Tommy Lee Jones in ‘Lincoln’

Eye on the Oscars 2013: The Actor - Supporting Actor

Why he will win: Both surly and honorable, cantankerous and kind, Jones’ portrayal of radical Rep. Thaddeus Stevens is not only complex, confident and magnetic, but also a historical landmark: redeeming the reputation of a man who’s been demonized for more than a century.

Best scene: In a heated congressional war-of-words, Jones’ surly Stevens trash-talks with the best of them, taking down a rival with relish and wit: “How can I hold that all men are created equal when here before me stands, stinking, the moral carcass of the gentlemen from Ohio — proof that some men are inferior.”

Critic’s quote: “A gloriously obstreperous Tommy Lee Jones … comes very close to stealing ‘Lincoln’ with a performance of ethical purity and calm, hilarious invective, and if anyone else were playing the president, the actor might have the movie in his pocket,” says Ty Burr, the Boston Globe.

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