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Wednesday
Jan162013

Only the Actors Like It?

On Oscar nomination morning one of the biggest surprises for me was that The Master won 3 nominations in acting and none elsewhere. That after a disappointing showing with the Screen Actors Guild which had suggested that maybe actors didn't completely warm to it.

So it got me to thinking about Oscar players that only won acting nominations... and three or more no less.

The first and only similar case that came to mind without research was the alzheimers biopic drama Iris (2001) which also won three acting nods (Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent) ...and nothing else. It went on to win Best Supporting Actor for Jim Broadbent who was having a great year having also starred in two other Oscar players that year - Bridget Jones Diary and Moulin Rouge!. This little tidbit is sometimes forgotten now but Iris was actually a quartet (unlike The Master's trio) and the actor playing the young Jim Broadbent in that film ended up as Lord of Downton Abbey! Hugh Bonneville for the win.

Coincidentally (or not) Iris, like The Master, was a Weinstein-backed film.

Can you think of any other multiple nominees that were nominated in the acting categories only(Do you remember Iris? Or did Away From Here steal its thunder entirely as alzheimers dramas go.)

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Reader Comments (33)

1981-Only When I Laugh (Best Actress-Marsha Mason, Supporting Actor-James Coco, Supporting Actress-Joan Hackett)

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Pinky! (1949)

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTobias (a swede)

Othello (1965) received FOUR acting nods and nothing else - Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Joyce Redman, Maggie Smith

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRax

Sweet Bird of Youth

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoaquingl

Sweet Bird of Youth (1962): Ed Begley, Geraldine Page, and Shirley Knight

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrady

John T., that's one of my favorite films of all time...so verrrry quotable!

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Have you watched THE MASTER again? I bet if you haven't you assume it'll play exactly as it had previously.

No one has uploaded their screener copy online. Everything else is available for viewing but THE MASTER and HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

As somebody said, "Only when I laugh".

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntonio

3rtful -- how to survive a plague is on instant watch on netflix. very easy to find. i have no time to watch The Master again. two full time jobs. have to give movies i love the priority...but i never assume that complicated movies will play the same twice as they almost never do.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

Nathaniel, when are you going to do the "hit me with your best shot" again??? it's delicious when I see your choices!!!!

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntonio

Some priceless lines from Only When I Laugh:

"I wouldn't live in this neighborhood if I could afford it."

"It looks so different when you're sober. I thought I had twice as much furniture."

"What's the play about?" "Oh, it's about this big, fat, sloppy, foul-mouthed drunken woman and an attractive, sensitive writer."

"I already had medical attention. A dog licked me when I was on the ground."

"I found a Sara Lee crumb cake under the bed. God knows what went on in there."

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I liked "Iris," very much. I still think that year's BA competion was FIERCE!!!

And Tilda Swinton didn't even get nominated for "The Deep End."

And wish I could see "Do You Remember Love," starring our Joanne Woodward again someday. Sad that so many great female roles were relegated to the small screen and are seemingly gone forever.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

I always think about Iris every once in a while! Oscarmania was in the beginning stages for me! Loved the actors in that movie thanks for making remember it one more time! Nat

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHonduran

They only got 2 acting nominations ... but Hilary and Jackie, and Tom and Viv, and Cape Fear come to mind. Ah, the 90s.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

DeNiro was so cartoonish in Cape Fear. He did not deserve that Best Actor nod. Ugh. Probably his worst performance ever.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

If the criteria is 3 or more acting nominations then it's a real challenge (and you have to go further back in some cases). If it's two ore more though there are many examples, including Boys Don't Cry, which featured your favorite winner of all time Nathaniel! :P

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

@Akash - I refused to list Boys Don't Cry because I would never ever offend Nathaniel by even mentioning it.

@brookesboy - You are so right.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Charlie G & Akash -- but i actually thought Swank deserved that first Oscar... or at least was deserving (my choice wasn't nominated)

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Doubt!!!!

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

It's one of Kate's least well known nominated performances yet i thought she was 2nd to Tomei in 2001.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Unfortunately Doubt was also nominated for its Screenplay. Still, four acting nominations isn't bad.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterajnrules

It's very rare for a film to get 3 or more acting nominations and no other nom, not even a tech.
Mark: Doubt got a screenplay nom.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I remember "Iris". I saw it on a plane. It wasn't very good, I was shockingly unimpressed with Jim and Judi, Hugh's performance impressed me the most, and it was the only time my in-flight viewing contained full fronted nudity: Europe.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZ

Yes, Doubt had 4 acting noms and a screenplay nom. It won none, but 4 acting nods is very unusual.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

My bad Nathaniel. I thought your dislike for her went way back! :) I didn't realize it was MDB that broke the camel's back. For what it's worth, I'm with you then. I was ecstatic she won her first but thought pretty much everyone else in her category was better in 2004 (and she was taking a spot that could've gone to Julie Delpy in my fantasy world).

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

Although Whoopi described it as more depressing than any Bergman, I watch it from time to time. I was so pleased when Jim Broadbent won. He was super classy on stage and shared it with Hugh Bonneville. It is also one of my favorite performances of Kate. She should have won.

PS Who were you rooting for in 99? Reese? Cecilia Roth?

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I remember really liking Iris when I saw it, but who knows what I'd think if I saw it now? I remember Broadbent being fantastic and was so happy and surprised that an older, non-Hollywood-star with his first nomination won.

On a somewhat related note to this post, Nat, do you know if Life of Pi has set the record for most nominations for a movie WITHOUT a single acting nom?

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I'm pretty sure LOTR:ROTK holds the record for most nominations w/o acting nods. Or am I wrong?

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReign

@Akash and Nathaniel - Agreed with you both. El Swank was good in BDC. It was the second Oscar of which we shall never speak.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

A lot of actresses tend to be th sole nominations for their film. It's a shame Paul Thomas Anderson couldn't get a nomination. He's one of our most exciting filmmakers and I thought he was so respected.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMim

I'm a little late to the party--make that a lot late to the party--but I found this quiz on Sporcle (if you haven't wasted time on that site, you're missing out). It's a name-all-the-movies-with-two-acting-nominations-and-nothing-else quiz, and it looks like The Master is the sixth film with 3+ nominations and nothing else.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

DjDeeDay & Reign -- actually they're tied. LIFE OF PI and RETURN OF THE KING lead the most nominations without any in the acting categories at 11 noms a piece... (though ROTK won all 11 of its nominations which won't happen with Pi ;)

January 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Antonio -- that'll be right after Oscar we'll resume again. It's too time consuming to try to do it in oscar season. glad you like it though!

January 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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