2020 Calvin Awards: Best Supporting Actor
By David Mumpower
February 14, 2020
A fascinating battle played out in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. We just couldn’t decide what to do with one role. The actor playing a character from Parasite confused us so much that 25 percent of our staff voted for him in both categories, letting the administrators figure it out. No, the votes didn’t count for each category. Instead, we picked for them, and it impacted both races significantly.
Our selection for Best Supporting Actor this year is Brad Pitt…but we really had to think about it. Pitt won by one of the smallest margins this year, four points. I’ll explain the specifics in a moment, but let’s focus on the victory for now.
BOP has always liked Pitt, who has received votes for several of his most notable projects and even a couple of obscure ones. However, we agree with the Academy that the actor finally found the role of a lifetime as Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
As portrayed by Pitt, Booth is an affable everyman but also a legit badass. He spends part of the film drinking and fantasizing about the good ol’ days when he was (possibly) a worthy foe for Bruce Lee. But he also chases skirts in a couple of instances, a decision that gets him in some trouble.
The lady that Pitt’s character likes happens to be part of the Manson Family. Booth encounters some of the scariest members of this group during a visit to an abandoned studio lot. Then, he meets them again at the house of his buddy, Rick Dalton, and only Brad Pitt could play this scene partially for laughs. For his work as a benevolent fighting man, Pitt delivers the Best Supporting Actor performance of the year.
The person who almost wins the category is Song Kang-ho, who portrays Kim Ki-taek, the scam family’s father, in the film. You would not believe how much debate occurred over Ki-taek.
Ostensibly, Kim ki-woo is the lead in the movie as Kim Ki-taek’s son. Based on screen time and reputation, the star of The Host and co-star of Snowpiercer has an argument for Best Actor. After a thorough examination of our staff's voting trends, we decided that more people favored him for Best Supporting Actor, though. It's regrettable in that he legitimately might have won in that category. Instead, he settles for second place here by a total of four points.
Tom Hanks falls behind his peers in a distant third place. The legendary actor’s portrayal of Mr. Rogers carries A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood to greatness. And our voters acknowledged that voting for someone other than Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers is an act of pure evil. Still, we didn’t like him as much as his peers in Parasite and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The maxim is that less is more, but we could have done with a whole lot more of Hanks in this film.
Two grizzled veterans complete our top five. Anthony Hopkins may be 82, but he hasn’t lost a step as an actor. In The Two Popes, Hopkins challenges conventional wisdom with his insightful portrayal of Pope Benedict XVI. He somehow makes the character sympathetic.
Meanwhile, 77-year-old Joe Pesci completes his career as a mob actor in The Irishman. Pesci's character needs a house painter and provides colorful insights into humanity throughout the film. Nobody plays a morally bankrupt role like Joe Pesci.
Our next two selections are Wesley Snipes and Willem Dafoe. Snipes has made a grand comeback in Dolemite Is My Name, wherein he plays a strip club-frequenting semi-celebrity from Rosemary’s Baby. He signs on for Dolemite only because he gets to direct and winds up being the villain of the piece. Meanwhile, Dafoe is a crusty old lighthouse keeper in the psychological horror film The Lighthouse, a film that even if people hated, they still laud his performance.
We have three remaining nominees in this year’s Best Supporting Actor category. Parasite’s Lee Sun-kyun plays the patriarch of Park family, the wealthy group that regrettably brings the Kims into their home. Matt Damon steals the show as legendary driver/manufacturer Carroll Shelby. And Jonathan Majors plays loyal friend, Mont, in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a heartfelt examination of gentrification and societal change in a metropolitan area.
Several other performers were strong candidates for nomination. Included in this group are Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Mark Dacascos (John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Sam Rockwell (Jojo Rabbit), Dean-Charles Chapman (1917), Chris Evans (Knives Out), and Stephen Merchant (Jojo Rabbit).
2020 Calvin Awards
Best Overlooked Film
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
|| Brad Pitt
||Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
|| Song Kang-ho
|| Tom Hanks
||A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
|| Anthony Hopkins
||The Two Popes
|| Joe Pesci
|| Wesley Snipes
||Dolemite Is My Name
|| Willem Dafoe
|| Sun-kyun Lee
|| Matt Damon
||Ford v Ferrari
|| Jonathan Majors
||The Last Black Man in San Francisco