Will anyone follow Marcia Gay Harden’s unusual path to Oscar win?

Marcia Gay Harden is the only person to ever win an Academy Award without a Screen Actors Guild nomination. This year, six Oscar hopefuls hope to equal that achievement.

Heading into the Oscars back in 2000, Harden had only a win from the New York Film Critics Circle and an Independent Spirit nom to her name for “Pollock.” She hadn’t merited a mention from SAG, the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, or any other major critic group. Yet she still prevailed as Best Supporting Actress. 

In the 18-year history of the SAG Awards, Harden stands alone as the only one of the 72 Oscar acting champs to have not contended at these kudos. This year, Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour“), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild“), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master“), Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“), Amy Adams (“The Master”) and Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook“) are in the same boat. 

Riva and Wallis are both competing for Best Actress. While Wallis was ineligble for SAG, neither she nor Riva reaped a Golden Globe nomination either. Riva contends at BAFTA next Sunday. Our Gold Derby Oscar odds have Wallis in last place at 9/1. Riva is in the third slot at 9/2 and has the backing of three Experts: Tariq Khan (Fox News), Guy Lodge (In Contention), and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) is predicted to prevail with leading odds of 13/8.

-ADDPREDICTION:85:6:Click to predict Best Actress Oscar:ADDPREDICTION-

Phoenix is contending in Best Actor, but can anybody take down frontrunner Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”)? Our odds have Phoenix in last at 9/1, miles behind the Golden Globe and SAG champ Day-Lewis at 5/4. For the past eight years, the SAG winner has repeated at the Oscars.

Even though Waltz failed to receive a SAG bid, he is in third place for Best Supporting Actor with odds of at 5/1. It is a very volatile category filled with past Oscar champs. SAG winner Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln“) has a slight lead at 17/10. However, Waltz has a real shot with his win at the Golden Globes. Only two of the last 10 Globe champs have not repeated at the Academy Awards: Clive Owen (“Closer”) lost to Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) in 2004; Eddie Murphy (“Dreamgirls”) was defeated by Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) in 2006.

Adams and Weaver both contend again in Best Supporting Actress but neither is expected to prevail. Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables“) is way out in front with odds of 27/20. Adams is in fourth position at 13/2, while Weaver is in last at 10/1.

Three caveats about past SAG nominees and wins. Benicio Del Toro (“Traffic”) claimed Best Actor at SAG in 2000 but won in supporting at the Oscars. In 2001, Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”) contended in lead at SAG but won an Academy Award in supporting. And in 2008, Kate Winslet (“The Reader”) won in supporting at SAG but prevailed in the lead category at the Oscars.

8 thoughts on “Will anyone follow Marcia Gay Harden’s unusual path to Oscar win?

  1. @Anonymous: That is probably a post for a different article since this article is looking at actors. But I will say that the last non-DGA -nominated Oscar winner for director was in 1949 (the 2nd year of DGA), so it does not bode well for Russell at all.

  2. To the author of this article: To qualify as the next Marcia Gay Harding, an actor or actress cannot have been nominated for SAG, GG, or BFCA. Only Jacki Weaver qualifies this year. And no, she won’t win, because unlike Harding’s year (in which Hudson won the GG, McDormand won the BFCA, and Dench won the SAG), there has been a clear winner in all three. As someone has already stated, Hathaway is the lock that cannot be unlocked.

  3. @MchRe7: I posted David O. Russell for reasons you said…not hitting precursors (though yes, the author is focused on actors). In such a weird year, where ONLY 2 DGA nominees were nominated for Best Director–both of whom are former winners (and one a two-time winner)–I’m not sure the history is as relevant. Someone can possibly take an unusual path to an Oscar: Maybe Russell can Marcia Gay-Harden himself to a Best Director win?

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