EW's critics take on the Best Supporting Actors. Owen gets Beastly, Lisa offers him a Ring
Owen Gleiberman
Credit: Owen Gleiberman Illustration by Eric Palma

EW’s critics take on the Best Supporting Actors

February 20, 2002 12:37 PM
You know, Lisa, on Oscar night, it’s easy to pretend that the fun is all in the horse race. You pick your winners, you watch the contest play out, and there’s no need to take any of it all that seriously. But daydreaming about how you’re going to spend the office-pool money gets put on hold the moment you come to one of those categories you really DO care about. Suddenly, you’re forced to own up to how invested you are. I feel that way right now about Best Supporting Actor. To me, the category this year is sort of like real estate, in that it all comes down to one word: Kingsley, Kingsley, Kingsley.

What can I say? I want my man Ben to win! He deserves to — overwhelmingly — for his already legendary performance in ”Sexy Beast,” where he plays that bullet-headed cockney gangster with so much scary style, such pure volcanic excitement, that it’s impossible to take your eyes off him. Sure, a lot of actors can make a bad guy riveting, but Kingsley gives this one such amazing layers. You don’t just love to hate him — you’re caught up in his psycho mind, his whole demonic gamesmanship. Kingsley didn’t get the momentum he deserved from the year-end critics awards, a couple of which went to Steve Buscemi, probably because his character in ”Ghost World” was like a film critic without a job. To me, though, Kingsley’s performance in ”Sexy Beast” is what movies are all about.

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