Grab your Dracula cape, bust out the candy corn, and light all the pumpkins. It’s the spookiest season of the year! I’m talking, of course, about awards season. As 2019 draws to an end, we’re rolling into awards season, where some of the year’s best films will be recognized by voters across the board. This awards season is resulting in a surprisingly large amount of potential awards movies featuring two male leads – Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, The Lighthouse, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ford v Ferrari. This has resulted in the respective films and their respective stars having to decide which filed to campaign in: Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor. The results may surprise you. Or they may not surprise you at all, since some of them seem a bit obvious once you see the movies in question.
What an interesting year it’s been for movies with two male leads. We’ve somehow ended up here, where films that feature actors that could both be considered leads having to decide who gets to be the star, and who gets to settle for supporting. There’s a choice to be made: the actors could both campaign for Best Actor, forcing the actors to go head-to-head – a move that usually ends up disqualifying both of them.
That’s what’s happening with Ford v Ferrari, which finds Christian Bale and Matt Damon both competing for Best Actor. I’m no Oscar voter, but having seen Ford v Ferrari, I can tell you that Damon is slightly more of a lead than Bale in the film. That said, Bale gives the better performance. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider Damon’s performance in the film to be that great, and I’ll be surprised if he even gets a nomination.
Then we have Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Quentin Tarantino film features both Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt both delivering fantastic work. DiCaprio is top-billed, but the case could be made that Pitt’s Cliff Booth character gets a lot more focus. But in the end, sensibility prevailed, and Pitt is going to campaign for Supporting Actor while DiCaprio goes for the lead. I won’t be surprised if both get nominated – nor will I be surprised if Pitt happens to win.
When more people get to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, all they’ll talking about isTom Hanks‘ portrayal of Mr. Rogers. But even though it’s Hanks-as-Rogers who is plastered all over the marketing material, the movie’s main focus is actually on a journalist character played by Matthew Rhys. Because of this, Rhys is going to compete for Best Actor while Hanks goes for Supporting. I personally think the Supporting race is going to come down to either Hanks or Pitt, and I’d be fine to see either win, as both are great in their respective roles.
The other double male lead movie that isn’t getting as much attention but could still be a contender is The Two Popes. The film tells the story of the transfer of power from Pope Benedict Anthony Hopkins to Pope Francis Jonathan Pryce. Since Pope Francis is apparently the “hero” of the story, Pryce will aim for Best Actor and Hopkins will hope for Supporting.
How will all of this play out? We’ll know for certain when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 13, 2020.
EXCLUSIVE: It's official. Ford v Ferrari'sco-stars Christian Bale and Matt Damon have decided to buck the dismal odds of actors going against each other in the same category and will be campaigned by 20th Century Fox and Disney in the lead actor category at the Academy Awards and other contests including Golden Globes , Critics Choice, SAG , and BAFTA.
Ever since the well-received film premiered in Telluride I have been asking the consultants on the film if the two stars, both leads in my opinion, would be competing in the same category for awards consideration but always got the response that no decision had been made regarding importing one of them into supporting actor so they would not have to face each other, a common practice now despite billing or the size of the role. Some pundits speculated that they could be split as Bale, who plays tempestuous test driver Ken Miles in effect worksfor Damon's Carroll Shelby, the same thinking that Brad Pitt's character in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood works for DiCaprio's thus making it easier to justify splitting categories.
Twentieth Century Fox
This means Bale, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 2010's The Fighter and was nominated for Lead Actor last year for Vice, will not be joining the imposing list of past Best Actor Oscar winners who are being campaigned for support this year in large roles that might just as reasonably be considered leading parts. Al Pacino in The Irishman,Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes,Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,and even Jamie Foxxin Just Mercyare among those fighting for a slot in the uber competitive supporting category full of major names. And as indicated above past Best Actor multiple nominee Pitt is also considered a front runner there, being campaigned for support so as not to face fellow above-the-title co-star DiCaprio, just as Hopkins , Hanks , Pacino, and Foxx are doing as well with their respective co-stars Jonathan Pryce, Matthew Rhys, Robert DeNiro, and Michael B. Jordan being pushed alone in the lead category. Bale and Damon are bucking the trend and it is highly rare to do that in modern Oscar campaigns. Interestingly both share the same PR representative who was involved in the decision in both forging ahead in the Best Actor race this year, which is equally crowded in a wide field that also includes along with the aforementioned Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Taron Egerton, and some still to be seen such as Mark Ruffalo in Dark Watersand Paul Walter Hauser in Richard Jewell.Bale has the best chance to prevail with our sister site Gold Derby currently listing him with 58 to 1 odds in the Best Race while Damon is listed 100 to 1. GD also has both on the Supporting chart since it was unclear how this would be worked out.
Bale and Damon will be trying to do something that hasn't happened in 28 years. In fact the last time two stars competed in the same category and both won nominations was for 1991's Thelma And Louisefor which both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis were nominated as Best Actress. For the Best Actor race you would have to go back even further to 1984's Amadeuswith both Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham landing lead nominations, and the latter actually winning.The first example was for 1935's Mutiny On The Bountyin which threestars, Clark Gable , Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone were each nominated for Best Actor , but all lost to Victor McLaglen in The Informer.That was the only time three co-stars competed against each other in a leading Oscar category, but was also the year before the Supporting categories, where this kind of co-star competition is more frequent, were introduced
Common wisdom among today's breed of Oscar strategists is that even if two stars were to be nominated against each other in the lead category they would most likely split the vote, winning nothing for the film instead of having a chance to pick up both lead and supporting Oscars if they split categories. In the rather paltry 17 times this has occurred in Oscar history only four times did a split not occur and one of the pair went on to victory. In addition to Abraham over Hulce, Shirley MacLaine in Terms Of Endearment1983 over Debra Winger, Peter Finch posthumously in Network 1976 over William Holden , and Bing Crosby in Going My Way 1944 over Barry Fitzgerald each won. In the latter's unique case Fitzgerald was also nominated in the Supporting Actor category for the same film and won there instead. After that the Academy changed its rules allowing an actor to be nominated only once for the same performance in whichever category they first get the required number of votes.
Sometimes campaigners and actors are taken off guard. Sarandon was nominated for lead actress in 1981's Atlantic Citydespite being campaigned for support and admitting she even voted for herself in that category. Kate Winslet also surprised with a Best Actress nomination and win for The Readerdespite a campaign for supporting following SAG and Golden Globe wins in that category. Ultimately, at least as far as the Motion Picture Academy is concerned members of the actor's branch make the determination on their own as to who is lead and who is supporting. They can , and apparently many times are influenced by the way a performance and film is campaigned and in recent years have clearly followed that lead. Just last year many thought Mahershala Ali was an equal lead opposite co-star Viggo Mortensen in Green Book but the actor and his team made the decision to be campaigned for supporting instead — and he won. It is hard to compete with as meaty a role as that ,especially if your role is trulysupporting.
Bale and Damon should be congratulated for staying above the title in the awards campaign , as well as the movie. Ford v Ferrariopens November 15. The Best Actor Oscar race has already opened. Gentlemen, start your engines.
Recently, Disney revealed their For Your Consideration page for Avengers: Endgame, and there was a curious omission from the list of potential nominees: Robert Downey Jr. While Endgame has a huge cast, Downey Jr. is the lead, and on top of that, this was his swan song as Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. As it turns out, this wasn’t simply a goof or some sort of sign of bad blood between Disney and Downey Jr. In a new interview, the actor revealed he personally declined to campaign for an Oscar. Downey Jr. also weighed-in on Martin Scorsese‘s recent comments on superhero films.
Does Robert Downey Jr. deserve an Oscar for his work in Avengers: Endgame? It’s debatable. The actor does get to go out with a big emotional scene, and one might even argue that he earned the award after playing the same role for a decade. But whether or not Downey Jr. deserves the award, it was still surprising when we learned that Disney wasn’t including him on their For Your Consideration list for Endgame. Big studios almost always campaign their films and the stars of their films, because they figure they have nothing to lose.
So why wasn’t Downey Jr. included? We have the answer, and it’s pretty simple: he didn’t feel like it. “I’m so glad you brought this up because there was some talk about it, and I said ‘let’s not’,” the actor said while appearing on The Howard Stern Show. “I’ll tell you the truth. I didn’t expect [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] to become what it became, and it is this very large, multiheaded Hydra at this point.”
Downey Jr.’s position is admirable. Oscar campaigns are similar to political campaigns – actors usually have to do a lot of hand-shaking and attend a laundry list of events to even be seriously considered by the Academy. Downey Jr. is clearly fine with avoiding all of that, and who can blame him? He’s content to just sit back and count his money.
During the course of the Stern interview, Downey Jr. was asked about Martin Scorsese’s recent comments on superhero movies. In case you need a refresher, here’s what Scorsese said:
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Those comments didn’t go over so well with superhero movie fans, but Downey Jr.’s reaction was pretty diplomatic. “It’s his opinion,” the actor said. “I mean it plays in theaters. I appreciate his opinion because I think it’s like anything. We need all of the different perspectives so we can come to the center and move on.”
Downey Jr. then summed things up:
“In his view — and by the way, there’s a lot to be said for how these genre movies, and I was m happy to be part of the problem if there is one — denigrated the art form of cinema. When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.”
Disney has launched a for your consideration website for the 2019 awards season and Avengers: Endgame is featured prominently. The site was launched a few weeks ago and many fans just assumed they would throw in a bid for Best Actor for Robert Downey Jr. However, that was not the case and more than a few Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are a little disappointed. As with anything these days, a petition has been set up to raise awareness for RDJ's performance in Avengers: Endgame.
Disney is going for Avengers: Endgame to get a Best Picture nomination, along with Joe Russo and Anthony Russo being considered for Best Director, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Trent Opaloch for Best Cinematography. These are pretty big awards, but the Academy has been recognizing comic book movies more and more over the years. With that being said, that's not enough for some fans and Robert Downey Jr. needs more love. The petition's mission is laid out below.
"We, the undersigned, were so moved by Mr. Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame that we believe he is unquestionably deserving of the Academy's Award for Best Actor. The creative choices he made and immense depth of emotional energy he infused in Tony Stark forged an unforgettable experience for the viewers. Though we acknowledge that our efforts can in no way directly influence the Academy's election process, we do hope that this document will serve as a reminder to Academy members that Mr. Downey's powerful performance has indeed directly influenced innumerable lives across the world."
Joe and Anthony Russo started the Best Actor talk in regard to Robert Downey Jr. pretty much right after Avengers: Endgame hit theaters. MCU fans quickly agreed and many were under the assumption that Disney would submit his name for a possible Academy Award nomination. As of this writing, 530 people have signed the petition to raise awareness for RDJ's performance in Endgame. That number is sure to climb in the coming days.
Robert Downey Jr. decided early on that Avengers: Endgame was going to be his last time playing Tony Stark on the big screen, other than some possible cameos. He and Chris Evans talked a lot about leaving the party before getting asked to leave and figured now was the best time to do so. Fans were devastated to see them go, but they were left with a pretty epic exit, thanks to the Russo Brothers, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Kevin Feige.
Related: Could Avengers: Endgame Win a Best Picture Oscar? Academy Voter Says No Way
In addition to the aforementioned awards for Avengers: Endgame, Disney is also going for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects. Marvel Studios could very well have a pretty large presence the Academy Awards when all is said and done, but sadly, Robert Downey Jr. won't have a shot. You can head over to sign the petition over at Change.org.
Unless Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker makes a last minute dash for the box office record, Avengers: Endgame will be both the highest grossing movie of 2019 and the highest grossing movie of all time. But that’s not good enough for The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios, because they’ll be making a big push for the comic book movie to get some awards love too. However, it would seem that there’s one key category that Disney and Marvel have left out, and we’re not sure why.
Here’s the list of categories that Disney and Marvel are pushing “For Your Consideration” for this awards season, via their official awards page:
Disney and Marvel have pushed for all of these categories for many of their movies before. Black Panther was the most successful in that regard in the awards season cycle for 2018, but the studios are likely hoping for even more recognition this year, perhaps as more of a cumulative recognition of what Kevin Feige has done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It could be a scenario similar to when Lord of the Rings: Return of the King swept every category it was nominated for, which was largely assumed to be recognition of the crowning achievement of the entire trilogy, which was shot all at once.
However, we can’t help but notice that Robert Downey Jr. is suspiciously absent from being considered for Best Actor. Downey’s turn in Avengers: Endgame is really the only one that we could see realistically being nominated for an Academy Award though, personally, I would support Chris Hemsworth getting a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Directors Anthony & Joe Russo even said as much while they were making the publicity rounds for Avengers: Endgame on home video. Speaking with The Daily Beast, here’s what Joe Russo said back at the beginning of September:
“I just want to stump for one thing, and that’s Robert Downey… We don’t make movies for awards. Yes, making this was exceedingly difficult. We made the two most expensive movies ever back-to-back. But I just want to stump for one thing, and that’s Robert Downey. I don’t know if I have ever seen - in movie history - a global audience react to a performance the way they did to Robert Downey in that movie. There were people bawling in movie theaters, hyperventilating. I mean, that is a profound performance, when you can touch audiences all over the world to that degree. We’ve never seen anything like that, and if that doesn’t deserve an Oscar, I don’t know what does.”
Personally, I don’t agree that the way fans reacted to Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in Avengers: Endgame is a good reason to nominate him for an Oscar. There are fans who cry at ridiculous things all the time. But Downey’s performance is probably the best that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen so far. And it’s not just the final scene where he sacrifices himself to save the world either. Downey is phenomenal in any given scene, making the unbelievable feel real. And he shows some real range in this movie instead of just being a sarcastic asshole most of the time.
So why aren’t Disney and Marvel pushing Robert Downey Jr. for Best Actor? Maybe Robert Downey Jr. didn’t want to be part of an awards campaign. Perhaps the studios were worried that the Academy would be split on whether or not Downey should be considered for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor. It’s ultimately up to voters to determine which category a performer ends up in, and maybe the studios just didn’t think it would make it through on either one because of that. Maybe we’ll find out once awards season really starts heating up.
Disney and Marvel Studios have officially started the Academy Awards campaign for Avengers: Endgame. The studio was able to successfully get Black Panther into the awards game last year, which saw the movie gain a nomination for Best Picture. The Ryan Coogler-directed movie became the first-ever superhero movie to gain the nomination and it was a huge deal for comic book fans all over the world and the industry. Now, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is looking to repeat the same success with Avengers: Endgame, which is now the highest grossing movie of all time.
Disney's For Your Consideration site has been updated to include listings for Avengers: Endgame screenings in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and London. At this time, it is unclear what specific awards Marvel Studios is going to go after. With that being said, it easy to see Best Picture, Best Visual Effects, Best Director, and maybe even a Best Actor nomination for Robert Downey Jr. The Russo Brothers have been talking about Downey Jr. taking home the Best Actor Academy Award ever since the movie hit theaters back in April.
While Avengers: Endgame was able to satisfy fans and critics, the Academy Awards is a whole different ballgame. Taking home Best Picture, or even Best Actor seems to be just out of reach, but stranger things have happened. Looking at Robert Downey Jr.'s career as a whole and his amazing comeback is certainly worthy of recognition from the Academy. The actor was nominated for Best Actor for 1993's Chaplin and then for Best Supporting Actor for 2009's Tropic Thunder. If Downey Jr. was able to take home an award, Avengers: Endgame would certainly be a nice place to get it.
Related: Thor Had to Be Completely Rewritten for Infinity War & Endgame After Ragnarok
Robert Downey Jr. helped to build the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 with Iron Man. It's eleven years later and the superhero movie has changed drastically since he played Tony Stark for the first time. Marvel Studios has shifted what the comic book movie represents and what it can be, so it might be time for the Academy to recognize that further. Even a nomination for Best Picture would be huge, which many would see as the Academy recognizing the studio and what it has created over the years.
When all is said and done, Disney and Marvel Studios may have to end up with the technical awards, which is good because it highlights how much time and effort went into making the movies. Avengers: Endgame features some pretty stellar effects, but Disney and Marvel Studios are obviously going for more than that. Disney will even become its own competition as Aladdin and The Lion King have also been submitted for Academy consideration. Regardless, we'll just have to wait and see which specific awards they're going after. In the meantime, you can keep checking the Disney Studio Awards website for updates.