×

Previous Oscar Nominees Get Another Shot at Gold

Invitation to that most exclusive of groups, the Oscar winners club, must be gratifying to those who have come up short in the past.

Some have had to put a brave face before the cameras on double-digit occasions. Sound mixer Kevin O’Connell, for instance, endured 20 unsuccessful nominations before triumphing as part of the team on 2016’s “Hacksaw Ridge.” Randy Newman came up short 15 times before winning for song in 2002 (and copping the same award eight years later).
Crack cinematographer Roger Deakins won his first Oscar only last year on his 14th nomination, “Blade Runner 2049.” Now he’s up again for his work on “1917,” while serving as visual consultant on animated feature nominee “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

The current roster features multiple past nominees who have yet to bring home the bacon. For these perennial bridesmaids — some of whom are category front-runners — a trip to the altar on Feb. 9 could have some particular consequences, such as Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”).

With her two previous losses, she’s part of a family of Oscar bridesmaids with father Bruce (“Coming Home,” “Nebraska”) and mother Diane Ladd (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”). The three share a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and you have to figure mom and dad will feel more pride than jealousy should the daughter win for her sleek turn as divorce lawyer Nora Fanshaw.

Popular on Variety

Speaking of families: Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) and Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) would become the first avowed romantic partners (and parents) to win writing Oscars in the same year for different movies.

Then there’s the winningest family of all: Thomas Newman (“1917”) has now received the same number of nominations, 15, as cousin Randy amassed before entering the winners’ circle with late uncle Lionel and Thomas’ late father, Alfred. A Newman family Thanksgiving clearly features more Oscar nominees per square-foot than any other, and if Thomas triumphs he can move up from the cousins’ table.

Despite 11 noms for hits including “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Diane Warren (“Breakthrough”) has had the bad luck to contend with past non-winners such has Phil Collins, Randy Newman and Lady Gaga, and music heavyweights Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sam Smith, among others. With Elton John and Bernie Taupin and (yes) Randy Newman on this year’s list, her winning would be a real “Breakthrough.”

A win for Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) would reinforce the notion that extreme weight loss or weight gain — not to mention extreme thesping — can’t hurt in the hunt for Oscar gold.

Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”) has a knack for bringing out the depth and integrity in women too often dismissed (Tonya Harding; Sharon Tate). Her win would be empowering for female performers everywhere.

Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”) showed his skill with moppet thesps in his 2004 live-action nominated short “Two Cars, One Night,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and now “Jojo Rabbit.” If he wins, he’ll start getting the kid-centric scripts they used to send to that Spielberg guy.

Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”) scripted three best picture nominees in four years: “The Theory of Everything,” “Darkest Hour” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Now he’s dealing with the Vatican. A win could show the power of prayer.
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) not only was seemingly in every movie this year, but made them all better. After his award, it will be Kennedy Center Honors next.

Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”) is another actor who brings luster to everyone else’s work, prompting one to think of “Father Goose” screenwriter Peter Stone’s awards speech thanking the film’s Oscar-less star Cary Grant, “who keeps winning these things for other people.” Honoring Grant — or Ronan — would be simple justice.

Todd Phillips and Scott Silver (“Joker”) are nominated, respectively, as one of the five writers of “Borat,” and one of the four writers of “The Fighter.” If they win: so much for teamwork!

More Film

  • 'Charlatan' Review: Agnieszka Holland Shows Faith

    'Charlatan': Film Review

    At several points in “Charlatan,” the camera looks glossily on as our protagonist holds small bottles of amber liquid to the light, academically scrutinizing their contents as they beam a light golden glow onto his features: an effect both ennobling and almost romantic. The man is Jan Mikolášek, a famous Czech herbalist and healer with [...]

  • Toho Cinemas at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

    Japanese Cinemas To Refund Tickets in Virus Response

    In response to the coronavirus crisis, the Japanese film industry has begun to delay releases, close theaters and refund ticket purchases. The releases of the new “Doraemon” and “Jimaro” feature animations targeted at kids out of school for the spring break, have been delayed. The former was scheduled to open March 6, the latter on [...]

  • Blood on Her Name

    Film Review: ‘Blood on Her Name’

    In the opening moments of “Blood on Her Name,” an arrestingly twisty and suspenseful Southern noir thriller in the tradition of “One False Move,” we’re introduced to Leigh, the working-class protagonist played by Bethany Anne Lind, with a jarring close-up that is at once explicit and ambiguous. Her face is battered, her breathing is labored, [...]

  • Liev Schreiber Broadway

    Film News Roundup: Liev Schreiber Joins Will Smith's Tennis Drama 'King Richard'

    In today’s film news roundup, Liev Schreiber and retired pro footballer Vernon Davis score roles, Jason Blum will speak at his alma mater, Irish drama “Rialto” finds a U.S. distributor and “1917” hits a box office milestone. CASTINGS Liev Schreiber will portray tennis coach Paul Cohen in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” opposite Will Smith. Reinaldo [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content