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Thursday, January 2, 2014
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What is the Likelihood of McConaughey and Leto Winning Oscars?

By Terence Johnson
Managing Editor

Since 1988, there have been 30 instances where the actor and supporting actor for the same film were nominated. This year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are hoping to make it 31 films as both are in contention for Oscar nominations. With that, I decided to take a look at the past 25 years in Oscar to see what might bear out this year for these actors.

List of Films with Actor and Supporting Actor Nominations

1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Akroyd
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Makeup)

1991: Bugsy – Warren Beatty and Ben Kingsley/Harvey Keitel
Oscar Fate: 10 nominations/2 wins (Art Direction, Costume Design)

1992: Unforgiven – Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Film Editing)

1992: The Crying Game – Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson
Oscar Fate: 6 nominations/1 win (Original Screenplay)

1993: Schindler’s List – Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes
Oscar Fate: 12 nominations/7 wins (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing)

1993: In the Name of the Father – Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/0 wins

1994: Forrest Gump – Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise
Oscar Fate: 13 nominations/6 wins (Picture, Director, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Visual Effects)

1994: Pulp Fiction – John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/1 win (Original Screenplay)

1996: Jerry Maguire – Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Oscar Fate: 5 nominations/1 win (Supporting Actor)

1996: Shine – Goeffrey Rush and Armin Mueller-Stahl
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/1 win (Actor)

1997: Good Will Hunting – Matt Damon and Robin Williams
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/2 wins (Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay)

1997: As Good As It Gets – Jack Nicholson and Greg Kinnear
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/2 wins (Actor, Actress)

1998: Affliction – Nick Nolte and James Coburn
Oscar Fate: 2 nominations/1 win (Supporting Actor)

2000: Gladiator – Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix
Oscar Fate: 12 nominations/5 wins (Picture, Actor, Sound Mixing, Costume Design, Visual Effects)

2001: Training Day – Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke
Oscar Fate: 2 nominations/1 win (Actor)

2001: Ali – Will Smith and Jon Voight
Oscar Fate: 2 nominations/0 wins

2002: Adaptation – Nicholas Cage and Chris Cooper
Oscar Fate: 4 nominations/1 win (Supporting Actor)

2003: Mystic River – Sean Penn and Tim Robbins
Oscar Fate: 6 nominations/2 wins (Actor, Supporting Actor)

2004: Million Dollar Baby – Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor)

2004: The Aviator – Leonardo DiCaprio and Alan Alda
Oscar Fate: 11 nominations/5 wins (Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing)

2005: Brokeback Mountain – Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
Oscar Fate: 8 nominations/3 wins (Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score)

2006: Blood Diamond – Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou
Oscar Fate: 5 nominations/0 Wins

2007: Michael Clayton – George Clooney and Tom Wilkenson
Oscar Fate: 7 nominations/1 win (Supporting Actress)

2008: Milk – Sean Penn and Josh Brolin
Oscar Fate: 8 nominations/2 wins (Actor and Original Screenplay)

2009: Invictus – Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon
Oscar Fate: 2 nominations/0 wins

2010: The King’s Speech – Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush
Oscar Fate: 13 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay)

2011: Moneyball – Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill
Oscar Fate: 6 nomiantions/0 wins

2012: Lincoln – Daniel Day Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones
Oscar Fate: 12 nominations/2 wins (Actor and Production Design)

2012: The Master – Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Oscar Fate: 3 nominations/0 wins

2012: Silver Linnings Playbook – Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro
Oscar Fate: 8 nominations/1 win (Actress)

As you can see, there are a lot of different permutations and results from the past 25 years. One of the most important things when trying to figure out what the Academy will do is to look at the trends from previous years. Looking over these films, clear indicators stick out that could impact the chances of both men picking up Oscars. With the exception of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Gene Hackman, all of the Supporting Actor winners were veteran actors riding the waves of a long career and overdue storylines, like Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby. Also there are only three instances in the past 25 years that an actor has won Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor without the film also being nominated for Best Picture (Denzel Washington, James Coburn, and Chris Cooper).

So what does this mean for Leto and McConaughey? Well obviously it would help both men’s quest for that Oscar if the film were nominated for Best Picture. Dallas Buyers Club did pick up a SAG Ensemble nomination; a big get for the film and a possible sign that it could be headed towards a Best Picture nomination. But even if the film does not manage a Best Picture nomination, both men seem to be in good shape to at least land nominations. Matthew McConaughey has picked up all of the major citations an actor needs (Globe, SAG, BFCA) along with some critics mentions and some good work over the past few years. Jared Leto has torn up the awards season so far and is the frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Though he doesn’t fit the mold born out of these statistics, his trek to Oscar is feeling like Mo’Nique’s in that he seems to be the only option to award the win.

What do you all think of their chances?

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  • creolecafe

    Jared’s performance as Rayon was beautiful. He deserves to win.

  • Tim

    McConaughey will win an Oscar when he stops playing a good ole Southern man. Leto has higher chances.