Who will win acting Oscars when none of the precursors could agree?

Almost every year there’s at least one actor who sweeps through all the major precursors prior to the Oscars. But this year none of the four acting categories will have had a sweeper through the entire season. The last time a scenario like this played out was actually way back in 2002.

That year Daniel Day-Lewis (“Gangs of New York”) and Jack Nicholson (“About Schmidt”) tied for Best Actor at Critics Choice. Nicholson went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Film Drama Actor while Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor went to Richard Gere (“Chicago”), who didn’t go on to receive an Oscar nom. Day-Lewis went on to win SAG and BAFTA. Yet the Oscar ended up going to Adrien Brody for “The Pianist.”

In Best Actress, Julianne Moore (“Far From Heaven”) won Critics Choice. Renée Zellweger (“Chicago”) won the Golden Globe, for Best Film Comedy/Musical Actress, and SAG. Yet, the Oscar went to Golden Globe (for Best Film Drama Actress) and BAFTA winner Nicole Kidman in “The Hours.”

In Best Supporting Actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones almost swept the season that year for “Chicago.” She had prizes from all of the major precursors with the exception of the Golden Globes. There, she was nominated as a lead and lost to her co-star, the aforementioned Zellweger. The Best Supporting Actress Globe went to Meryl Streep for “Adaptation” in Zeta-Jones’s absence. Meanwhile, Streep’s “Adaptation” co-star Chris Cooper ended up winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor following his wins at Critics Choice and the Golden Globes over SAG and BAFTA champ Christopher Walken for “Catch Me If You Can.”

Here is the list of the acting sweepers who dominated their seasons in the years since then:

2003 – Renée Zellweger (“Cold Mountain”)

2004 – Jamie Foxx (“Ray”)

2005 – Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”) and Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”)

2006 – Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”), Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), and Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”)

2007 – Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”) and Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”)

2008 – Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”)

2009 – Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Bastards”) and Mo’Nique (“Precious”)

2010 – Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”)

2011 – Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help”)

2012 – Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) and Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables”)

2013 – Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”)

2014 – Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”)

2015 – Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) and Brie Larson (“Room”)

2016 – Viola Davis (“Fences”)

2017 – All four: Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards”), and Alison Janney (“I, Tonya”)

2018 – Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)

2019 – All four: Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”), Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), and Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)

2020 – Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

2021 – Will Smith (“King Richard”) and Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)

Now 20 years later it’s happened again. Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once“) won Best Supporting Actor prizes everywhere but BAFTA, where he lost to Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin“). Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) won the Golden Globe for Best Film Drama Actress as well as Best Actress prizes at Critics Choice and BAFTA. Meanwhile, Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) won the Globe for Best Film Comedy/Musical Actress as well as Best Film Actress at SAG.

In Best Supporting Actress, Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice. Then she lost the BAFTA to Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and SAG to Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). In Best Actor, Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) won the Golden Globe for Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor. Best Film Drama Actor went to Austin Butler (“Elvis“), who went on to repeat at BAFTA. Meanwhile, Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) won Critics Choice and SAG. So who will win Oscars when all the other major groups have been so divided?

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