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Oscar Nominees 2012: Best Supporting Actor

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It’s that time of year again, as Hollywood’s finest find themselves, with alarming regularity, donning outfits that cost more than your house and jewellery worth more than you will earn in a lifetime. But awards season is all building to one supreme event, the Empire Awards Oscars on February 26. Ahead of that milestone, we assess the chances of each nominee in the major categories, and see who’s looking good ahead of the big night…

Why He Will Win

If the Academy dishes out Oscars as a kind of ‘lifetime achievement’ award %28and it kinda does%29, Christopher Plummer has done more than most to deserve one. Unbelievably, he had to wait until The Last Station for his first nomination. The odds suggest he’ll be one from two with Beginners. ![]%28/images/uploaded/oscarwin.jpg%29 He’s a hot favourite with wins at the SAG awards. In a category that’s been relatively easy to call in recent years %28Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Christoph Waltz et al%29, that’s reason enough not to bet against him. Seriously, his character is terminally ill andstruggling with his sexuality. If Plummer had turned the part down, Kurt Lazarus would have taken it.


Why He Won't Win

Beginners came out way back in June 2011. Good as Plummer’s performance is, it won’t be as fresh in voters’ minds as his main rivals. ![]%28/images/uploaded/oscarloss.jpg%29 Quirky Sundance fare like this rarely scores with the Academy, and the film’s lack of box office won’t work in his favour either. That talking dog might be a canine too many for Academy members, what with Hugo and The Artist also heavy on the mutts.
Why He Will Win

Branagh is a long-time Academy favourite, with nominations in four – now five – different categories. That should guarantee more than a little love from his fellow directors, screenwriters and actors. ![]%28/images/uploaded/oscarwin.jpg%29 My Week With Marilyn is one of the weaker films at this year’s Oscars, but Branagh’s scene-stealing turn, together with Michelle Williams’s Monroe, help rescue it from the biopic bargain bin. There’s goodwill in Hollywood not just for him but for the man he plays, Olivier, an Oscar winner himself – and one who delivered one of the great Oscar speeches. Relevant? Time will tell.


Why He Won't Win

It’s Michelle Williams’ movie - if anyone’s going to win, it’ll be her eye-catching Marilyn Monroe rather than Branagh’s Larry Olivier. ![]%28/images/uploaded/oscarloss.jpg%29 Has the Thor directing gig diluted Branagh’s Oscar-worthiness with its blockbuster sensibilities? Don’t bet against the Academy putting the, ahem, hammer down. Everyone has had enough of those pesky “Brits Are Coming!” headlines.
Why He Will Win

At 82, von Sydow is still a force of nature up on the big screen. His craggy features lend Stephen Daldry