PGCMAs: Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor (2013)

Posted: January 28, 2014 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson PGCMA 2013*The above image represents 2012’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

Best Supporting Actress

This award seems pretty self-explanatory.

Sally Hawkins, Blue JasmineWith everyone heaping praise on Cate Blanchett, many of Blue Jasmine’s other virtues have been overlooked. Perhaps the most glaring example of this is how thoroughly Sally Hawkins has been ignored. Hawkins needs to play a character just as flawed and complex as Jasmine, but in a more subtle manner. In many ways, that’s a greater challenge and Hawkins does a great job. She also has great chemistry with Blanchett.

Jennifer Lawrence, American HustleAt this point it’s safe to say Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most talented actresses working today and her performance here solidifies it. Rosalyn is a great character; selfish, manipulative, irresponsible, and ignorant. Lawrence owns the role, stealing just about every scene she’s in, an impressive feat given how great her co-stars are.

Carey Mulligan, Inside Llewyn DavisWithin the context of the film, the character of Jean could essentially be summed up as the complaining ex-girlfriend. However in Carey Mulligan’s hand, the character becomes something else. Mulligan really embodies the role and is a lot of fun to watch. It’s also a departure from her normal characters and I found her line delivery hilarious.

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave12 Years a Slave has a cast loaded with recognizable faces. And yet one of the most unforgettable performances comes from complete unknown Lupita Nyong’o. As the suffering slave Patsey, Nyong’o needs to embody a lot of pain while simultaneously doing her best to mask it. Thinking back to some of her scenes, such as tearfully begging Solomon for death, still give me shivers.

Léa Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest ColorI wasn’t as in love with Blue is the Warmest Color has my many of my peers, but I’ll be damned if the performances didn’t impress. Léa Seydoux captures a lot of authenticity and watching her character subtly change over the course of the film is a treat.

And The Winner Is…

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Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

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I struggled for a long time with who should win this; Jennifer Lawrence or Lupita Nyong’o. Not only are both performances great, but there also very different and ultimately hard to compare. At the end of the day, Nyong’o took it by being able to say more with less. Lawrence’s Rosalyin is a very big character and Lawrence plays her appropriately large. However much of what defines Patsey comes from subtlety, and I found that subtle approach more impressive.

Best Supporting Actor

Again, pretty self-explanatory.

Barkhad Abdi, Captain PhillipsIt would have been easy for the villain in Captain Phillip’s to be seen as a broad stereotype, but Greengrass and Barkhad Abdi never go that route. Instead, Abdi does a great job humanizing the character while still making him a threatening prescence. His character may be committing a crime, but overall he’s a desperate man trying to save with the means he has. In this way he becomes a more interesting character than he would have been in lesser hands.

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a SlaveIn his third collaboration with Steve McQueen, Fassbender once again knocks it out of the park. His portrayal of slave owner Edwin Epps is terrifying and intense, but also restrained the right amount. A lesser actor could have easily turned this character into an over-the-top caricature, but Fassbender never allows this to happen. There is still some humanity to the character, however small.

James Franco, Spring BreakersNot everyone likes Spring Breakers, but it seems damn near everyone admits James Franco was pretty good in it. This is well deserved because his Alien is one of 2013’s most memorable characters. He is funny, menacing, pathetic, dangerous, shallow, and complicated all wrapped up in one bizarre package.

Ryan Gosling, The Place Beyond the PinesIt’s actually kind of hard to compare Gosling to the others in this category. While everyone fits the bill of supporting perfectly, Gosling actually dominates much of the film’s first act before being moved to the sidelines. His presence lingers throughout though thanks to powerful and understated work.

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall StreetI remember liking Jonah Hill in 2011’s Moneyball, but I was a bit shocked by his Oscar nomination. Yeah, he was good, but I didn’t think he was anything special. Here though? Well, now I see the hype. Hill is unrecognizable as Donny Azmoff, delivering a stand out performance while simultaneously blending in perfectly with the rest of the cast.

And The Winner Is…

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James Franco, Spring Breakers

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James Franco is kind of a weird dude and not every film he makes is a winner, but in the right role he can give a really interesting performance. Spring Breakers provides him with such a role. What impresses me the most about Franco’s work is that he somehow makes a larger than life character still be grounded and even gives the character a certain sense of depth. At the same time he can recite a bizarre monologue with the repeated phrase, “Look at all my shit y’all.” It really is a fascinating performance.

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