Thanks to the valiant efforts of talented character actors, supporting roles are often far more memorable than any given film’s supposed “leads.” 2021 provided numerous examples of this phenomenon, but my exceedingly high standards will allow me to recognize only the very best of the best:
Best Supporting Actors
Ben Affleck as Pierre d’Alençon in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel
Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune
Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: No Way Home
Stephen Sondheim as His Own Voice on Jon Larson’s Answering Machine in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick... Boom!
Julio Ruiz as Milton in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad
Best Supporting Actresses
Not much competition here...
Diana Rigg as Miss Collins in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho