it had been for his other 2001 picture... the one wherein he did backflips as master of ceremonies.
The favorites lists above means, just like in supporting actress, I feel that Oscar has had a weird three-year streak of tremendously good taste in what is undoubtedly the category in which they have the worst taste, historically speaking. At least as far as the makeup of their shortlists goes.
If Oscars were only handed out once a decade, I have no idea what my ballot would look like (tho' Chris Cooper's tremendous turn in Adaptation would surely be there). Looking over my own lists I seem to have lots of categorization problems. Oscar's own predilection for deeming lead roles supporting has resulted in lots of blurring and confusing of the lines and weirdly inconsistent reactions to the same, even from me, a known loudmouth opponent of their desire to pretend that people like "Robert Ford" are not the leads of three hour movies called The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford or that people who are in every scene of their movie are "supporting" bigger stars who are in only every other scene. Anyway... I can find few lists of my own OR Oscars that aren't all troubled with the "what is supporting?" concept and I am now completely fatigued of the troubles.
Oscars in Review: worst & weirdest moments, most wonderful moments and all 09/10 awards season posts