This is the third category in FANA (Film And Nuance Awards) 2016.
Nominees for Best Supporting Actor
Daniel Radcliffe (Swiss-Army Man)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
Shia LaBouef (American Honey)
Daniel Radcliffe undertakes probably the most absurd role in recent cinema history, perhaps even out-doing the most ridiculous ever. He plays a comatose/zombified being that is slowly being woken up to his senses by lost wanderer Paul Dano. It is a magical and surreal depiction of something I still can’t quite grasp entirely. But maybe that’s the point, we aren’t supposed to understand the madness of the characters and the film. Radcliffe just wants us to enjoy his performance,which was in fact super hilarious and heart-warming.
Dev Patel plays Saroo Breirley who used Google Earth to track down his family when he lost contact with them when he was a child. I’m so glad that Dev another major role after Slumdog. He’s fantastic in Lion. The frustrating clash of identities and the painful void left by Saroo’s separation from his family shines through in Patel’s performance.
Mahershala Ali plays a role not often seen in cinema but is one that we’ve all come to know at some point in our life. Playing the drug-dealer with a heart, Ali’s character seems contradictory at first. But then we ask ourselves, why is that? In a world where our most natural instinct is to judge people by qualifiers and outward impressions, Mahershala Ali plays Juan so well that the person beneath comes through. It is an empathetic portrayal of the goodness of people and a intimate look at the agony one can have with regards to one’s conflicting identities.
Michael Shannon plays the fictional cop within one of the main character’s novels. So he’s essentially two levels into fiction; A cop within a novel within a film. But the conviction couldn’t be more real. He’s firm, tough, uncompromising and isn’t leaving without a bang. Stylistically, the meaning behind his character has multiple different interpretations (which I won’t get into because it would be a spoiler). But acting wise, Michael Shannon,himself, adds layers to his character that make his performance a gritty and captivating watch.
Shia LaBeouf is sort of the wild-card nomination here, I don’t think many consider him one of the best supporting actors of 2016. And though Sasha Lane is really the eyes and soul of American Honey, her co-star Shia LaBeouf adds nuance to her character as well as our appreciation of the film. A conflicted and lost wanderer who’s glib and confidence gives him an air of self-assurance, he’s at the forefront of a group of teenage vagabonds who travel across the country looking to sell magazine subscriptions. But American Honey is also about rural America, poverty, coming-of-age-And Shia LaBeouf (aside from Sasha Lane’s main performance) gives enfleshes those themes from another perspective. It is a stripped-down, dreamy and raw kind of performance which is probably Shia’s best acting performance so far. I hope he continues the good work.
WINNER: Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali’s screentime is by far the least out of the nominees in every best supporting actor award. He’s only there for at most ten to fifteen minutes of Moonlight. But he steals the show in every scene he’s in, he does so much more with far less. I’ve admired his work in House Of Cards where he plays the suave Remy Danton who’s conflicts best define his character. Here, he plays the guy trying to hustle in the world, where conflicts flesh out the more tender, vulnerable and personal side of his character-It connects because we see parts of ourselves in him and come to realize how others might have touched our lives like his character nurtures the protagonist.