It occurred to me that Jeff Bridges is the only one of the frontrunners who is not starring in one of the ten nominated Best Pictures. So I went back to the old decade where the Academy dolled out ten best pics. And this is what I found. * denotes pic was one of the ten, + denotes that it won best pic.
Paul Muni, The Story of Louis Pasteur*
Spencer Tracy, Captain Courageous*
Spencer Tracy, Boy’s Town*
Robert Donat, Goodby Mr. Chips*
James Stewart, The Philadelphia Story*
Gary Cooper, Sergeant York*
James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy*
Paul Lukas, Watch on the Rhine*
I just did the years when they had ten, not the years that had more than ten. What surprised me about this, I guess, was that in all cases, the men were in films that were nominated for, but did not win, Best Picture. I would never bet against Bridges, since he is so long overdue and he keeps getting standing ovations, and he won the SAG — and he’s Jeff Bridges! Still, it’s an interesting stat.
If tradition held, the best actor would have to be from a nominated film – in this case, there are only two: George Clooney for Up in the Air and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. So, if one assumed that The Hurt Locker would win Best Pic, George Clooney would win Best Actor. If one assumed Up in the Air would win, Renner would win Best Actor. If neither of these movies won, either of them could win. It’s just a lot of nonsense, I know, but we have a whole month, folks. Might as well settle in and do a little head-knocking.