Hepburn and Tracy. Loy and Powell. Garson and Pidgeon. They’re all iconic movie duos, and it’s time to add another: Bale and Adams. With three films together, Christian Bale and Amy Adams‘ joint filmography is much smaller than Myrna Loy and William Powell‘s 14, but Bale and Adams have done something none of any of these pairs have: They’ve received Oscar nominations for all three of their movies together so far.
Bale and Adams picked up Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations Tuesday for “Vice.” This follows a Best Supporting Actor win for him and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her for “The Fighter” (2010) and matching lead nominations for “American Hustle” ( 2013).
Before the Bale-Adams hat trick of nominations, no pair of co-stars had been nominated for the same film more than twice. Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon made eight pictures together, but were only jointly nominated for “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), for which Garson won Best Actress, and “Madame Curie” (1943). Only Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy‘s ninth and final collaboration, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967), yielded his-and-her nominations; she won Best Actress and Tracy, who received a posthumous bid, lost to Rod Steiger (“In the Heat of the Night”). Loy was infamously never nominated for an Oscar, while Powell earned three Best Actor bids for “The Thin Man” (1934), “My Man Godfrey” (1936) and “Life with Father” (1947).
Other two-time co-star nominees include Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (lead bids for 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” for which she won, and supporting bids for “American Hustle”); Marlon Brando and Karl Malden (in lead and supporting, respectively, for 1951’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for which Malden won, and 1954’s “On the Waterfront, for which Brando won); and Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman (supporting nominations for 2008’s “Doubt” and 2012’s “The Master”).
Bale and Adams’ feat is all the more impressive not just because they broke the two barrier, but because they’re 3 for 3. Since the eradication of the studio system, there aren’t many prolific onscreen pairings anymore. And those who do reteam don’t always catch the eye of the academy (see: Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, and um, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly).
Now will Bale and Adams be the first multi-nominated pair to win in the same year? Following his Golden Globe and double Critics’ Choice victories, Bale, who’s on his fourth bid, is in first place in our early Best Actor odds. Adams is in second behind Globe and Critics’ Choice champ Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), but now is the chance for six-time nominee Adams to pounce with King snubbed at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and BAFTA.
Whatever happens, we definitely need a fourth Badams collaboration to generate a lead bid for her and a supporting bid for him to complete their nomination combos.
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