Although Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby famously breaks down the Oscar race in very scientific-looking charts, his post today offers all the analysis in a slightly more digestible photo package. Does it mean much in terms of January’s nominations? Doubtful. Is it fun to click? Absolutely.
The site posited a theory about straight actors playing gay roles and how it relates to the golden guy. He says that there’s a history of Oscar wins in this category as long as the character dies a horrible death during the course of the film, pointing to previous best actor winners like Tom Hanks (1993’s “Philadelphia”), whose character died of AIDS; William Hurt (1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman”), who was shot and thrown into a dumpster; and Sean Penn (2008’s “Milk”), whose real-life counterpart was shot by a coworker. There’s also prececent with best actresses like Hilary Swank (1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry”), who’s shot and stabbed; and Charlize Theron (2002’s “Monster”), whose criminal exploits leave her on death row. He says Jake Gyllenhaal, who earned a supporting nom for 2004’s “Brokeback Mountain,” lost because his death was ambiguous; Colin Firth lost for 2008’s “A Single Man” because his death wasn’t violent enough.
Does this mean Leonardo DiCaprio won’t get a “J. Edgar” nom because he merely keeled over from a heart attack? Does Michael Fassbender’s visit to a gay bar and not dying mean he won’t get any awards attention? It’s all so silly.