HOLLYWOOD—The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. This year’s ceremony is being held earlier than usual in an attempt to combat falling ratings. The slew of other awards ceremonies over several months was thought to be damaging interest in the Oscars, which mark the conclusion of awards season. It seems that Oscar-ologists have been studying diligently the nominations list for patterns, trends, clues and quirks about who might win.
“Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix is just one Hollywood actor, who is hot-footing from London to Los Angeles in time for the Academy Awards. Barely leaving him time to wash his multi-use tux. Actress Scarlett Johansson has joined a rather exclusive club. She is only the 12th person to receive two acting nominations in the same year. She is nominated for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her performances in “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit” respectively.
The other 11 people who’ve been nominated twice in acting categories at the same Oscars ceremony include Sigourney Weaver (in 1989), Al Pacino (1993), Emma Thompson (1994), Jamie Foxx (2005) and recently Cate Blanchett (2008). But none has ever won in both their categories. It’s been 15 years since the winner of Best Actress and Best Picture were in sync. Very rarely does the winner of Best Actress also star in the winner of Best Picture – the last one who did was Hilary Swank in 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby” and that’s unlikely to change this year.
Actress Renée Zellweger is the favorite to win Best Actress for “Judy,” which isn’t even nominated for Best Picture Cynthia Erivo could end up with a massive EGOT. In fact, if the “Harriet” star wins an Oscar to go with her Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards she’ll become the youngest EGOT winner in history. The 33-year-old would take over from the current record holder Robert Lopez, who completed the quad in 2018 at the age of 39. Erivo has two chances to do this on Oscars night – because she’s nominated for both Best Actress and Best Original Song (she co-wrote “Harriet’s” anthemic original song “Stand Up.”)
If Sam Mendes wins Best Director, it’ll be the biggest gap between two directing wins in Oscars history. The newly-knighted Sir Sam first won in 2000 for “American Beauty,” but could triumph again at the 2020 ceremony with his hugely successful World War I epic “1917.”
So how are magazines fertile ground for film ideas. Two of this year’s awards season hopefuls were based on single magazine articles. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” was inspired by a 1998 feature in Esquire magazine by journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a profile interview with the children’s entertainer Fred Rogers. “Hustlers,” meanwhile, was based on a 2015 investigation in New York magazine by Jessica Pressler. Despite both films being nominated across awards season, including at the Golden Globes, sadly only “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” registered on the Academy’s radar. Jennifer Lopez will have to rely on a future film to score her first Oscar nomination.
Go figure, the average age of the supporting actor nominees is 71. That’s considerably older this year than the average age of all previous winners in this category – which is 49. This time around, Brad Pitt is the youngest at 56, nominated alongside Tom Hanks (63), Joe Pesci (76), Al Pacino (79) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (82). Having been around a while, it’s perhaps unsurprising that all five of these greedy men lol already have an Oscar – Pitt’s came as a producer on “12 Years A Slave,” while the others won for acting.
Songwriter Dianne Warren’s nod in Best Original Song (for “I’m Standing With You” from the film “Breakthrough”) is her 11th Oscar nomination. Her others include LeAnn Rimes’s “How Do I Live” (from “Con Air”), Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”(from “Armageddon”) and Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be” (from “Pearl Harbor”). She has never actually won. In fact, she is now the most Oscar-nominated woman without a win in history, which keeps the heat off Glenn Close a little longer. Sir Elton John’s nomination in this category comes 25 years after he won it for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” from “The Lion King.”
Judy Garland never won an Oscar, but she was supposed to. She was widely expected to win for 1954’s “A Star is Born,” and even had cameras set up around her hospital bed (she had just given birth) to capture her speech. Grace Kelly won instead for “The Country Girl” – one of the biggest upsets in Oscars history. The cameramen rapidly dismounted the equipment around Garland and left. So if Renée Zellweger does win Best Actress, at least that will indirectly mark some form of (late) Academy recognition for Garland, more than five decades after she died.
Rose’s Scoop: Good Luck to all the nominees at the Academy Awards