There have only been seven occasions in Oscar history where the Best Actor and Best Actress awards have gone to a duo from the same movie. It’s quite a rare Academy Award phenomenon, despite the fact that there are often Best Actor/Best Actress nominees from the same picture. Two years ago, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were both nominated for “La La Land”; Stone won, Gosling lost to Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”). Four years ago, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were nominated for “The Theory of Everything” with the former winning and the latter losing to Julianne Moore for “Still Alice.”
The last pair of Best Actor/Best Actress nominees from the same film to both win was all the way back in 1997 when I was just two years old. Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt both won for “As Good as it Gets.” Prior to that ceremony, there had been six other Best Actor/Best Actress winners from the same film:
Anthony Hopkins & Jodie Foster, 1991 – “The Silence of the Lambs”
Henry Fonda & Katharine Hepburn, 1981 – “On Golden Pond”
Jon Voight & Jane Fonda, 1978 – “Coming Home”
Peter Finch & Faye Dunaway, 1976 – “Network”
Jack Nicholson & Louise Fletcher, 1975 – “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Clark Gable & Claudette Colbert, 1934 – “It Happened One Night”
As you can see, it happened once in the first 47 years of the Oscars, then three times in the second half of the 70s and only three times since.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga could well be the eighth pair of co-stars to both take home Oscars. Currently, they sit atop our odds charts in their respective categories for their work in “A Star is Born.” It’s a love story that has been told before, four times in fact, but their natural performances make this the best version to date.
Lady Gaga has some serious competition in perennial Oscar bridesmaid Glenn Close, who stars in “The Wife” and is vying for her 7th nomination as well as Olivia Colman in “The Favourite.” Cooper has just as tough a group of competitors. Viggo Mortenson (“Green Book”) is coming on strong, while Christian Bale (“Vice”), Ryan Gosling (“First Man”) and Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) all shine in transformative roles playing real-life people.
While Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, is fictional, his performance is no less transformative. He learned how to sing and play the guitar. Behind the scenes, he co-wrote the screenplay and makes his directorial debut. While this isn’t Lady Gaga’s screen debut, it is her first starring role and she shines. Critics have lavished praise on her performance.