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‘Armageddon Time’ Reception Shifts Best Supporting Actor Race

"Armageddon Time" plays well at fall festivals, increasing both Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong's Best Supporting Actor nom chances.

Armageddon Time

“Armageddon Time”

Courtesy of Focus Features

This article contains IndieWire’s preliminary Best Supporting Actor predictions for the 2023 Oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season, and republish previous versions (like this one) for readers to track changes in how the Oscar race has changed. For the latest update on the frontrunners for the 95th Academy Awards, see our 2023 Oscars predictions hub.

Nominations voting is from January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations announced January 24, 2023. Final voting is March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2023 Oscar picks.

Our Awards Editor, TV & Film Marcus Jones is currently filling in for Anne Thompson on Oscars Predictions updates.

The State of the Race

Rather than introduce a bunch of new contenders, the Venice/Telluride weekend solidified one already-premiered film as a major contender in the Best Supporting Actor race.

Both Jeremy Strong and Anthony Hopkins, as the father figures shaping a young Queens native’s morals in “Armageddon Time,” are now likely to go the distance this awards season. While Hopkins still rides a high from 2021’s Best Actor win for “The Father,” a film that is very top-of-mind with follow-up “The Son” coming soon, Strong has proven he has something very different to offer than his Emmy-winning turn in “Succession,” with his fractious father character becoming more and more significant as the James Gray film goes on.

There are some new names that are current frontrunners for the Oscar nomination as well. Primarily Ben Whishaw from “Women Talking,” who serves as the main male perspective in a movie about women choosing whether or not to leave their abusive, patriarchal Mennonite colony. Many folks walking out of screenings of the Sarah Polley film, which premiered at Telluride, were already positing how awkward it would be if Whishaw won Best Supporting Actor, having no other men in the film to contend with him, while the fantastic group of actresses in the film all split (and lose) the Best Supporting Actress vote. It is a possibility.

WHITE NOISE - (L-R) Don Cheadle (Murray) and Adam Driver (Jack). Cr: Wilson Webb/NETFLIX © 2022

“White Noise”

WILSON WEBB / NETFLIX ©2022

In Venice, the conversation around “The Banshees of Inisherin” seemed to revolve entirely around Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who play its central duo, which is notable because Barry Keoghan’s supporting role is not insignificant. Maybe consideration of the young actor will build momentum in the coming weeks, when more people see the Martin McDonagh movie, but there is also a chance that Gleeson campaigns for Best Supporting Actor as well, to give both him and Farrell a shot at winning Oscars for the film. Don Cheadle is in a similar boat to Keoghan, with reviews being mostly positive for “White Noise,” yet none of the actors seem to be hailed as the next winner of any acting prizes.

“Triangle of Sadness” star Woody Harrelson and “Bones and All” star Mark Rylance have both been deemed possible supporting actor contenders, the former out of Cannes, the latter out of Venice and Telluride, but reviews of both films point out that they may not be a fun watch for anyone with a weak stomach. This all ultimately leaves “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Ke Huy Quan as one of the only genuine Best Supporting Actor candidates from a film confirmed to be a Best Picture candidate, as the A24 crowdpleaser is still being talked about for multiple awards nearly six months after its release.

Contenders are listed in alphabetical order, below. No actor will be deemed a frontrunner until we have seen the film.

Frontrunners:
Anthony Hopkins (“Armageddon Time”)
Toby Jones (“Empire of Light”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Jeremy Strong (“Armageddon Time”)
Ben Whishaw (“Women Talking”)

Contenders:
John Boyega (“The Woman King”)
Tom Burke (“The Wonder”)
Don Cheadle (“White Noise”)
Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans”)
Robert De Niro (“Amsterdam”)
Woody Harrelson (“Triangle of Sadness”)
Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Tobey Maguire (“Babylon”)
Harry Melling (“The Pale Blue Eye”)
Seth Rogen (“The Fabelmans”)
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
John David Washington (“Amsterdam”)

Long Shots:
Steve Coogan (“The Lost King”)
Frankie Faison (“Till”)
Colin Farrell (“The Batman”)
Ralph Fiennes (“The Menu”)
Colin Firth (“Empire of Light”)
Julian Glover (“TÁR”)
Tom Hanks (“Elvis”)
Rami Malek (“Amsterdam”)
Clarke Peters (“I Wanna Dance with Somebody”)
Matthias Schoenaerts (“Amsterdam”)
Mark Strong (“TÁR”)
Miles Teller (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
Stanley Tucci (“I Wanna Dance with Somebody”)

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