Best of 2017: Supporting Actor

SUP actor

It’s day 2 of my look back at what I think are the best performances of the past movie year. In keeping with the upcoming Oscars I have adopted their format and for the next several days I’ll be sharing my favorite performances for each of the four acting categories. Next up is Supporting Actor. It too is a category featuring many fabulous performances to consider. But of them all here are my five favorites:

#5 – Robert Pattinson (“The Lost City of Z”)


For my money Robert Pattinson has emerged as one of the most exciting young actors in the business. In “The Lost City of Z” he is a bit underutilized but he’s a great compliment to Charlie Hunnam’s character and is superb each time he’s on screen. It may not be the big showy type of performance that often gets this kind of attention, but it’s well worth its place on this list.

#4 – Mark Rylance (“Dunkirk”)


Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” may not be a film focused on character but that doesn’t mean it has none. The always wonderful Mark Rylance certainly delivered a good one. His depiction of a father, patriotic towards his country and deeply bruised from the war’s effects, is so authentic both physically and emotionally. He’s a great cog in Nolan’s action-packed telling.

#3 – Ethan Hawke (“Maudie”)


I think it’s easy for Ethan Hawke’s performance in “Maudie” to be overlooked especially since the movie itself has been. That’s unfortunate because Hawke (like the film) is fabulous. Playing alongside Sally Hawkins, the two make a fascinating couple. And while Hawkins is the star, Hawke’s role and performance is pivotal. I loved it.

#2 – Idris Elba (“Molly’s Game”)


Navigating Aaron Sorkin’s dense, fast-paced dialogue can’t be an easy task, but the writer struck gold with Idris Elba. Elba’s performance is sharp, charming, witty and intense – all qualities his role demands. And his chemistry with Jessica Chastain is undeniable and emphasizes how supporting work can sometimes make or break a movie.

#1 – “Rob Morgan (“Mudbound”)


In a film filled with good performances none struck me quite like Rob Morgan’s. He’s probably best known for his roles in several Netflix series, but he clearly deserves more attention. In “Mudbound” I found his performance full of conviction, empathy and compassion. He was my favorite character in the film and I found an emotional connection with him that has stuck with me. Give Rob Morgan and “Mudbound” a look.

And there you have my picks for Supporting Actor. What did I hit and what did I miss. Please share your thoughts in the comments. Next up, the Lead categories.

23 thoughts on “Best of 2017: Supporting Actor

  1. Dammit! Still haven’t seen any of these films yet. Great to see Robert Pattinson keep up his good form though. Who would’ve thought that Pattinson would emerge as such a solid actor. I’m impressed.

    • None of them? HaHa! I stumped you good on this one. Pattinson has really surprised me. I wrote that guy off after the one Twilight movie. He definitely has more than that corny role allowed him to show. And wait till you see Elba shooting off that rapid-fire Sorkin dialogue. That guy is top-notch.

    Sorry I get so excited when someone other than myself mentions him lol. It’s criminal that both he and Idris Elba aren’t in the Oscar conversation this year.

    • Yell all you want! I’m with you! Talk about the most overlooked performance of the year – Rob Morgan has to be it. Literally no one (that I’ve heard) is talking about him so thank you! Your enthusiasm made my dad.

      • According to the distributor, the release date for MOLLY’S GAME will be in the middle of April. MAUDIE doesn’t have a date yet. That could change if/when they get Oscar nominations. It’s not uncommon for movies to arrive here after they’re available on DVD and, therefore, streaming… so many people don’t go to the cinema to see them. It’s a shame, but I can’t really blame those people.

      • Definitely can’t blame them. I’m assuming it’s the studios. I know that’s oversimplifying things and they have various things to consider. But sometimes you have to feel that there are ways to get movies to all people faster.

  3. Hey, is my site working for you at last? Elba makes my line up for that one scene. I thought the script of the film was beneath the actors but Elba really shone in that moment.

    • NO!! I tried it a few minutes ago. Something about IP provider restrictions on my end. I’m going to go mobile until I can figure it out.

      Elba was rock solid but (of course) no awards buzz. Reminds me of his Oscar snub he received for Beasts of No Nation

  4. Love your #1. Morgan was amazing. To be honest, you can probably split his vote with the rest of the guys in the cast. They’re all wonderful. Rylance was so good in Dunkirk (finally saw it the other day). Glad to see him here. I haven’t seen the others yet.

    Some others I like:

    Algee Smith/Will Poulter, Detroit
    Patrick Stewart, Logan
    Woody Harrelson, War for the Planet of the Apes
    Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

    • Man I stand firm on the ‘Morgan at #1’ pick and its great to hear your appreciation for it. Criminally overlooked performance. Patrick Stewart is a really good call. I was a little mixed on Harrelson although it’s far from a bad performance.

  5. Even though it’s a small role, I’m pleased to see Mark Rylance listed here, he was quite good in Dunkirk. Some other performances I really liked were Richard Jenkins in Shape of Water and Ben Safdie in Good Time,

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