Sure, we have 13 performers who have reaped bids at three key precursor prizes : the Golden Globes, SAG and Critics' Choice Awards. But contending for that triple crown still doesn't make them sure things in the Oscars derby. Just ask Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler") and Jennifer Aniston ("Cake") who racked up recognition from all of these kudos last year but were left off the list on Oscar nominations morning. They became the most recent of the 16 performers to stumble at the last hurdle since the Critics' Choice Awards introduced nominations in 2001.
It seems only right that Leonardo DiCaprio is our frontrunner to finally win an Oscar this year. After all, he makes this list of dubious achievements twice. He was spurned by the actors branch of the academy for his leading performance in "J. Edgar" (2011) and his turn in "The Departed" (2006). In the case of the latter film, which went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars, he was the victim of category confusion.
DiCaprio had earned lead nominations at the Globes and Critics' Choice and a supporting one at SAG. At the Globes and Critics' Choice, he had competed against himself in the Best Actor race, having also reaped bids for "Blood Diamond" but the Oscars don't allow ths. At SAG, he contended in lead only for "Blood Diamond" and went on to earn a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars for that role. He lost all four of those lead races to Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland").
Be sure to compare this roster of also-rans with the 16 performers who defied the odds and reaped Oscar bids without contending at any of these awards. The ones who accomplished this at the expense of those who ran the board are indicated below in italics.
Paul Giamatti, "Sideways" (2004)
bumped by Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby"
Russell Crowe, "Cinderella Man" (2005);
bumped by Terrence Howard ("Hustle and Flow"), who had contended at Critics' Choice and Globes.
Ryan Gosling, "Lars and the Real Girl" (2007)
bumped by Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar" (2011)
bumped by Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions" (2012)
bumped by Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master"), who had contended at Critics' Choice and Globes.
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips" (2013)
bumped by Christian Bale ("American Hustle"), who had contended at Critics' Choice and Globes.
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler" (2014)
bumped by Bradley Cooper ("American Sniper")
Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart" (2007)
bumped by Laura Linney, "The Savages"
Tilda Swinton ("We Need to Talk About Kevin," 2011)
bumped by Rooney Mara ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), who had contended only at Globes.
Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone," 2012)
bumped by Quvenzhane Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), who had contended only at Critics' Choice.
Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks," 2012)
bumped by Amy Adams ("American Hustle"), who had contended only at Globes.
Jennifer Aniston ("Cake")
bumped by Marion Cotillard ("Two Days, One Night"), who had contended only at Critics' Choice.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed" (2006): Best Actor at both Critics' Choice and Golden Globes; Best Supporting Actor (SAG)
This Oscar race only included one nominee — Eddie Murphy ("Dreamgirls") — who had contended at all three precursor awards; he won all three as well. However, the Oscar went to Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine") who had been snubbed by the Globes. The other three slots went to: SAG nominee Jackie Earle Haley ("Little Children"); SAG and Critics' Choice nominee Djimon Honsou ("Blood Diamond"); and Globe nominee Mark Wahlberg ("The Departed").
Daniel Bruhl, "Rush" (2013)
bumped by Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cameron Diaz, "Vanilla Sky" (2001)
bumped by Jennifer Connelly, who had contended in lead at SAG but supporting at Globes and Critics' Choice.
Mila Kunis, "Black Swan" (2010)
bumped by Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom"), who had contended at Globes and Critics' Choice.
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