The two all-time Academy Awards nominations champs (and two-time co-stars) Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson should hand out Best Picture at the Oscars on February 24. While Nicholson, who has won three of his dozen Oscar bids, has been the academy’s go-to guy for this award a record eight times, Streep — who has starred in two Best Picture champs (“Kramer versus Kramer” and “Out of Africa”) — has never been singled out for this honor.
Yes, this three-time Oscar winner has presented other awards, both honorary and competitive, but surely it is finally time for her to get the best gig of the night. We had wanted her to present this prize at last year’s Academy Awards, when she was celebrating her 21st Oscar nomination. But that one was for “The Post,” which numbered among the nine Best Picture nominees.
Nicholson has been part of three double acts to announce the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. In 1990 he and his buddy Warren Beatty presented Best Picture to “Driving Miss Daisy.” In 2007 he took to the stage with his co-star from “Something’s Gotta Give” Diane Keaton and revealed that “The Departed,” in which he appeared, had won. And in 2013 he introduced then first lady Michelle Obama who named the winner (“Argo”) via satellite.
SEE 2019 Oscars predictions by experts: 7 of the 8 Best Picture nominees will win at the 91st Academy Awards
Streep and Nicholson made two movies together — the wry comedy “Heartburn” (1986) and the downbeat drama “Ironweed” the following year. Both of them reaped Oscar bids for the latter, a stark tale of the homeless during the Depression.
While we expect the biggest stars to present the Best Picture Oscar, that wasn’t always the case. The swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks did so in the first year of the Oscars but then studio execs handled the honor for the next 19 years. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Oscars, the academy tapped two-time Best Actor winner Fredric March for this honor. Since then, the overwhelming majority of Best Picture presenters have at least one Oscar of their own.
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Among the most notable names to reveal the big winner of the night were: Audrey Hepburn (4 times), Elizabeth Taylor (3), James Cagney (2), Gary Cooper (2) and Sidney Poitier (2). More recently, Steven Spielberg has handled this part of the proceeding three times while his pals Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford have done so twice each. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand have presented Best Picture twice each, the latter time together to celebrate the success of their first film together, “Meet the Fockers.” Likewise for “Bonnie and Clyde” co-stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway who got a do-over last year to make up for the 2017 envelope mix-up fiasco.
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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 winners are announced on February 24.
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