Should Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron both be nominated this year for Oscars, as expected, they wouldn’t be the first exes to share the distinction. Carole Lombard and William Powell both received lead acting nominations for the great 1936 screwball comedy “My Man Godfrey,” a movie they made three years after an amicable divorce.
Cameron already has enjoyed his king-of-the-world moment at the podium. If Bigelow wins, they’d be only the fourth wedded and/or divorced couple to own Oscars in either the acting or directing categories. The others: Laurence Olivier (“Hamlet”) and Vivien Leigh (“Gone With the Wind” and “A Streetcar Named Desire”); Paul Newman (“The Color of Money”) and Joanne Woodward (“The Three Faces of Eve”); and Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”) and Michael Douglas (“Wall Street”). This doesn’t include the Oscar-winning couples -- and former couples -- who never tied the knot (Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins, Jack Nicholson/Anjelica Huston, Warren Beatty/Julie Christie, Warren Beatty/Diane Keaton, Warren Beatty/well . . . you get the idea).
Still, for an award with 81 years of history, this is pretty select company. Which got us thinking: What Hollywood couples -- whether or not they’re still on speaking terms -- might need to eventually make room on their mantles?
-- Glenn Whipp
BRAD PITT & ANGELINA JOLIE
The résumés: Pitt, two Oscar nominations; Jolie, two Oscar nominations, one win (“Girl, Interrupted”)
Make room on the mantle? Pitt’s willingness to work with A-list directors such as the Coens, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino and, next, Terrence Malick should result in Oscar pay dirt sooner than later. Talent in playing offbeat, supporting roles (and willingness to do it) helps the cause too. We just hope he shaves before the speech.
DEMI MOORE & ASHTON KUTCHER
The résumés: Moore, nine Razzie nominations and four wins; Kutcher, three Razzie noms
Make room on the mantle? She seems to have moved beyond the whole acting thing, while he didn’t make anyone forget Richard Gere with his gigolo turn in “Spread.” Still, a win for either would be fun just for the tweeting alone: @IvankaTrump “yeah, I’m doing the guido fist pump too!”
BEN AFFLECK & JENNIFER GARNER
The résumés: Affleck, one Oscar nom and win (screenplay, “Good Will Hunting”); Garner, eight Emmy and Golden Globes nominations, one Globe win
Make room on the mantle? Garner has put her film career on the back burner since having children, appearing mostly in ensemble pieces. Has yet to find her “Alias” equivalent in film, though even the most die-hard “Juno” haters had nothing but kind words to say about her tough, touching performance in the film.
RYAN REYNOLDS & SCARLETT JOHANSSON
The résumés: Reynolds, Teen Choice Award win for scary movie scene; Johansson, a host of critics prizes.
Make room on the mantle? Both seem now committed to the Comic-Con phases of their careers. Given Johansson’s age (25) and her proven ability to bedazzle aging auteurs (Woody!), an Oscar may well be in her future. Reynolds? He’s married to Scarlett Johansson. Isn’t that enough accomplishment for one lifetime?
WARREN BEATTY & ANNETTE BENING
The résumés: Beatty, 13 Oscar nominations, two Oscars (including Irving G. Thalberg Award); Bening, three Oscar nominations
Make room on the mantle? We’ve already mentioned Beatty’s golden touch when it comes to love and the Oscars. Bening appeared in only five movies last decade, but she’s as talented as any of Beatty’s previous paramours. Her searing “Hedda Gabler” at the Geffen remains lodged in our brains, 10 years after the fact. She’s just one great role away.
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL & PETER SARSGAARD
The résumés: Gyllenhaal, two Indie Spirit noms, two Globe noms; Sarsgaard, two Indie Spirit noms, a Globe nom
Make room on the mantle? Both have been in play this year (Sarsgaard for “An Education,” Gyllenhaal for “Crazy Heart”) and, with their ongoing commitment to sniffing out quality projects, they seem like award-season perennials for the near future.
TOM CRUISE & NICOLE KIDMAN
The résumés: Cruise, three Oscar noms; Kidman, two Oscar noms, one win (“The Hours”)
Make room on the mantle? Given current wife Katie Holmes’ career trajectory, it’s best that Cruise hitch his wagon to the former spouse with an Oscar already in hand. Can Cruise win over the academy before the inevitable bestowment of the Thalberg Award? In his favor: A willingness to mix in great supporting turns (“Magnolia,” “Tropic Thunder”) among the tent-pole pics. Not in his favor: Off-screen nuttiness has overshadowed on-screen work. Can’t count him out, but he may well have jumped the couch.
JENNIFER CONNELLY & PAUL BETTANY
The résumés: Connelly, one Oscar (“A Beautiful Mind”); Bettany, a bunch of British awards
Make room on the mantle? Through no fault of his own, Bettany didn’t get any traction this year for either “Creation” or “The Young Victoria.” Next up, he plays a vampire-hunting priest, so scratch off 2010. He has shown his range (“A Knight’s Tale,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”). He just needs the right part in the right film.
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