The Oscars love the ’90s: The supporting actor field is a bunch of acting champs (and a nominee) from the past

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Al Pacino (“The Irishman”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”) and Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations on Monday, just as they did at the Golden Globes. Notice anything about them? Besides, you know, being icons, legends, a two-time Sexiest Man Alive? They were all acting nominees in successive years in the ’90s — and four of them won.

Pesci kicked it off with a supporting actor win for “Goodfellas” (1990). The next year, Hopkins was part of the big five sweep for “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), taking Best Actor honors. On his eighth nomination and as a double nominee, Pacino at long last grabbed the gold with his lead victory for “Scent of a Woman” (1992). Then Hanks won back-to-back Best Actor statuettes for “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). And finally, Pitt was nominated for his supporting turn in “12 Monkeys” (1995).

What’s more, outside of Pitt — who, at an ab-tastic 56, is the youngest of the five — these are long-awaited comeback nominations for the ’90s champs. Pesci and Pacino hadn’t been nominated since their wins. Hopkins’ most recent bid was in supporting for “Amistad” (1997), and as we all know, after a handful of snubs this decade, this is Hanks’ first nomination since “Cast Away” (2000). Pitt’s last acting nomination was for “Moneyball” (2011) a mere eight years ago.

SEE Here’s the full list of Oscar nominations

Any Oscar nut knows that Pitt is an Oscar winner — as a producer on Best Picture champ “12 Years a Slave” (2013). He just has yet to prevail for acting, but this is shaping up to be his year. The star, who’s on his fourth acting bid, has been the favorite all season long for his easygoing performance as Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino‘s love letter to Hollywood. After dominating the critics’ awards, he won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards, and is sitting pretty in the top spot of our Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA Awards predictions. So this time next month, this quintet will likely be all Oscar-winning actors.

Since Pitt has that Best Picture Oscar at home, this is the second time ever that an acting field consists of Oscar winners. The first was in this same category seven years ago, but in that case, all five were previous champs for acting: Alan Arkin (“Argo”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) and eventual winner Christoph Waltz, who, lest we forget, won his second statuette for another Tarantino film, “Django Unchained.” These guys’ previous wins, however, were across four decades, so voters weren’t partying like it was 199-something then.

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change through February 9

Be sure to make your Oscar winner 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 the ceremony on February 9. And join in the thrilling 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