Best Supporting Actor:
WOODY HARRELSON in The Messenger
The depth of character conveyed by Harrelson as a by-the-book casualty notification officer masking his emotional fragility behind a tough exterior is remarkable. Subtle eye twitches eventually culminate in a full-out sob in one of the film's best scenes.
ANTHONY MACKIE in The Hurt Locker
The sober ying to Jeremy Renner's raging yang, Mackie anchors the film as a stoic soldier you just wants to make it out of Iraq alive, putting him at odds with Sgt. James' reckless fate-tempting. His final scene is tterly moving.
ALFRED MOLINA in An Education
Walking the fine line between comic bumbling and authenticity, Alfred Molina is the best thing about this fine film. We can see why Jenny is annoyed with her father, but we can also see that he acts the way he does out of the deepest love for her.
STANLEY TUCCI in Julie & Julia
His performance is so natural that it's hard to remember that it's a performance at all. His soft-spoken warmth and tenderness reacts marvelously with Meryl's bubbly enthusiasm. Simple and delightful (and certainly better than his nomination vehicle The Lovely Bones).
CHRISTOPH WALTZ in Inglourious Basterds
He owns each scene he's in with a masterful mix of focused restraint and Tarantino-style wackiness. He transitions from classy to brutal so suddenly yet so smoothly that you hardly notice. And that's a BINGO!
Paul Schneider in Bright Star, Brian Geraghty in The Hurt Locker, Niels Arestrup in A Prophet, Stephen Lang in Avatar.