As the latest remake of “A Star is Born” continues to do well at the box office and with critics (it currently sits at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes), Bradley Cooper is on track to earn four Oscar nominations for the film. He’s not only the frontrunner to win Best Actor for his role as alcoholic singer Jackson Maine, but he’s also likely to be nominated for writing, producing and directing “A Star Is Born.”
Can Cooper become the latest actor to win an Oscar for Best Director, joining the likes of Woody Allen for “Annie Hall” (1977), Robert Redford for “Ordinary People” (1980), Warren Beatty for “Reds” (1981), Kevin Costner for “Dances with Wolves” (1990), Mel Gibson for “Braveheart” (1995), Ron Howard for “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) and Clint Eastwood for “Unforgiven” (1992) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)?
While history bodes well for Cooper’s chances to win Best Director at the 2019 ceremony, it’s also worth noting that several actors have been nominated this decade for Best Director but lost. Those also-rans include Allen for “Midnight in Paris” (2011), Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight” (2015), Gibson for “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird” (2017) and Jordan Peele for “Get Out” (2017).
The directors branch of the academy can been quite stingy towards actor-turned-directors. In 1991, Barbra Streisand received Best Director nominations for “The Prince of Tides” from the Golden Globes and DGA but was overlooked by the Oscars. In 1995, Howard not only reaped bids from the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice for directing “Apollo 13,” but he also won at DGA that year. However, he was shockingly snubbed by the academy while Gibson ended up taking the gold for “Braveheart.”
In 2012, Ben Affleck swept every major Best Director precursor for “Argo” — including the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, DGA and BAFTA — yet he was left off the list of Oscar nominees. “Argo” still managed to win Best Picture, with Affleck taking home an Oscar as a producer on the film, while Ang Lee won Best Director in his place for “Life of Pi.”
Besides Cooper’s potential Oscar nominations for starring in, directing, co-writing and producing “A Star Is Born,” he could also receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Eastwood’s “The Mule,” which will be released on December 14.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.