Wednesday, November 04, 2009

De Niro to the 7th? (Oscar's Male Hierarchy)

Have you been buying the minor huzz (hype+buzz) 'Robert De Niro's 7th Oscar nomination' for the holiday film Everybody's Fine? My friend txt critic saw it last night and sent the following note by phone...

it's, well, fine. most definitely a drama (despite the trailer) and conceptually a cross between About Schmidt and Four Christmases. nice, sweet and somewhat forgettable.

might, MIGHT be a nomination for DeNiro, but i wouldn't bet on it.
I dunno. I wasn't betting on it either but Best Actor sure seems vacant this year with only Colin Firth (A Single Man) and George Clooney (Up in the Air) catching any sort of real fire. As I've been saying for months, Fox Searchlight shouldn't have even hesitated to position Crazy Heart for a 2009 release. Jeff Bridges would have a clear shot at the career trophy given the field (if -- and it's always a big if since distributors routinely call upcoming performances "the performance of a lifetime" -- the star turn is as good as they say). I'm glad to hear that release is still a possibility... though the hour is getting late. UPDATE: Fox finally came through. It'll be released on December 16th. Why must everyone wait until December? Good smaller movies routinely get crushed when they're released at the same time, the heavyweight big budget contenders sucking the air out of the room as they do.

Aside from Firth and Clooney, the rest of the men are all still assumed rather than proven contenders. Anything might happen in that category.

Incidentally, if De Niro miraculously manages a seventh nod this year, it doesn't disrupt Oscar's actor hierarchy so much, it just switches who De Niro is tied with. The 22 Most-Favored list currently goes like so [please note: this is for competitive acting statistics only... some actors moonlight as producers, writers, directors, what have you]
  1. Jack Nicholson (12 noms, 3 wins)
  2. Laurence Olivier (10 noms, 1 win)
  3. Spencer Tracy (9 noms, 2 wins)
  4. Paul Newman (9 noms, 1 win)
  5. (tie) Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon (8 noms, 2 wins)
  6. Al Pacino (8 noms, 1 win)
  7. Peter O'Toole (8 noms, zero wins)
  8. Dustin Hoffman (7 noms, 2 wins)
  9. Richard Burton (7 noms, zero wins)
  10. (tie) Robert De Niro and Michael Caine (6 noms, 2 wins)
  11. (tie) Robert Duvall and Paul Muni* (6 noms, 1 win)
  12. (6 way tie) Tom Hanks, Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington and Sean Penn (all of them with 5 noms, 2 wins)
  13. (tie) James Stewart and Gregory Peck (5 noms, 1 win)
There are three obvious living threats to this list that come to mind: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio (3 noms, massive stardom, gainfully employed well into the next decade) and Morgan Freeman (4 noms, 1 win and still working regularly at 72 years of age). But cross your fingers that Jeff Bridges and Albert Finney (with 4 and 5 noms respectively) get another shot at the competitive gold soon.

*depending on how you count those "unofficial" deals in the early years. If I made any mistakes in the chart -- i'm only human -- I assume you'll let me know in the comments.

23 comments:

NoNo said...

De Niro an Oscar Nom this year? Please don't tease me!

Alex in Movieland said...

not a mistake, but I don't think we should mix Best Actor with Best Supporting Actor, especially when it comes to the wins. Michael Caine was incredible in Alfie & brilliant in Sleuth, but he won 2 undeserving Oscars for supporting performances which were definitely not among his best.
So adding 2 wins next to his name is correct, but morally misleading :)

oh yes. And I don't think the De Niro nom will happen. He needs something bigger to get back in the game

NATHANIEL R said...

alex. "morally misleading" LOL

i thought about adding RUSSELL CROWE under 'threats' but i think Oscar is done with him.

agreed that Michael Caine's oscar history is bizarre.

Christine said...

Who has Peter O'Toole pissed off that he's never won for anything? He and Michael Nyman should protest together for most egregious Oscar snubs.

Robert said...

I despise the December glut as much as you do, in part because it's just too overwhelming but also because it signifies such a lazy, uninformed Oscar strategy (December = voter's won't forget it = win!).

Really? Anyone who follows Oscar as much as you or I (which isn't too much to ask of people in the business, specifically those fishing for an Oscar) knows exactly what you said: Late releases are bad for small films and the performances therein.

Or perhaps these people can just call John Cusack and ask him how he enjoyed all the attention (and awards) he got for Grace is Gone.

Rebecca said...

I always forget that Michael Caine won twice for supporting, because to me, he is such a leading man.

Glenn Dunks said...

I think we can all safely assume that Melissa Leo wouldn't be an Oscar nominee if her movie was released Christmas Day. So true about the December glut.

I think we all know that George Clooney will be busting into that list by around 2014 the way he's going with an acting nom ever two years. He'll be at three by the next ceremony

Jim T said...

Daniel Day Lewis not a contender to break into the list? I know he doesn't work often but he's still young and might even get his 5th nod this year.

I really miss Jack. Give him a good role people. And soon. I'd love to see him in a Mike Leigh film.

Guy said...

Jack Nicholson in a Mike Leigh film? What a mind-boggling idea. I fear the universe would implode ;)

Alex: I agree that Caine's second Oscar was a gross injustice, but he really does lovely out-of-character work in "Hannah." Deserved the win through and through, in my opinion.

adam k. said...

Sean Penn still has several more nominations in him and will probably be vaulting into the top 5 over the course of the next decade or two.

And I think Clooney will eventually win best lead actor and, when all's said and done, will probably end up in the big group of 5 noms/2 wins (taking Penn's place as he ascends).

And yeah, will DiCaprio and Depp, the sky's the limit. Both will end up on the list and will most likely win eventually.

Towelie said...

You clearly forgot Daniel Day Lewis, who will go to that 12 slot with 5 noms and 2 wins this year, probably.

Manu said...

Among the threats, besides DDL, there are some names worth mentioning. Philip Seymour Hoffman for sure. He'll end up in the list. Ed Norton perhaps...

moviefreak said...

Daniel Day-Lewis is only one of three actors in the last 20 years to WIN the best actor Oscar. He's been nominated 4 times and hasn't done half the amount of movies as all those other actors. And he should have been nominated in the supporting category for his most excellent turn as the prudish Cecil in A Room With A View.
DeNiro's best shot is probably going to be in the Golden Globe race.

adam k. said...

Yeah, DDL will be in there, if not this year, then soon. He only need one more nom.

joy said...

I think Anthony Hopkins will get his fifth nom eventually.

Wade and McKinsey said...

"huzz" ha! I love it.

Anonymous said...

maybe Jeff Bridges will win for True Grit like John Wayne. That would be funny.

Alex in Movieland said...

Guy, I'm thinking Denholm Elliott in A Room with a View. and maybe Willem Dafoe, even though I don't like Platoon and haven't seen it anyway in ages.

Anonymous said...

Duvall seems likely to get a best actor nom in 2011 for Get Low, so if DeNiro doesn't move things around a little, Duvall surely will next year... as may Spacek on the ladies side.

sophomorecritic said...

Missing Jon Voight and Ben Kingsley.

Kyle Pinion said...

When you look at the list of films that Pacino was nominated for...he was clearly making the best film and roles choices of anybody in the 70's. What the heck happened? (Angels in America aside)

NATHANIEL R said...

@Kyle -- taste fatigue? I have no idea.

@sophomore critic -- they're actually both below this list. They only have 4 nominations. I say "only" like that's nothing. 4 IS A LOT. But I had to stop somewhere.

Alex said...

I think Robert De Niro in "Everybody's Fine" is the type of performance that could win a Globe but then miss out on an Oscar nom, even if his Globe co-nominees like George Clooney or Daniel Day-Lewis make Oscar's shortlist.