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Best Supporting Actor at this year's Oscars was a field that was extremely hard to choose from. Chock full of performances from Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, and Sylvester Stallone; all on deck were worthy of the golden glory this evening. Yet among all of those front-runners and big tickets was a gentle giant, and his name is Mark Rylance – your winner for 2016's Best Supporting Actor.
Nominated for his performance in the also nominated for Best Picture Bridge Of Spies, Mark Rylance played the role of the Russian spy, Rudolf Able. The man who would be tried and convicted in America, only to be exchanged back to Russia in James B. Donovan's noble power play, Able is a sympathetic figure with a wry sense of humor, even in the face of personal danger. Going up against an acting heavyweight like Tom Hanks certainly is no small feat, yet Hanks' Donovan is on equal footing with Rylance's Able, as both men share a rapport that is unlikely for a client and their counsel. Yet every inch of Hanks' performance is matched by Mark Rylance's skills from stage and screen.
Part of the reason that Mark Rylance is the one, true Best Supporting Actor out of the pack for this year is simply because as far as Best Supporting performances go, his was the epitome of what a supporting actor truly is. Bridge Of Spies is a film that, through some dark magic, rides on the fence between a comedic farce, a heartbreaking political tale, and a slice of good old fashioned patriotism. None of those facets gets too much time paid to them, so as to take away from their importance to the film's story, and Rylance's performance doesn't threaten to eclipse Tom Hanks' role in any way. Instead, it helps support the work that Hanks put into the film, while at the same time being memorable in its own right.
The best indication of this is Rylance's equally balanced performance. You can best see this in the clip below, which also showcases the both comedic and dramatic catchphrase given to Rudolf Able: "Would it help?"
Now this isn't to say that any of the performances in the rest of the pack did not deserve to win the top honors. Everyone nominated filled their roles with the nuance that was expected out of an Oscar nominated performance, yet out of all of those nominated, Mark Rylance made the ultimate impression with such a minimal role in Bridge Of Spies. The buzz came early, and it came strong, with Rylance now taking home the ultimate victory for a job well done. So with that, we would like to congratulate Mark Rylance on his Best Supporting Actor win, and to ask you all to stay tuned to Cinema Blend for up to the minute updates on tonight's winners!