Oscar Theory #2: Best Actor Goes To The Dude With The Most Nominations
It’s T-minus two weeks until the Oscars, and we here in The Frisky office are already getting our Oscar pool organized—which means that you probably are, too. Luckily, the Academy is pretty predictable. And since we want you to win your co-workers’ money, we are looking at each of the major awards and dissecting some theories about who generally wins. Last week, we showed you that to win the Best Actress award, it’s best to be a card-carrying America’s Sweetheart getting her first nomination for a meaty role. To win Best Actor, it’s exactly the opposite—the Academy tends to vote on consistency in this category. In other words, the Oscar generally goes to the dude who has the most Best Actor and Best Supporting nominations under his belt already.
Don’t believe us? Here are just a few examples:
- Last year, Sean Penn walked away with the Best Actor Oscar for playing Harvey Milk in, uh, “Milk.” Some will say it was because of his nuanced performance as the gay San Franciscan mayor. Sure. But coincidentally, it was his fifth acting nomination, while Brad Pitt had a measly two noms. And Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins and Mickey Rourke all were on their first. Sean Penn also won in 2003 for “Mystic River” when, shocker, his outnumbered the nominations of all the other competitors in the field.
- 2007 was a particularly tough Best Actor Oscar race, with both Daniel Day-Lewis and George Clooney having four Oscar nominations to their names. However, while two of George’s nominations were in other categories (Best Director and Best Screenplay for “Good Night, and Good Luck”), all of Daniel’s were of the acting variety. He got the golden dude, for “There Will Be Blood.”
- Many people think Denzel Washington should’ve won Best Actor for “Malcolm X.” When he received another nod in 2002 for “Training Day,” it really just seemed like his time, even if his character didn’t get nearly as much screen time. He won anyway. Why? This was his fifth nomination while competitors Russell Crowe and Sean Penn were on three at the time, and Will Smith and Tom Wilkinson were both on nom numero uno.
- Let’s just say that Jack Nicholson wasn’t known for his comedic timing before 1997’s “As Good As It Gets.” But he showed critics he could do funny/poignant as well as he could do tough guy. For the role, he received his 11th Academy Award nomination, passing Laurence Olivier’s record for the most nominations at 10. Nicholson got his third Oscar that year.
- In 1992, Al Pacino received his eighth Academy Award nomination for “Scent of a Woman.” Because he is a serious master of his craft, he also got a nod for Best Supporting Actor that year for “Glengarry Glen Ross.” How could the Academy not have given it to him? He walked away the year’s Best Actor.
- It also took Paul Newman a whopping eight nominations before he finally won an acting Academy Award, for “The Color of Money” in 1987. Interestingly, Paul didn’t show up to the awards that year, and so Robert Wise accepted the award on his behalf. We’re assuming Paul was just sick of losing at that point?
- It also took the legendary Marlon Brando many tries to win for Best Actor. He was nominated in 1951, again in 1952, and again in 1953. In 1954, he finally got to give his long-awaited acceptance speech after being crowned Best Actor for “On the Waterfront.” He was nominated four more times after that.
So who will benefit from the most nominations boost this year? Shockingly, it’s a three-way tie: Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, and Morgan Freeman all have received five nominations in their many years on the scene. However, Mr. Freeman shocked us all this year when he confirmed that he is in fact shacking up with his 27-year-old step-granddaughter, which puts him out of the running. Since two of George’s nominations are for his behind-the-camera work, we predict that Jeff Bridges is gonna win this year. Not that we agree with that. If it were us voting, the Cloon would totally be the victor.