The “Double” Possibilities

11 times in the Academy’s history, an actor or actress has been nominated twice in the same year.  With the notable exception of Barry Fitzgerald in 1944 getting cited in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way, it’s always been for two different films (in fact, the rule making sure that never happens went into effect right after this, so that’s a fun bit of trivia for you all).  The first time it happened, it was in 1938 when Fay Bainter was nominated for Best Actress for White Banners and Supporting Actress for Jezebel.  The most recent instance was Cate Blanchett in 2007 for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and I’m Not There.  Other double dippers include Jessica Lange (for Frances and Tootsie), Sigourney Weaver (for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl), Al Pacino (for Scent of a Woman and Gelngarry Glen Ross), Holly Hunter (for The Piano and The Firm), Emma Thompson (for The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father), Julianne Moore (for Far From Heaven and The Hours), and Jamie Foxx (for Ray and Collateral).  It’s an exclusive club, no doubt about that, and one that can usually coincide with a win in one of the categories (but not always of course).  This year, could we see our 12th occurrence of this feat?

Well, my gut feeling is no, but there are a few intriguing candidates to consider, so we’ll run them down.  I see 13 candidates with both a lead and supporting turn to consider this year.  Only a few have a legitimate chance at this honor, as you’ll see in a moment, but they all are in the race, so there’s that.  In alphabetical order, here are your possible contenders for a double nomination:

Jessica Chastain 

The interesting thing to consider here for Chastain is which film could get pushed lead if this is in the cards.  Her best chances there are with The Debt, Take Shelter, and The Tree of Life, as she’s solidly supporting for The Help.  There’s also Coriolanus, Texas Killing Fields, and Wild Salome to consider, but I think those are longer shots.  My guess is that she’ll end up with no nominations do to a vote split, but if enough studio execs put their heads together, she might end up with not one nomination, but two.

George Clooney

Not counting a potential behind the camera nod in Best Director or Best Adapted Screenplay, Clooney is perhaps more in play than some think for a double nod.  He’s all but locked in as the frontrunner for Best Actor right now for The Descendants, and if this becomes his year, it’s not out of the question at all that he’d slip in with a Best Supporting Actor nod for his film The Ides of March.  If all of his cards break right, he could end up with 3 or 4 nominations in total!  It’s a bit of a long shot, but he’s definitely in the hunt.

Ralph Fiennes

This one depends on if the final installment of Harry Potter gets any traction, but if it does (and I’m not expecting it to), he could be in play for Best Supporting Actor.  His Best Actor hopes are perhaps slightly more solid for his directorial effort Coriolanus, but it’s by no means a given.  I’m not sure he has any chance at this, but he’s certainly one worth mentioning.

Jodie Foster

This one isn’t happening due to the DOA status of The Beaver, but if it hadn’t she might have been in the Best Supporting Actress conversation, with Best Actress being in play for the acting showcase Carnage.  My guess now is that she’ll go supporting for Carnage and try her luck there.  Alas…

Ryan Gosling

I’d like to think he has a better chance here than he actually does.  He’s possibly the most in demand and popular young actor in the business.  His Best Actor chances are looking good with the phenomenal Drive and the likely more Academy friendly performance in The Ides of March, but he also turned in a brilliant comedic performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love.  I don’t think it’s on Oscar’s radar in too big a way, but if it does, then I’d say Gosling might be the second most likely contender on this list.  Keep an eye out to see if he shows up during the precursors, as it might be a hint as to his chances.

Tom Hardy

Before his film Warrior took a nose dive at the box office, I thought he was getting set to be locked in for a Best Actor nomination.  That’s become more of a long shot, but he’s definitely in the hunt for a supporting nod for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  Hardy is one of the “it” actors this year, but it looks like it won’t be enough for this particular honor.  It could have been in another world, but not here it seems.

Carey Mulligan

If Fox Searchlight campaigns her turn in Shame as Lead Actress, this becomes a much more likely scenario.  I’m not sure she’s in play for Drive, but everything about her role in Shame screams “nomination”.  If they choose to go supporting with Shame, then this no longer counts, but there’s a route that things could follow in which this comes into play, so I wanted to mention it.

Brad Pitt

The most likely contender of the assorted group (and the main inspiration for this article of mine, along with Gosling), Pitt is getting some heavy notice for his starring role in Moneyball and already was praised highly for The Tree of Life.  The conversation about lead or supporting for the latter film will come up again rather soon, but I think they’d be smart at Fox Searchlight to go supporting with it, where there’s a bit less competition and the double nomination possibility rears its head (plus it’s organically a supporting performance, not that it counts that much when taking this sort of situation into account).  I’m not sure how much of a chance he ultimately has, but he’s the only one I’d really say is close to 50/50 on it, so there’s that.  Time will tell about Pitt, but it’ll be interesting to follow.

Christopher Plummer

I’d say that Plummer also has a decent chance, now that he’s getting attention for the one man show Barrymore.  I’m pretty set in predicting him for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners, so if Barrymore gets him any play at all, then he becomes the dark horse of this piece.  I’m thinking Best Actor is going to be rough, since it’s a hard sell to the Academy, but he’s definitely in play right now.

Mia Wasikowska

A very long shot, but one worth mentioning, Wasikowska is supposedly very good in Albert Nobbs, but that film will be all about Glenn Close, putting her Supporting Actress hopes in question.  Her Actress hopes rest on Jane Eyre, but I think no one is thinking of that film.  There’s also Restless, but there’s no buzz there.  It all adds up to the very definition of a long shot…

Rachel Weisz

The best chances for Weisz might have been her lead turn in The Whistleblower, but the film made no dent when it opened.  She’s also got The Deep Blue Sea, which is a big question mark, as well as a supporting role in 360.  I’m guessing there will ultimately be nomination at all for her, let alone 2, but she fits the criteria, so I had to make mention of her.

Kate Winslet

Depending on if she goes lead for Carnage, there’s the long shot possibility of a nod there and a supporting one for Contagion, but the latter is a very outside chance at best.  Winslet almost became a member of this club when she was in play for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road.  My guess is her best chance was then, not now, but who knows?

Anton Yelchin

Our final contender, Yelchin is a real long shot too, as he’s a Supporting Actor victim for The Beaver’s early and untimely demise.  His hopes rest on Best Actor for Like Crazy, but even that seems like it’s not incredibly likely at the moment.  Anything could happen, but I wouldn’t necessarily bet on him.

There are the ladies and gentlemen I think could be in play for the elusive double nomination.  As previously mentioned, I don’t think that it ultimately will happen, but it’s a conversation starter, if nothing else.  That brings me to you, the reader…what do you think will happen?  Did I manage to miss anyone?  Let me know!