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An Oscar for Justin Timberlake?

September 17, 2010 | 12:05 pm

Yes, of course, "The Social Network" will be nominated at the Oscars for best picture, director (David Fincher) and screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), but what about those tricky acting slots? Jesse Eisenberg has a good shot at making the list for lead actor, but his performance may not be flashy enough. Of the two actors competing for a supporting nom — Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake — most Oscarologists say Garfield is more likely to get in. But why? Just because it seems preposterous to nominate a heartthrob pop singer for acting?

The Social Network Justin Timberlake-6

Has everybody already forgotten that the Justin equivalent of 1953 — Frank Sinatra — won this same category? Sinatra may have gotten a free ride on "From Here to Eternity's" best-picture sweep — an award most likely to be won next by "Social Network" in a sweep.

Oscar voters can be cavalier about passing out acting trophies in those supporting slots. Winners don't have to be "serious" actors like they do in the lead races. Past champs include stand-up comedians (Robin Williams, Mo'nique, Whoopi Goldberg, Red Buttons), children (Anna Paquin, Tatum O'Neal), even a Cambodian doctor (Haing S. Ngor).

Timberlake has a much flashier role than Garfield. He portrays hedonist Napster founder Sean Parker, a boozy sleazeball who turns into a vicious snake as the film unfolds. That's significant. Villainous roles didn't used to win Oscars in the past, but they've ruled the supporting actor contest with a sinister sneer in recent years: Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds"), Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight") and Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men").

The Golden Globes love sexy superstars so much that they'll certainly nominate Justin -- and could possibly give him the gold. That could give him the momentum he needs heading into Oscarmania. 

Justin has won two Emmys: best guest actor in a comedy series (hosting "Saturday Night Live") and writing that naughty song about you-know-what in a box, which he performed on "Saturday Night Live."

Gold Derby asked some top Oscarologists what they think of Justin's Oscar chances. Read their reax here.

Photos: "From Here to Eternity" and "The Social Network" (Columbia Pictures)

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Comments

I am still how surprised I was by Timberlake's performance. Amazing. My favorite supporting actors this year: 1 John Hawkes 2 Justin Timberlake

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS GREAT IN WHATEVER HE ACHIEVES. NO, HE IS NOT FRANK SINATRA..... HE IS JUSTIN...... PERSONALLY I HAVE SEEN JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN CONCERT AND HE IS A GREAT PERFORMER, GREAT DANCER, AND A GREAT SINGER... HE HAS UNBELIEVABLE TALENT...THAT MANY WOULD WOULD LOVE TO HAVE. HE IS A VERY GIVEN INDIVIDUAL WORKING WITH SHRINER'S HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN WITH A GOLFING TOURNAMENT AND CONCERT BENEFIT IN LAS VEGAS, WHICH HE HOST EVERY YEAR. SO, WHY NOT BECOME AN ACTOR?? I WISH HIM THE BEST AND IF HE IS NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR, HE WILL DESERVES TO BE IN IT!!! KUDOS TO YOU JUSTIN!!

It's Justin Timberlake. No. And how dare you compare him to Sinatra.

Dear Mea:

I'm liberal, I'm homosexual, but not negro...so I guess I won't be winning an Oscar?...really quite a dumb statement you made...I believe you must be a Tea Party loving ring-winged Mama Grizzly groupie and avid watcher of FaLseNews?...and yes I believe in global warming...so be good to the planet...dammit!

Looks like you're really pushing and campaigning for Mr. Over-exposed for a nomination...Please stop, let the performance speak for itself. In the meantime report on performances much worthier than Mr. Over-exposed and please stop campaigning for him...

All it takes to win the Oscar is being three out of four;

Is he a liberal?
Is he a homosexual?
Is he a negro?
Does he believe in anthropogenic global warming?

Jeeze - who is the journo-prostitute who wrote this puff piece? There's big money to be had with this sort of *&^%.

That just ain't right. This article makes fun of the awards those good people got... so what makes Mr. O'Neil think that children or doctors can't act?

Relativity or Columbia must be gunning for Justin Timberlake to be nominated, otherwise I wouldn't be reading this drivel about a movie that is NOT even out yet. Not to mention the fact that only a few Hollywood working people who have seen a screening or a trailer of the movie seem to know the movie intimately, and yes I know people have seen the script, but seeing a script & seeing the completed project are two very different things. Yep, my bet's on either Relativity/Columbia getting the ball rolling & testing the waters or Justin Timberlake's team doing the same or both. Call me cynical.

i saw a pre screening of the film yesterday and I am shocked at the amount of hype this film is getting. yes - it was FANTASTIC - but there is no way this film is winning best picture or receiving ANY acting nominations. the fact that this article calls justin's role villainous is absolutely insane. there aren't any villains in this movie, just like there aren't any heroes. the acting was fine, but not oscar-worthy. then again, sandra bullock DID win an oscar last year... maybe timberlake has a shot after all...

Best picture? I don't know, man... I read the leaked script and it comes off as a TV movie akin to "The Late Shift"

Um, can we wait until the film is out and actually see his performance before we make predictions? I'd like to hold onto the belief that the Oscar still has some reference to actual work. Kay?

calling it now. the oscar goes to: trent reznor. the social network score rules.

if you have seen the trailer for The Fighter, you can have no doubt in your mind that christian bale will get the best supporting actor prize....thats the best acting i have ever seen him do. He's putting his whole body into it(and i dont mean the lack of weight), but the actual rhythmic movement of the character and his posturing. Plus making goofy faces...when has bale ever done that?!!

Actually, I've been thinking Timberlake is MORE likely to be nominated than Garfield, due to the nature of his role. It's a classic part: the delayed entrance biopic antagonist. You don't see him right away, then he shows up in a brief introduction scene, meets the lead later on, and ends up dominating the rest of the movie. Think Alan Alda in "The Aviator" and Josh Brolin in "Milk".
Josh Brolin is best example, as he got in over James Franco who was also very acclaimed and had much more screentime, and Emile Hirsch who got good notices, not to mention he was snubbed the year before for "Into the Wild".
But Supporting Actor is a tough one this year, and even if JT is nominated, he'll have tough competition from Geoffrey Rush, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Ed Harris, and current front-runner Christian Bale.

Justin Timberlake should get the nod.... if he doesnt it'll just be unfair to him and dissappointing to me... because Sean Parker is like the villian in the movie! Come on... Sean Parker's character is whats drawing the attention for young viewers to watch the movie btw... and if people are surprise that he act so well... that just shows he deserves it

Andrew Garfield is the breakthrough actor that will be taken more seriously this year. JT is hardly Sinatra, and his role seems a lot less likeable (we can compare it to Waltz, Ledger and Bardem but neither is in conversation for the WIN or anything like those guys).


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