GonzoGeek Picks The 2009 Oscars: Best Supporting Actor


With the Oscars looming on Sunday, February 22, GonzoGeek will be previewing this year’s awards with a look at five major categories…with some help from a Nintendo 64 game.

Monday: Best Supporting Actress
Today: Best Supporting Actor

Nominees (Odds)
Josh Brolin, “Milk” (20/1)

Josh Brolin

Robert Downey, Jr., “Tropic Thunder” (25/1)

Robert Downey Jr

Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt” (30/1)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” (1/100)

Heath Ledger

Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road” (50/1)

Michael Shannon

The untimely death of Heath Ledger casts an unfortunate pall over this category.  While the Australian’s dynamic, layered performance as The Joker has been honored multiple times as the best of the year, his demise also silenced a great deal of growling skepticism about his initial selection for the role.  By the time The Dark Knight hit theaters, Ledger’s work in the purple suit was nearly an urban legend.  By the time statues are handed out, it will be the gorilla in the room.  The Cobain-like retroactive absolution of criticism that Ledger received has made him a near-lock, overshadowing strong performances in what would otherwise be a competitive field:  Josh Brolin as Harvey Milk’s nemesis and assassin, Philip Seymour Hoffman as a charismatic small-charish priest with a past,  Michael Shannon as an electroshock-addled American dream cynic and Robert Downey, Jr. as a method actor who will do anything for a statue.  Downey’s inclusion seems like a half-joke, a way for the Academy to poke fun at itself and insist that it’s still in touch with the newer generation of film.  The real joke, however, is that Ledger’s transcendent villain wouldn’t be a favorite (or perhaps even a nominee) without his death offsetting the voters’ ancient rationale.


Heath Ledger – This one is the one lock of the evening in my opinion. While there is little doubt in my mind that Ledger actually deserves this one, the Academy will take the opportunity to honor Ledger’s brief career. They failed to award him a statuette for “Brokeback Mountain” and didn’t even nominate him for “Monster’s Ball” or “The Order.” They’ll make it right with a posthumous award for a performance that sets the standard for comic book movie villains for years to come.


Josh Brolin – Nobody actually LIKES the movie ‘Revolutionary Road.’ ‘The Dark Knight’ is a superhero film. PSH has already gotten his run. ‘Tropic Thunder’ (popular opinion notwithstanding) was a BAD comedy movie, in which RDJ’s performance was entirely eclipsed by Tom Cruise’s. Plus, people are recently talking about how Mr. Brolin can actually do things like act.


Heath Ledger


Heath Ledger – I’d say Brolin has a chance, but at this point the national perception that Ledger will receive the Oscar post-humously is too much to ignore. Even if voters prefer another candidate who isn’t in a “superhero” film, not giving the statue to Ledger’s family on-hand would immediately be panned as a huge slight and a devestating PR hit for the Academy.


Let the process of elimination begin.

Josh Brolin – Never going to happen. A horribly titled film about gays will not win awards, especially when we’re all thinking the title refers to cum.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Nope. Hollywood’s liberal and forgiving, but no so much that they’ll reward the guy playing a suspected pedophile with an Oscar.

Michael Shannon – In the vernacular of wrestling, the guy who’s supposed to lose is called a ‘jobber’. Kayfabe, Mike!

Let’s see…Iron Man and the Joker are up for awards. Wolverine is hosting…This is the equivalent of holding Wrestlemania in your hometown. You’re simply not going to lose. Therefore, this is a tie between Robert Downey, Jr. for Tropic Thunder and Heath Ledger for Dark Knight.

If it comes down to an all-out brawl, my money’s on the dead guy. He owned that movie. When the Joker was onscreen, I couldn’t look away. When Batman was on screen, I kept wondering what he had in his mouth to make him sound the way he did. Glass? Hot coals.


You could do no worse than give the award to the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude. Seriously, I thought I was watching Don Cheadle through most of the film. The finest black face performance on film since The Jazz Singer.

Wrestlemania 2000

Ledger = The Undertaker: Not so much for the cheap (and maybe tasteless) death reference as for the occasional makeup and general creepiness in an already-creepy role.

Hoffman = Pat Patterson: They kind of look alike, plus Hoffman’s character is potentially into dudes.

Downey = Brian Christopher: White guy trying to play black.

Brolin = Brisco: Their names share four out of six letters. Plus as Patterson’s teammate, Brisco was bound to pick up some loathing for homosexuals.

Ledger dominates from the get-go, putting Downey down in just 3:43 with an inverted piledriver whose name will be omitted for previously-established taste concerns. Brolin and Hoffman make no effort to team up against the obvious favorite, opting instead to battle it out amongst themselves. Heath Ledger happily obliges their in-fighting, letting the two cancel each other out for ten minutes until dispatching of Hoffman at 13:53 and Brolin at 14:44.

Wrestlemania 2000’s selections are made via a four-man elimination match simulation on the Nintendo 64 title. The nominee with the longest odds** does not get represented in the match. For more information on how Wrestlemania 2000 picks the winners, click here. The only change for 2009 involves assigning each nominee a wrestler according to their likelihood of winning per Vegas odds.

Odds are provided by /Film. It bears noting that /Film is by no means a professional oddsmaker, but the figures presented aren’t intended for actual betting.

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