Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Oscar Nominee Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

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tommyleejoneslincoln.jpgOscar Nominations are revealed on Thursday, January 10, and this year's list of potential nominees for Best Supporting Actor resembles a Hall of Fame style compilation of some of the greatest actors who have ever worked in the business.  Now, I am not saying this is the greatest work each one has ever done, but I can't remember a list of nominees with this much Oscar gold on their mantels.

Who will get nominated?

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

Alan Arkin (Argo)

Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)

That's a powerhouse line up!  While I don't think any of these performances would be considered the greatest performance by any of these men, all of them performed strongly enough to get some attention and earn these nominations as a sign of respect from the Academy voters.

De Niro, always on the list of greatest actors, has not been nominated for an Oscar in 21 years!  I am a bit surprised he is getting this attention for Silver Linings Playbook, which is a great movie where I felt Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper had the standout performances, and he was along for the ride, but it is nice to see him doing something respectable again. 

Arkin livened up and gave some comic relief to Argo, and benefits from the movie being held in such high regard. 

Jones, who gave his best performance of 2012 in Hope Springs, benefits from the groundswell of support and acclaim that is making Lincoln look like a frontrunner in many categories.  Also, Disney has engaged in the most aggressive awards campaign I have ever seen to put Lincoln on top on Oscar night.  When I reveal my Best Picture Nominees, I will shock you with all of the stuff I have received for Lincoln

Hoffman has the strongest performance of any of the other potential nominees, but in the movie that has had the least impact.  The Master was supposed to be a major Oscar contender, but flopped at the box office, despite great performances from Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.

It turns out, DiCaprio is the one prediction I feel the least confidence in.  Before Django Unchained was released, DiCaprio seemed like a lock to win the category.  I even think this impacted the decision to release The Great Gatsby in May instead of having DiCaprio, who stars in that movie, compete against himself in Django Unchained.

However, there was so much hype for Leo in the Tarantino epic that no one could ever live up to it.  He, unlike the other predicted nominees, did not earn a Screen Actors Guild nomination in this category (that nomination went to Javier Bardem for Skyfall) and co-star Christoph Waltz absolutely steals the show in Django Unchained

Leo takes the fifth nomination because of his star power, and because every guy in The Academy wants to see what leggy supermodel he will show up with.  It's good to be Leonardo.   

Tomorrow, Best Actress.

Oscar Nominee Predictions - Best Supporting Actress