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Op-Ed: 2019 Oscar predictions — 'Best Supporting Actor' category

Posted Jan 31, 2019 by Markos Papadatos
The Oscar race for "Best Supporting Actor" is heating up. This year's category features two previous winners (Mahershala Ali and Sam Rockwell), as well as three first-time nominees, including veteran actors Sam Elliott and Richard E Grant.
"Green Book" star Mahershala Ali takes home the SAG Award for best supporting actor -- and...
"Green Book" star Mahershala Ali takes home the SAG Award for best supporting actor -- and solidified his position as the man to beat at next month's Oscars
Frederic J. BROWN, AFP
This journalist shares his analysis and predictions on who should win and will win the 2019 Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actor."
The five talented nominees for this year's "Best Supporting Actor" category include Mahershala Ali for Green Book, Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman, Sam Elliott for A Star Is Born, Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Sam Rockwell for Vice.
Analysis: Sam Rockwell won last year for his superb portrayal of Officer Jason Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri opposite Frances McDormand. He will not be repeating his win this year for playing former U.S. President George W. Bush in Vice. Rockwell's Oscar buzz diminished as he was overshadowed by the transformative performance of Christian Bale as Vice President Dick Cheney in the film.
For actors Richard E. Grant and Adam Driver, their Oscar nominations are their rewards. This category comes down to Sam Elliott and Mahershala Ali. Elliott's performance in A Star is Born marked his first career Academy Award nomination, which he secured at 74 years old. He is the sentimental favorite, and if the voting members want to reward somebody who has never work an Oscar before, it will be Elliott. He is his film's best chance for an acting Oscar, but that is still a long shot.
When all is said and done, however, it will most likely be Mahershala Ali for his stellar portrayal of jazz pianist and composer Don Shirley in Green Book opposite Viggo Mortensen (Tony Lip). Mahershala should and will win this category since he delivered the most dynamic and jaw-dropping performance out of all the five nominees. Should that happen, and he seems unstoppable at this point, it will be Ali's second career Oscar win.
Ali already won the 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award and the 2019 Golden Globe award for "Best Supporting Actor" for this role, among many other precursors.
Two years ago, Ali won his first Academy Award for "Best Supporting Actor" for his acting work in Moonlight.