Alfonso Cuaron just became the sixth person to reap four Oscar nominations for the same film. He contends as the producer, director, writer and cinematographer on “Roma,” his memoir of his early years in Mexico. But how many of these races will he win? To find out, let’s take a look back at how well the first four fellows to pull of this record feat fared at the Oscars.
Orson Welles made Oscar history in 1942 by earning four Oscar nominations for his first film “Citizen Kane.” He contended for producing, directing, acting and writing. He only won for the latter, sharing the Best Original Screenplay prize with Herman J. Mankiewicz. “How Green Was My Valley” won Best Picture and John Ford took home the third of his record four Best Director awards for that film. And Gary Cooper picked up the first of his two Best Actor Oscars for “Sergeant York.” (He won again 11 years later for “High Noon.”)
Warren Beatty was the darling of the Oscars, at least when it came to nominations twice. In 1979, he was nominated for producing, directing, acting and writing the comedy “Heaven Can Wait.” He lost all four of those races. “The Deer Hunter” won Best Picture while Beatty and co-director Buck Henry lost to that film’s helmer Michael Cimino. Likewise Beatty and his co-writer Elaine May were bested in the Adapted Screenplay race by Oliver Stone for “Midnight Express.” And Jon Voight took home Best Actor for “Coming Home.”
Beatty had a bit more luck at the Oscars three years later when he competed with “Reds.” He was once again nominated for producing, directing, acting and writing. While his labor of love lost Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay to “Chariots of Fire,” he won Best Director. That eased the pain of losing Best Actor to Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond.”
Composer Alan Menken earned four Oscar nominations for his score and three songs for “Beauty and the Beast” in 1992. He won both Best Original Score and Best Original Song. In the latter race, he and lyricist Howard Ashman were competing against themselves twice over. They prevailed for the title track over, among others, their tunes “Belle” and “Be Our Guest.”
Joel and Ethan Coen shared in four Oscar nominations in 2008 for producing, directing, writing and editing “No Country for Old Men.” They won the first three of those races, losing the cutting prize to Christopher Rouse for “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Perhaps had they claimed credit for their editing, rather than hiding behind the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes, they might have won this race too.
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 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on February 24.