Best Supporting Actor

He’s a TV star, but Judd Hirsch now has a place in the Oscar history books. His inclusion in the final five this year for “The Fabelmans” arrived 42 years after his first nod for “Ordinary People” — the longest gap between nominations ever, besting Henry Fonda’s previous record by one year. At 87, Hirsch is still one year shy of the eldest performer (Christopher Plummer, 88 in 2018) ever nominated for an Oscar. As for his competitors in this category, none of them have ever been here before — in fact, Barry Keoghan and Brian Tyree Henry weren’t even born when Hirsch landed his nomination for “Ordinary People,” while Brendan Gleeson and Ke Huy Quan had yet to make their first films.

BRENDAN GLEESON, The Banshees of Inisherin

Celebrated for three decades of warmth and excellence in projects like “The General,” “28 Days Later” and the “Harry Potter” films (he also played Donald Trump on TV’s “The Comey Rule”), the burly, beloved Irishman Brendan Gleeson is finally an Oscar nominee. And, fittingly, for a Martin McDonagh film: Gleeson starred in the short “Six Shooter,” which scored McDonagh an Oscar in 2007, and played opposite his “Banshees” partner Colin Farrell in McDonagh’s feature debut, 2008’s terrific “In Bruges.”


The title “Causeway” refers to a 24-mile bridge in New Orleans, the site of a terrible familial loss for auto mechanic James, played by Brian Tyree Henry, who forges a friendship with injured soldier Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence). The prolific film, TV, and theater actor (“Atlanta,” “Widows,” “Bullet Train”) explained, “It’s easy to make yourself a fortress when you’re dealing with grief and loss. But there’s a beauty to making a connection that allows you to address that you survived and that you are yearning for something more.”

JUDD HIRSCH, The Fabelmans

He has the briefest screentime of all the nominees, but that doesn’t make Judd Hirsch’s performance any less indelible. As Uncle Boris, who once worked in silent films and senses the moviemaking gift within his great-nephew, “Hirsch just about steals the movie in a single five-minute scene,” wrote TheWrap’s Steve Pond in his review. “It’s not just that he brings a burst of energy, but his fast-talking blitzkrieg is so irresistible that the Toronto Film Festival premiere audience erupted in applause when Uncle Boris got in a cab and drove off.”

BARRY KEOGHAN, The Banshees of Inisherin

The tragicomic elements in “The Banshees of Inisherin” are fully embodied in Barry Keoghan’s childlike, open-hearted performance as a severely abused young man who nonetheless sees goodness in the world. The actor himself spent many years of his youth in foster homes — but now, at 30, is fully established as one of the most chameleonic presences in movies and TV (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” — opposite “Banshees” costar Colin Farrell — “Dunkirk,” “Eternals,” “Chernobyl”) working today.

KE HUY QUAN, Everything Everywhere All at Once

No moviegoer alive in the 1980s needs help identifying Ke Huy Quan. Once a high-spirited child actor in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies,” Quan left acting due to lack of opportunities, only to reemerge last year in “EEAAO” to deliver a sly, accomplished, touching performance. “It was one of those beautiful synergistic things,” said director Daniel Kwan. “Not only because he’s so genuinely tender and playful and silly, but also because of this meta commentary, where a global audience gets to watch Ke perform and blossom again on the screen.”

Steve’s Perspective

For the entire awards season, Ke Huy Quan has been the happiest face at every event, and his comeback almost 40 years after “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” is a feel-good story that has appealed to voters again and again. It’s not out of the question that affection for Judd Hirsch could derail the Quan train before the Oscars — but if the “Everything Everywhere” comeback kid wins the SAG Award, he’ll be hard to beat.