Oscar curse in the making? It’s been 15 long years since Best Actress and Best Picture synced up

Believe it or not, it’s been 15 years since the Oscar winner for Best Actress hailed from the year’s Best Picture champ. The last time it happened was 2004, when Hilary Swank prevailed for “Million Dollar Baby” as boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Clint Eastwood‘s tragic sports drama. None of Swank’s co-nominees that year starred in Best Picture nominees: Annette Bening (“Being Julia”), Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”), Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake”) and Kate Winslet (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”). Could there be — gasp! — a Best Actress Oscar curse in the making?

We know what you’re thinking: with so many great performances out there is 15 years really that long to expect Best Actress to sync up with Best Picture? When compared to the other three acting categories, the answer is yes. Best Actor most recently matched up for Jean Dujardin and “The Artist” (2011) eight years ago, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o and “12 Years a Slave” (2013) six years ago and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and “Green Book” (2018) just last year.

Might the so-called Best Actress Oscar curse be broken this year? According to Gold Derby’s racetrack odds, the five nominees are predicted to be Renee Zellweger (“Judy”), Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”), Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”), Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) and Awkwafina (“The Farewell”). As of this writing, only “Marriage Story” and “Little Women” number among our Top 10 predicted Best Picture nominees, with “The Farewell” and “Bombshell” coming in 11th and 12th place, respectively.

The two films at the top of Gold Derby’s predictions — “The Irishman” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” — do not have leading roles for women, a recent trend for Best Picture champs. In fact, of the past 14 winning films, only one featured a part for a lead actress: Sally Hawkins as mute cleaning lady Elisa Esposito in “The Shape of Water” (2017).

“I don’t know what I did in this life to deserve all this,” Swank said at the Academy Awards podium after her “Million Dollar Baby” victory (watch below). “I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.” Swank then made sure to thank her then-husband Chad Lowe because she learned “from past mistakes” when she’d forgotten to thank him the first time she won Best Actress for “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999).

PREDICT the Oscars nominations; change them until January 13

Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby