Movies: Dear Johns and Best Supporting Actors

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Channing Tatum romances Amanda Seyfried on beach, refuses to sing ABBA.

...dreams of naked gold men with swords this time of year. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.

I've heard that the new "trapped on a ski-lift" thriller FROZEN is pretty unsettling and gross. So if you're into minimalist horror, go. Remember how creepy Open Water was back in the day? Every new year brings at least one or two John Travolta vehicles and I'm not saying that's what FROM PARIS WITH LOVE is but I'm allergic. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the co-star and can anyone make sense out of his career? It's all over the place but it's a pity that he'll never top Velvet Goldmine. The new Danish film TERRIBLY HAPPY didn't make the Oscar cut for Best Foreign Film but I've seen it and it's definitely worth checking out if you like noirs and creepy "what is going on here anyway?" small town mysteries. It's just not Oscar's thing. I'm most tempted by DEAR JOHN but this is solely based on my weakness for Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried and not grounded in anything like "I bet this is good." optimism. But who is thinking about new movies now, anyway. Everyone is thinking about...

It's time to obsess over those naked gold men again. What did you think of the nominations on Tuesday? I figured we'd briefly look at one major category weekly until the big night.

Do you know which OSCAR NOMINEE this is (below)? FIND OUT, AFTER THE JUMP...

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If you guessed "that guy from Inglourious Basterds" you'd be right.

That's Austrian born actor Christoph Waltz, way back in 1982 in his first feature film Tristan Und Isolde. He played Tristan in the oft told tale (James Franco had a go at the character a few years back). It must be crazy to play the lead role — and a title character no less — your first time in front of the movie camera. The only other Oscar nominated actor who can tell you how that feels this year is Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe… Precious herself.

Woody_wildcats Most actors start small with their first role, usually cast as someone without a name who has to go by a job description in the credits like "soldier" (Stanley Tucci in Prizzi's Honor) or "steamer" (Matt Damon in Mystic Pizza). If they're lucky they get a part with several lines, like Woody Harrelson in the Goldie Hawn sports comedy Wildcats.

I don't know why I obsess over the minutae of Oscar statistics and
useless trivia but I want to know everything: how the nominees got their starts, what other Oscar watches are happy about, sad about and which nominee will give the most canned reaction. I want to where everyone was born, where the gay is… everything.

The Supporting Actor Nominees

  • Matt Damon as a star athlete in Invictus
  • Woody Harrelson as an alcoholic Casualty Notification Officer in The Messenger
  • Christopher Plummer as Russian icon "Leo Tolstoy" The Last Station
  • Stanley Tucci as evil serial killer "George Harvey" in The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz as evil 'Jew Hunter'  in Inglourious Basterds

You can either play rugby with Matt, deliver bad news with Woody, debate celibacy and politics with Christopher, build dollhouses with Stanley or play "That's a Bingo" with Christoph. Take your pick. Who are you rooting for on March 7th?