Why ‘American Hustle’ will WIN at least one acting Oscar

Not so fast, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o!

While those four stars are Gold Derby’s odds-on favorites to win Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress respectively, history tells us we may be in for a shock (or two) on Oscar night thanks to “American Hustle‘s” quartet of nominated stars — Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence

Since the academy introduced the supporting categories at the ninth ceremony in 1936, only 15 films have been nominated in all four acting races, including “American Hustle” this year and “Silver Linings Playbook” last, both of which were directed by David O. Russell. He is the only person to helm two such quadruple threats. 

Of the 14 previous films that contended across all four acting categories, a whopping 12 of them won at least one acting award on Oscar night: Five of them won one race (including “Silver Linings” for Lawrence last year), five claimed two and a pair of pictures (“A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network”) won three apiece. 

So what’s the point of this Oscar History 101 lesson?

Only two films lost all four acting races: “My Man Godfrey” (1936) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1950). If “American Hustle” is shut out, it will mark the first time in 63 years that’s happened and only the third time ever. So, isn’t it time to start rethinking your predictions?

Which “American Hustle” star has the best shot at keeping the streak alive?

With 9/2 odds, Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence has the best odds among the “American Hustle” player to prevail. Nyong’o is in the lead at 3/10.

Best Actress nominee Amy Adams has the next best chance with 20/1 odds. This would be her first win after four previous nominations in the supporting race. Blanchett is far ahead with 1/10 odds.

Bradley Cooper, like Lawrence, has back-to-back nominations thanks to the one-two punch of “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.” He has 50/1 odds of winning Best Supporting Actor, putting him in third place behind Leto at 1/10 and Michael Fassbender with 33/1 odds.

In dead last for Best Actor is Christian Bale who was a surprise nominee in this crowded category. Bale previously claimed victory for yet another Russell movie “The Fighter” (2010), but his chances of doubling down with another win here are slim to none. McConaughey leads this race with 2/11 odds.

Vote below in the competitive Best Supporting Actress race using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then view our new photo gallery highlighting all 15 Oscar films nominated for the four acting races.

22 thoughts on “Why ‘American Hustle’ will WIN at least one acting Oscar

  1. On the one hand, SAG acting winners usually go 3 for 4 at the Oscars. The BIG problem, however, is American Hustle’s top acting contender is JLaw, and she’s NOT getting two Oscars in a row (a) as a booby prize to kick her out of Hollywood (Luise Rainer), (b) to overcompensate for ignoring past Oscar-worthy performances (Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn), or (c) for a career-defining performance that almost makes the Academy forget Oscar #1 (Jason Robards, Tom Hanks); she’s gonna lose to Lupita. And Bale is NOT in a position to challenge the frontrunner that IMO is weakest (McConaughey). Sad to say, but Hustle will be skunked in the top 6…

  2. Amy Adams should win, she’s been nominated 5 times against four oscar winners. If they want to reward American hustle, it should be here. Leonardo dicaprio gives an all out superb performance and should take best actor

  3. It may just not go 0-4, but 0-10. Its best chance, outside of JL, is Orig Screenplay but Her won WGA and is the “cooler” pick now.

  4. Unless “Hustle” gets a surprise win or edges out “her” for screenplay. Which is probably it’s best chance at winning anything. We may be looking at another “Gangs of New York” or “True Grit”. 10 nods with no wins.

  5. American Hustle doesn’t deserve any wins, in my opinion. It was too bombastic and sloppily made. I do think that Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant though.

  6. Well, history is meant to be broken. We may very well have another Sunset Boulevard after 63 years.
    Bale and Cooper have esentially 0 chances. Adams has an Adrien Brody factor being the sole not-previous winner but if it’s not Blanchett, it’s either Dench of Bullock next in line. Besides if she wins she would sadly be remembered as one of the worst best actress winners ever. I don’t want that fate for someone who actually deserves to win sometime.

    Lawrence is the only one who has strong chances but I doubt the Academy would want to give her another oscar so soon and still so young.

  7. Amy Adams is an amazing actress who was godawful in this. I think we’re looking at a shutout. The film just doesn’t belong amongst it’s competition. It’s one thing to be liked enough to get nominations but to stand up to the best of the best? It doesn’t deserve a win in any category.

  8. I don’t think any of them have a chance. Jennifer lawrence could, but why would they want to give it to her a second time, it was a good performance but not a big deal and her win last year was underserved so they probably would think about that. Why they would want to give it to amy adams i thought that was a sloppy performance especiallly with the fake sound of the english accent. This is not about how many times You’ve Been nominated if none of the nominations are worthy for a win you shouldn’t win until you deliver one that is

  9. Hustle will go 0-10. The performances are good, but the frontrunners are others. It feels like Hustle peaked the moment the nominations were announced, and is now losing steam. To me, its only real chances are in the Original Screenplay category (where I think Spike Jonze will anyway prevail), and in Costume Design (where I assume the battle will be between Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby and legendary [and still Oscar-less] Patricia Norris for 12 Years a Slave).

  10. With all due respect to the actors, all of whom I love in other projects, none of them are deserving of a win for this movie. Id be fine with AH taking costume design, but its not worthy in other areas. We can spout oscar stats all day long, but looking at the current race is more telling. Oscar voters arent looking at past statistics when they vote. History is made to be broken, and this is a year that will break it.

  11. I’m becoming suspicious: Every time there’s an article posted about American Hustle, the comments seem over-flooded with hate. Is there a troll at work?

  12. I would not be the least bit surprised if American Hustle went O for Oscar this year = winning zilch. It’s one of those movies that is good, but not QUITE good enough for Oscar. A lot of second place finishes in my opinion.

  13. I am glad someone brought this up because there is another Oscar History 101 people should be brought to attention. This being after 80 plus years of Oscars only once has Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor went to a movie that did not win Best Picture. Therefore, if Jared Leto wins in the supporting category than most likely Matthew McConaughey will not win. It is because of this, I predict the upset will most likely occur in this category and will not be surprised if Best Actor goes do Leo DiCaprio instead.

  14. I know this trivia doesn’t properly belong to this statistics, but “Doubt” was a film with 4 acting nominations and zero wins (although two of them in Supporting Actress category and the other two went to Meryl Streep in Best Actress category and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Supporting Actor.

  15. twilightorn makes an excellent point, while Hustle has four (one in each category) Doubt also had this, and many were predicting “it had to win one” then, but it did not. The only stats out there are for films with nominations in all categories. Doubt was released in 2008, the year before 10 nominees, if there were 10 nominees, I have to imagine Doubt would have been a nominee for BP.

    With that said just because the actors like a film does not mean it has to win an acting award, look at Slumdog Millionaire which won the SAG ensemble, and had no nominees. The true reason there were no nominees is no one was a big enough name. Sideways won ensemble at the SAGs and lost their two acting nominations. LOTR: ROTK won SAG ensemble and had not acting nominations. I think at the end of the day you have to remember that while the acting branch is largest, the entire technical branch is just as large, and holds some weight.

  16. Keep in mind that never before have we had an acting-nomination sweep two years in a row. What was once a rare occurrence (Reds in 1981 and then SLP in 2012) has now happened twice in a row.

    I don’t think that American Hustle necessarily HAS to win one of the Acting trophies. Although if it does, it will be Jennifer Lawrence.

  17. In my humble opinion, Christian Bale as Irving was the heart and soul of AH.
    He completely morphed into that character , the weight gain is just the tip of the iceberg, his accent, posture, mannerisms…wow… Deserves that Oscar big time!!!
    A friend of mine saw WOWStreet & said it was vulgar beyond belief, way too long and that Leo just played a jacked up version of himself … Matthew will probably win for DBClub!!!
    Bale is a true chameleon and gives 500% in every role!! Look forward to him as Moses in Exodus this December!

  18. Eleven films have received four+ nominations without any wins:

    1. My Man Godfrey (1936) – one nomination in each of the four acting categories
    2. I Remember Mama (1948) – Lead Actress, Supporting Actor and two nominations for Supporting Actress
    3. Sunset Blvd. (1950) – one nomination in each of the four acting categories
    4. Peyton Place (1957) – Lead Actress, two nominations for Supporting Actor and two for Supporting Actress
    5. The Defiant Ones (1958) – Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and two nominations for Lead Actor
    6. The Hustler (1961) – Lead Actor, Lead Actress and two nominations for Supporting Actor
    7. Tom Jones (1963) – Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and three nominations for Supporting Actress
    8. Othello (1965) – Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and two nominations for Supporting Actress
    9. Rocky (1976) – Lead Actor, Lead Actress and two nominations for Supporting Actor
    10. The Turning Point (1977) – Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and two nominations for Lead Actress
    11. Doubt (2008) – Lead Actress, Supporting Actor (RIP PSH) and two nominations for Supporting Actress

    Out of the four Oscar-nominated ‘American Hustle’ actors, Jennifer Lawrence is the only one with a real shot at winning (barring an Amy Adams upset that would be truly upsetting). Lawrence, however, already won last year for Lead Actress and has not been campaigning much this year. Also, no one has won for a Leading Role won year and a Supporting Role the next (or vice versa); consecutive winners have always been in the same category.

    Really, the only reason Lawrence won at the Globes is because they love their A-listers and probably the only reason she won the BAFTAs was to make up for her not winning for SLP last year. That said, I’m certainly not counting Lawrence out yet; I still have her predicted to win but I am considering changing my prediction to Lupita, who, let’s face it, is far more deserving.

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