When Matt Johnson‘s BlackBerry opened last May, the instant consensus was that Glenn Howerton‘s turn as former BlackBerry honcho Jim Balsillie, a deliciously hard-nosed and at times ruthless operator, was the stand-out.

It naturally follows that Howerton, costar of FX’s long-running It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a guy who radiates his own amusing edge vibes in interviews, deserves to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Hell, he deserves to win.

Of course he does! Because Howerton is the guy you remember when you come out of BlackBerry, and the force-of-nature actor who makes you chuckle despite Balsillie’s prickish personality.

“I would admit that I gravitate towards men who seek power,” Howerton says in a BlackBerry promo video. “As far as Jim is concerned, he wants to be perceived as the smartest guy in the room. Which masks the fear and insecurity that he’s not. I think he is driven by that fear.”

As we speak there are three Gold Derby spitballers — Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, IMDB’s Keith Simanton, Gold Derby’s Tariq Khan — who agree with me. And Khan has Howerton at the top of his list!

(Believe it or not 24 GD members are predicting a supporting nom for Robert DeNiro‘s scheming one-note scumbag in Killers of the Flower Moon…seriously? Bobby D’s twangy accent and repetitive dialogue gave me a headache when I saw Martin Scorsese’s film for the second time.)

Another feather in Howerton’s cap is the absolute requirement that at least one Oscar-aspiring supporting performance must hail from the indie sector.

On top of which Howerton’s Balsillie isn’t just funny but comforting. To my slight surprise I immediately liked his baldy baldass because of the three main BlackBerry characters Basillie is the only tough-nut adult — brusque and flinty with an explosive temper, okay, but at least he’s a realist, which is more than you can say for Jay Baruchel‘s Mike Lazaridis and Johnson’s Doug Fregin, or at least how they’re portrayed.

During the first half Baruchel and especially Johnson overplay the nerd-child behavior. They’re a pair of precocious, inarticulate twits living in their own world. But then along comes the cut-the-shit-and-get-organized Basillie, and you go “thank God!…a brass-tacks suit who knows how to handle himself in corporate circles, and a guy who will tell Lazaridis and Fregin to shut up whenever they start talking like 13-year-olds.”

There are actually two humorous hardnosed-prick performances that are competing for finalist status — Howerton’s and Chris Messina‘s excitable agent David Falk in Air. I just had a much better time with Howerton.

There’s another Oscar-burnishing quality that Howerton’s performance brings — he altered his appearance by shaving his head. (Or he wore one of those bald caps…whatever.) Any SAG-AFTRA member will agree that going bald is an equivalent of Robert DeNiro gaining 70 pounds for Raging Bull (resulting in a win) or Nicole Kidman wearing a prosthetic nose in The Hours (ditto).

On top of which Howerton’s performance will soon be back in the spotlight when a three-episode version of BlackBerry will begin airing on Monday, 11.13. The miniseries will include 16 minutes of never-before-seen footage. The feature version ran 159 minutes and yet each AMC episode will run for 60 minutes, or roughly 180 minutes.

Glenn Howerton’s abrasive bossy-boots behavior rules the 21st Century!…not since Kevin Spacey‘s Buddy Ackerman in George Huang‘s Swimming With Sharks (’94)!

TikTok Howerton:

@alamodrafthouse A quick message from BLACKBERRY star, Glenn Howerton, to movie talkers: shut the f*** up. Tickets to BLACKBERRY are on sale now at drafthouse.com. #AlwaysSunny #alwayssunnyinphiladelphia #BLACKBERRYMovie #filmtok #movietok #AlamoDrafthouse ♬ original sound – Alamo Drafthouse