David O. Russell makes Oscars history as second film (‘American Hustle’) sweeps acting categories

David O. Russell has done something that no other director in Oscar history has managed: helming a second film — “American Hustle” — that reaped nominations across all four acting categories. Christian Bale and Amy Adams contend in the lead races while Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence vie in the supporting ones. 

Last year, Cooper and Lawrence were part of the quartet — along with Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver — that reaped Oscar bids under Russell’s direction for “Silver Linings Playbook.” They were the stars of that picture, with Lawrence winning Best Actress.

Bale won an Oscar back in 2010 for his featured performance in Russell’s “The Fighter,” which earned Adams her third of four supporting nominations; she lost to co-star Melissa Leo

Thus, while Russell has directed three Oscar-winning performances from 11 nominations, he has a long way to go to equal the achievements of William Wyler: 14 of his 36 Oscar-nominated performers won (including the two below from “Mrs Miniver”). 

American Hustle” is the 15th film to compete in all four acting races since the supporting categories were introduced at the 9th Academy Awards in 1936. The others, with winners noted were: 

“My Man Godfrey” (1936)
William Powell, Carole Lombard, Mischa Auer, Alice Brady

Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Walter Pidgeon, Greer Garson, Henry Travers, Teresa Wright

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943)
Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff, Katina Paxinou

“Johnny Belinda” (1948) 
Lew Ayres, Jane Wyman, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950) 
William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

“A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)
Marlon Brando, Vivien LeighKarl MaldenKim Hunter

“From Here to Eternity” (1953)
Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Frank SinatraDonna Reed

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)
Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

“Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman/Michael J. Pollard, Estelle Parsons

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967)
Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Cecil Kellaway, Beah Richards

“Network” (1976)
Peter Finch/William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Ned Beatty, Beatrice Straight

“Coming Home” (1978)
Jon VoightJane Fonda, Bruce Dern, Penelope Milford

“Reds” (1981)
Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Maureen Stapleton

Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver

Of these 14 films, all but “My Man Godfrey” were nominated for Best Picture. Only two won: “Mrs. Miniver” (1943) and “From Here to Eternity” (1953). 

Cooper and Lawrence join three other performers — Warren Beatty (“Bonnie & Clyde,” “Reds”), Faye Dunaway (“Bonnie & Clyde,” “Network”) and William Holden (“Sunset Boulevard,” “Network”) — in appearing in two of the 15 films that swept the acting categories. 


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