The elite Oscar club George Clooney is set to join
Amid all the fuss over Ben Affleck in the run-up to Sunday's Academy Awards -- with his path from surprise omission to probable vindication, all in the space of a few weeks, likely to be the lasting narrative of this year's Oscars -- there's been markedly little attention paid to his nominated co-producers. That wouldn't normally be very surprising: producers, by and large, don't tend to be as photogenic or as headline-friendly as the Ben Afflecks of this world. But it's slightly different when one of the co-producers in question in George Clooney.
Clooney has been a typically urbane, but graciously quiet, presence on the campaign trail for "Argo" all season long: it's Affleck's film, after all, and he's been selling the hell out of it, so there's no call for his fellow A-list star to switch on the jazz hands.
Still, I can't help thinking the Clooney association has been a subtle ace in the hand for "Argo" from the beginning, underlining the impression of "Argo" as an old-school Hollywood property, made -- perhaps reassuringly, after the foreign invasion of "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" -- by people voters know, trust and are maybe just a tiny bit in love with. The mental image of both Affleck and Clooney clutching Oscars at the podium -- two golden boys squared, if you will -- is one reason I haven't been able to let go of my "Argo" Best Picture prediction since October.
Back then, I wrote about the impressive Oscar record Clooney would claim with a Best Picture nomination for "Argo," one that would bring his career tally up to eight nominations across six different categories -- the latter number unmatched in the modern era (and previously matched, arguably only on a series of technicalities, by Walt Disney). Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor (his one previous win, for 2005's "Syriana") ... the man's done well for himself. It's a stat Pete Hammond picked up on in a column yesterday, but his is the first mention of it I've come across since my idle post last year.
Still, it doesn't stop there for Clooney, who's poised to enter, if not quite the record books, at least a very elite Academy club if/when he wins Best Picture for "Argo" -- as one of a small handful of Oscar-winning actors to have also won competitive awards in non-acting categories.
From Shirley MacLaine (did you know she was nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 1976?) to Alec Guinness (a writing nominee for "The Horse's Mouth") to screenwriter-turned-actress Ruth Gordon, a number of names have scored nominations in multiple fields while landing their lone win for performance. On the flip side, any number of overachieving multi-hyphenates -- Warren Beatty, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, even Affleck and Clooney's buddy Matt Damon -- have been nominated in vain for acting while striking Oscar gold elsewhere.
But only a select few -- five, to my surprise -- have nailed down wins for acting and another filmmaking discipline. Some of them you may remember; some of them may surprise you -- all are listed in the gallery below. Click through to see the company George Clooney looks likely to enter on Sunday.
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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