Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Django Unchained is fantastic. There is simply no denying that but while some of Quentin Tarantino’s movies sometimes take their time to win their audience, this one truly begins with a bang as we meet Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The German doctor travels all by himself in the middle of the night, his horse Fritz bows ceremoniously as his owner introduces himself to a group of slave drivers and their slaves. Within the next three minutes Schultz meets Django (Jamie Foxx) and the film’s plot is set in motion. It never lets you go after that.

Waltz brings his delicious (delectable? delish? toothy? scrumptious? succulent?) enunciation and vocabulary to the role and makes him both a wonderful follow up — and an even more remarkable departure — to his Oscar winning role as SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. Waltz delivers his lines with a wry sense of humor that sometimes leaves you wondering whether to gasp from shock or burst into laughter.

Waltz could be in more serious contention if it weren’t for the fact that people had decided — even before watching the film — that it would be the one that finally got Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar. Leo is marvelous of course (as is Samuel L. Jackson) but Waltz truly owns the movie. So far only the Golden Globes have paid attention, nominating him and Leo in the Best Supporting Actor category, if Oscar were to follow it would be the first time since 1991 where two actors from the same movie were nominated in this category.