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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

best of 2007: best supporting actor, best supporting actress

The Oscars are barrelling down on us — the ceremony is this coming Sunday, February 24 — so it’s time to close out Movie Year 2007. Between today and tomorrow, I’ll share with you my own picks for the bests of the year, plus my predictions for Oscar night.

After the jump, the top 5 best supporting actors and best supporting actresses of 2007.

1. Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James: His Robert Ford is the uber stalker, the first weaselly, insecure dork to stalk a celebrity and shoot him for his own glory, and Affleck is outstanding in the role. [buy at Amazon]

2. Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood: I’d never have thought to cast someone as young as Dano — he’ll be 24 this year — in the intense dual roles of divergent brothers, one of whom becomes a potent antithesis to Daniel Day-Lewis. But he pulls it off, marvelously. [preorder at Amazon]

3. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War: Leave it to Hoffman to take what should have been throwaway part and steal the show with it. His snarky CIA operative is a hoot.

4. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men: Cold as ice, Bardem’s hitman without a conscience is one of the more unsettling characters in recent cinema memory. [preorder at Amazon]

5. Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton: He’s always great, but in just one scene here, in which he swings from scattered insanity to focused rationality, Wilkinson seals his subtle genius. [buy at Amazon]


1. Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There: She’s the best Bob Dylan in a slew of pseudo Dylans, and she’s a chick. How cool is that? [preorder at Amazon]

2. Saoirse Ronan, Atonement: She’s 12 years old, and she steals the movie with her incredibly grounded yet simultaneously fantasy-minded pubescent. [buy at Amazon UK]

3. Margo Martindale, Paris, je’taime: Her American abroad starts out as a caricature of the ignorant tourist and becomes a poignant portrait of the power of travel to change us all. [buy at Amazon]

4. Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone: Is she a mother spectacularly unconcerned with the fate of her own child, or is she a woman so afraid of her own life that nothing can rouse her from that fear? Ryan’s is a startling interpretation of an demanding role. [buy at Amazon]

5. Marcia Gay Harden, The Mist: In world overrun by monsters, she’s the far scarier villain, showing us that the evil that men — and women — can do is far more insidious and far more dangerous that mere creatures can do with their claws and fangs.

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