With Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“), Sandra Bullock (“Gravity“), Judi Dench (“Philomena“), Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks“) and Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County“) currently ranking as our top five contenders here for Best Actress, we could end up seeing the first-ever lineup of nominees in a female acting category consisting solely of previous Oscar champs.
Blanchett won for “The Aviator” (2004, Supporting Actress); Bullock prevailed for “The Blind Side” (2009, Actress); Dench for “Shakespeare in Love” (1998, Supporting Actress); Thompson for “Howards End” (1992, Actress) and an additional win in writing for “Sense and Sensibility” (1995, Adapted Screenplay); while Streep has taken home three acting wins: “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979, Supporting Actress), “Sophie’s Choice” (1982, Actress) and “The Iron Lady” (2011, Actress).
All five of these women are rightfully in the top tier as all are nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards and the Critics Choice Awards. Only three women have ever been overlooked for an Oscar nomination after scoring nominations at all three of these major precursors: Angelina Jolie (2007, “A Mighty Heart”), Tilda Swinton (2011, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”), Marion Cotillard (2012, “Rust and Bone”). However, it is worth noting that all three of them were also previous Oscar winners, so perhaps someone who has yet to win could sneak in.
Indeed, almost all of the other contenders vying for Best Actress bids this year have never won before: Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) is currently ranked 6th in our GoldDerby odds, followed by Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Enough Said”), and Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”). In tenth place is past Oscar champ Kate Winslet (Best Actress – “The Reader,” 2008) who reaped a Golden Globe bid for “Labor Day.”
If the Best Actress race does shape up to be a category of all-winners, it will be a first for the category, and only the second time in Academy Awards history in any acting category.
Last year’s Best Supporting Actor race was won by Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) who took home a bookend to his Oscar in the same category for “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). He prevailed against four other Oscar champs: Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings PlayBook”), who had won for his roles in “The Godfather: Part II” (1974, Supporting Actor) and “Raging Bull” (1980, Lead Actor); Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”), who had won for “The Fugitive” (1993, Supporting Actor); Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), who had won for “Capote” (2005, Actor); and Alan Arkin (“Argo”), who had won for “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006, Supporting Actor).
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