Has Christoph Waltz's 'Django Unchained' Performance Finally Emerged as Best Supporting Actor Front Runner?

One of the harder categories to predict at this year's Oscars is Best Supporting Actor. Initially it seemed Tommy Lee Jones had it all locked up, but Lincoln never grabbed a foot hold on the race. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) seemed a strong possibility after winning the Critics Choice Award and then there was Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) going for his third Oscar. Now, after wins at the Golden Globe Awards and the BAFTA Awards, it seems Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) is back in the driver's seat after losing to Jones at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

It's interesting considering Waltz was, at one point, going to be considered lead for the film only to find himself competing against fellow Django stars Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio in Supporting. Many will surely argue Waltz is more of a lead in the film, but at this point in the race it hardly matters.

This race is still anyone's to win, but at this point it seems Waltz is the best choice for front-runner. Agree? Disagree?

You can see my ranked predictions for the Best Supporting Actor category here.

  • Dale

    I'm definitely in Waltz's corner for the Oscar. I think his performance could really qualify for a lead nomination, since he's pretty much front and center for most of "Django Unchained." However, he would then have had to compete with the virtually unbeatable Daniel Day Lewis.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    really hopes De Niro wins this one, Hoffman gives the best performance of the five but i really like De Niro's performance for the win.

  • Winchester

    Based on things as they are I think Waltz is looking very good. Not maybe entirely in a slamdunk position since Jones did win the SAG but I think Jones is probably the main alternate between the nominees.

  • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

    I'll personally disagree, and say that this field can really go any way on Oscar night. But, at the same time, TLJ winning the SAG really helps his chances, and thus at the moment, I would predict him.

    • Max Andersen

      He's been the front-runner from the beginning. He beat Jones and Hoffman for the Globe and Bafta. The only reason he didn't win the SAG is because he wasn't nominated. The Weinsteins failed to send the screeners.

  • adu

    I'd love to see Waltz win it, and then look at Jones' reaction, though he can't possibly look any grumpier than he did at the Globes.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    I think Tommy Lee Jones will win, since he won the SAG award. I think Waltz would be the frontrunner if he hadn't won in the same category in 2010.

  • Frank

    Waltz didn't win the Critics Choice for Best Supporting Actor, Hoffman won that one.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      You are right, not sure how I messed that up. Thanks.

  • Paul

    At first I found myself wondering that it was just too odd for an actor to win two Oscars under the same director. But, turns out, it's less of an anomaly than I initially thought. Dianne Wiest won twice under Woody Allen's direction, and Jack Nicholson himself can only claim his two Oscars thanks to James L. Brooks. So Waltz winning twice with Tarantino wouldn't put him in bad company and also would be, frankly, kind of cool. Though I'd also love to see Hoffman win his second Oscar.

    A lot of talk about De Niro's sudden strong campaign putting him as the front runner. I struggle to see it. The hard push comes off a little desperate to me, especially since I'd like to see De Niro win his third for something more substantial. Not that he wasn't good in SLP. But that's just my opinion.

    I'd wager on Waltz.

    • Alex

      Jack has three Oscars, one for the decidedly not James L. Brooks film One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

  • http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/ RagingTaxiDriver

    Even though he's pulled in the BAFTA and GG, I'm still not positive on him winning come Oscar night. Anything thing can happen. Maybe Arkin will win because of the absence of Ben Affleck in the Director's category. I doubt it, but it's anyone's game. Maybe Hoffman?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    I'd still go with Jones only because he won the SAG, but I wouldn't be surprised if Waltz or De Niro took the Oscar.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    I definitely agree. Walking out of Django Unchained, Waltz character was the most memorable one for me. Not saying the others weren't, but when Django Unchained is mentioned, my head directly pops up Waltz. Great performance and dialogue delivery. He was perfect for the role. I really hope he wins at the Oscars. And hope QT wins for screenplay as well.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

    I'd love for Waltz to take the prize home but I still think it's Tommy Lee Jones' to lose.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

    I think De Niro's was actually the hardest to pull off. So given that he's my choice.

    In terms of who I think will win, its between TLJ and Waltz, I'd say slight edge to TLJ.

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    I can't split TLJ + Waltz anymore!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    No. He literally just won an Oscar and I don't know what the statistics are for that kind of thing, but they can't be high. I don't think he has a shot in hell (I wish I was wrong). I think it's still Jones' to lose. The only possible upset would come from De Niro. That Couric interview was a brilliant piece of Oscar campaigning (not saying it wasn't genuine, but you know Harvey was jumping up and down backstage).

    Despite the fact that Argo has won everything, I still feel good about Lincoln. At this point I could see it taking Picture, Director, Actor, Supp Actor and Adapted Screenplay.

    • https://twitter.com/TooMuchHamza Hamza Zain

      Thought I'd look up the statistics, since it got me curious.

      There are 38 actors/actresses that have won multiple Oscars, and, of those, 16 have won two Oscars in a five year span. But if we want to adjust it to the three years since Waltz won his last Oscar, that number only decreases to 11. However, the last actor to win two Oscars in that time frame was Tom Hanks back-to-back wins in 1993/1994.

      So there is some history on his side, but with how political the Oscars have gotten, I think you're probably right.

      • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

        Hamza, way to do a good research!

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        Dude, good job! That's definitely more people then I had anticipated. So who knows, it could happen. But I just don't think the Academy likes Waltz or Django THAT much.

        • https://twitter.com/TooMuchHamza Hamza Zain

          Thanks guys! My dream was always to do a good research.

          I think the Academy likes Waltz, but I don't think their overall love for Django is there. I still think someone else takes this award.

        • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

          I agree, I think the Academy likes Waltz quite a bit but I'm unsure of their love for Tarantino and his films, in this case, Django. I could see Waltz snagging the gold statuette as this one seems very up in the air. But it could just as easily fall into the lap of De Niro or Jones.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

        #DidAGoodResearch - Brad should be proud!

  • The Dude

    Waltz didn't lose to Jones at SAG. Waltz wasn't nominated because no one in the guild received a screener before votes were due.

    I think Waltz is the frontrunner at this point.

    • Kelly Weber

      You hit it right on the mark! Waltz was ineligible for a SAG because a screener was not available for the voters. Tarantino was LITERALLY finishing the editing on the film a week before it's release.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    On a personal note, I hope Waltz wins, as his performance was the most impressive of all those nominated this year. If him and Bardem were both nominated, that would have been a toss up for me.

    If not Waltz, I hope De Niro.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

      No love for Hoffman or TLJ?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

        I liked them both and think they're deserving of the nom for sure, but the other two I preferred more.

    • https://twitter.com/TooMuchHamza Hamza Zain

      Personally, I loved De Niro and Hoffman a lot. I thought Waltz was great, but I don't think this should be his year.

  • Chris138

    If I were voting I'd go with Hoffman or Waltz, but I think Jones still has a chance. Either him or Waltz would be my predictions for the Oscar as of right now.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    I think Jones Wins it with Waltz a close second and Hoffman a very very distant third

  • Lewis

    I wouldn't say so. Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG. SAGs carry a lot of weight.

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    I think it's between De Niro, Jones, and Schultz, which seems to be more or less the consensus around these parts. The award could go to any of those three and I would not be surprised at all by the Academy's decision. As far as predictions are concerned, I'm leaning Schultz, but I'm going to take these last 13 days to mull over that one a bit.

    Personally, I'm rooting for De Niro.

    • Marie Jespersen

      I don't really get how people keep mentioning De Niro. As much as I woulld like to see him win, I just don't see it happening. The only thing he has is a SAG-nomination and Critics Choice Award nomination, He wasn't even nominated for Golden Globes, and he has failed to win anything up until this point. Hoffman has a greater chance than him, however small, because PSH won Critics Choice.
      This narrows the race down to Waltz and Jones.

  • Newbourne

    Although it's the category that's most up-in-the-air, it's rather boring to me considering they are ALL former winners (first time that's ever happened in Oscars history by the way!).

    All 5 of these men are looking to win an additional Oscar to the one(s) they already have. It's rather uninspiring.

    Had Scoot McNeary or Jason Clarke been nominated, there would be an awards season rookie to root for, or if Leonardo DiCaprio had been nominated, we would be rooting for an excellent actor who is long overdue.

    Instead, it's just 5 guys who've won before. It's seriously boring. What's worse is that the next in line to be nominated was probably Javier Bardem.

    Not an interesting race. It's like watching a bunch of millionaires competing for 100 grand on a game show. No matter who wins, they're all still rich.

  • Chris

    Another thing to consider, Tarantino was nominated for Director at both the Globes and the Baftas, the only awards he was nominated in this category.
    I still think that Waltz will win though. Can't really take the SAG into consideration as they didn't see Django in time.

  • John Debono

    Money is still on TLJ, he is well liked, has the SAG on his side and Lincoln is the more academy friendly film as oppose to the bolder BAFTAs. Its possible Waltz could win, but Jones is the safer bet.

  • Harold

    I know the baftas have signaled the surprise winners like Marion coittiard and told a Swindon, but how is that possible when only 5 percent of the membership overlap, correct me if I am wrong. Personally I love waltz but think Deniro should take this for what is the best performance.

  • Scott M

    People who made a big stink over Hailee Steinfeld being lead in True Grit can't also argue that Waltz should be a lead. The argument should be: is the movie their story? In Django, it is clearly Jamie Foxx's story and not Waltz's.

    I don't think screentime alone dictates lead vs. supporting (otherwise Anthony Hopkins should've won supporting for Silence of the Lambs).

    I think Waltz belongs in supporting where he is, and he'd also get my vote, so I hope he takes his second statue, and continues to take statues for every QT movie he does in the future (which will hopefully be all of them).

  • Keegan

    My best supporting actor opinions (not that they matter)

    01. Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master
    02. Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln
    03. Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained
    04. Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained
    05. Javier Bardem - Skyfall
    06. Matthew McConnaughey - Killer Joe
    07. Robert DeNiro - Silver Linings Playbook
    08. Ezra Miller - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    09. Alan Arkin - Argo
    10. Jason Clarke - Zero Dark Thirty