Will Amy Adams (‘American Hustle’) finally win with fifth Oscar nomination?

Whether she wins or loses her Best Actress bid for “American Hustle,” Amy Adams has joined an elite club at the Oscars. This is her fifth nomination, the benchmark set by the motion picture academy to merit separate mention in its database. She is the 55th performer to reach this threshold in the 86-year history of the Oscars. 

Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) is the presumed frontrunner to win Best Actress this year. However, she and Adams have yet to go head to head. The two will finally face-off at the BAFTAs on Feb. 16, two weeks before the Oscars. 

Remember, “American Hustle” helmer David O. Russell has directed Oscar-winning performances in each of his last two films. Christian Bale — who reaped a Best Actor bid for “American Hustle” — and Melissa Leo won the supporting awards in 2010 for “The Fighter”; among those Leo beat was Adams. And Jennifer Lawrence, who contends in supporting for “American Hustle,” won Best Actress last year for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

And, as all four of Adams’ competitors are previous Oscar winners, this makes her the underdog, the one overdue to win. Five turned out to be the lucky number for six perennial nominees who finally prevailed with that bid: 

Susan Hayward: Won Best Actress in 1958 for “I Want to Live!” after four losses in this race.

Gregory Peck: Won Best Actor in 1962 for “To Kill a Mockingbird” after four losses in this race. 

Jack Nicholson: Won Best Actor in 1975 for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” after four losses in this race; he went on to win Best Supporting Actor in 1983 for “Terms of Endearment” and Best Actor again in 1997 for “As Good As It Gets” and has reaped 12 bids in all, a record among men. 

Shirley MacLaine: Won Best Actress in 1983 for “Terms of Endearment” after four losses in this race. 

Susan Sarandon: Won Best Actress in 1995 for “Dead Man Walking” after four losses in this race. 

Jeff Bridges: Won Best Actor in 2009 for “Crazy Heart” after one loss in this race and three in supporting; he has contended once more for Best Actor.  

However, there are also eight performers who never won an Oscar despite reaching at least this level:

Peter O’Toole lost all eight of his Best Actor bids. He did get an honorary Oscar in 2002.

His pal Richard Burton was defeated seven times in all, six for Best Actor and once in supporting. 

Glenn Close has been bested in all six of her races; three of those were in supporting and three in lead. She is now in the company of two other also-rans who went 0 for 6: Deborah Kerr, who lost all six of her Best Actress bids and received an honorary award from Close in 1992 (watch that video below) and Thelma Ritter, who was defeated for Supporting Actress six times. 

The three five-time also-rans are:
Irene Dunne (all in Best Actress);
Albert Finney (Best Actor – 4; Supporting Actor – 1; and
Arthur Kennedy (Best Actor – 1; Supporting Actor – 4). 

Who do you think will win Best Actress this year?  Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2.

25 thoughts on “Will Amy Adams (‘American Hustle’) finally win with fifth Oscar nomination?

  1. It’s not true that Adams and Blanchett have never gone head to head. Adams lost to Blanchett with the On-Line Critics, Denver, St. Louis, Georgia, North Carolina. She was also snubbed for SAG and Best Actress for BFCA. Her role in American Hustle is part of an ensemble, like Viola Davis in The Help. Whereas Blanchett is considered to have given one of the all time Best Actress performances.

    The fact is that no Best Actress has ever won without a SAG nod. And The BAFTA will go to first to Blanchett, Dench, Bullock, Thompson – before Adams.

  2. This isn’t creating drama, it’s compiling interesting data (what Goldderby does best). This is an awards site, if it didn’t speculate about the possibilities of outcomes–what do you want it to do?

    It never said Amy Adams *should* win, just simply if she wins, these are the people she joins in Oscar trivia.

  3. A more realistic way look at this – could Amy Adams, a first time nominee for Best Actress, win with only a Golden Globe against Cate Blanchett who has won 30 precursors, including a GG? The 6 previous winners were already the presumptive favorites going into their races and the majority had won major awards (i.e., NYFC, LAFC, NSFC, NBR). None were first time nominees in the Lead category.

  4. “However, she and Adams have yet to go head to head.” They did in SAG and they chose to not nominate Adams and there’s a decent of overlap between SAG and Oscar voters.

    As for people winning it or not on their fifth try, you have to look at their role and who they were up against THAT year. This applies to anyone’s 1st/2nd/etc nomination.

    It’s OK to write article on predicting who will win on but most of his reasons are way off.

    If there was

  5. No. Amy Adams doesn’t even deserve to be nominated for this sub-par performance over the much more worthy Emma Thompson, Adele E, Brie Larson.

  6. No she doesn’t have a chance.

    If anything, Leo DiCaprio has a chance! He won the Globe and he’ll most likely win BAFTA! I mean did anyone feel that Matthew chances are slim after that awful acceptance speech at SAG? Ughh

  7. amy adams doesn’t deserve to be nominated this year, that was a shitty performance she gave, that english accent was bullshit. i think she got in over emma thompson because her movie was more popular and probably more voters were able to see american hustle and not saving mr banks but come on if she wins for this shit the academy is complete bullshit and she didnt even get a SAG nomination i think all best actress winners were able to get at least a nomination. This is without doubt for cate blanchett that is the kind of performance to give awards to. if american hustle wins an acting award this year, it might be jennifer lawrence, i think that was the best of the four, but she has lupita on her way, and i don’t think the academy would vote for her after last year, she’s no meryl streep she needs more time

  8. Amy Adams is overdue for an Oscar and Cate Blanchett already has an Oscar. It was complete and total lunacy that Adams lost to the horrible Penelope Cruz in 2009. Amy Adams was the best part of American Hustle. People are sick of Cate Blanchett praising sicko Woody Allen in her speeches and hopefully it turns enough Oscar voters off and Amy wins as she should. The reason Thompson wasn’t nominated is because “Saving Mr. Banks” left out critical facts about her character, who had a son of her own and had a relationship with a woman for years.

  9. Cate Blanchett is overdue for a Best Actress Oscar, considering Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence all have won this award. The Academy can’t make the same mistake again – after Blanchett was robbed for Elizabeth – and Gwenyth Paltrow won for SIL.

  10. This reminds me of 2002. Back then, 4 of the 5 Best Actor nominees already had an Oscar: Nicholson, Day-Lewis, Caine and Cage. Adrian Brody was the only one without an Oscar. As far as I remember, Day-Lewis was winning almost everything for Gangs of New York. Brody was never the frontrunner. And then that night, The Pianist started winning Adapted Screenplay, Actor and Director. When Marty Richards won Best Picture, you can see the relief in his face the moment the Douglas said “Chicago!”. Anyways, nobody saw The Pianist coming, and Brody riding along in the bandwagon. Also, Gangs of New York was left with 0 Oscars out of 10 nominations -something I can also see happening to Hustle.

  11. The major precursors in 2002 were split between Daniel Day Lewis and Jack Nicholson. They tied BFCA and LAFC. Nicholson won the Globe. Adrien Brody won the NSFC as well as Boston and France’s Cesar award and he was nominated for SAG – unlike Amy Adams who was snubbed by SAG, BFCA Best Actress and only has won the Golden Globe. Adrien Brody was also the central character of The Pianist – as is Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine.

  12. But lets remember we are seeing things we never thought we would see (or at least, that I thought I would never see): a Best Pic win without Directing nomination (Argo), a tie (Skyfall and Zero Dark 30), a 23 year old with three nominations already (Lawrence), a woman winning Best Director (Bigelow), a silent black and white film named Best Pic (The Artist), a tie at the PGA! What I’m saying here is that anything could happen this year. Would I like for Amy to win? Absolutely. But having seen Jasmine and Hustle, Blanchett is way, way upfront.

  13. While I’m a fan of Amy Adams (and thought she was very good in “American Hustle”), I think her wins at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards have been given too much significance. Both those awards were for Actress in a Comedy (and Musical, at the Golden Globes), so she wasn’t competing with Blanchett, Dench, Bullock, or Streep. I think they’ll provide headier competition (and I think Blanchtt will win).

  14. But if you look at the Best Actress category, every person since Hilary Swank (for Boys Don’t Cry) have at least won the SAG or BAFTA. Swank was the huge critics darling her year. It’s highly unlikely Adams will win BAFTA. It’s highly unlikely that she can win the Oscar with just a Golden Globe. Every year there is a major category that is pretty much a done deal. Last year it was Actor with Daniel Day Lewis. This year, it’s Actress.

  15. HUGE Amy Adams fan here, I’d love to see her win an Oscar (actually I’m waiting desperately for it to happen), but Cate Blanchett was too great in Blue Jasmine. I think Adams gives the best performance in AH, but this isn’t her year. Could be next year, Big Eyes sounds promising… plus she still has Lee Daniels’ Janis Joplin biopic in the next few years too.

  16. Cate blanchett has already won an oscar, so has everyone else except for five time nominee for amy Adams. If they want to reward American hustle, it’s with Amy Adams

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