Okay, so bear with me for a second. Could Johnny Depp (for Sweeney Todd) actually win the Best Actor Academy Award this year? Most people feel that Daniel Day-Lewis (for There Will Be Blood) is a lock, but I was looking at this year’s Best Actor Oscar nominations, and was impacted with a sense of deja vu. The last time Daniel Day-Lewis was nominated for the prize (in 2003 for The Gangs of New York), he was a frontrunner surrounded by past winners like himself. The winner that year, in a total surprise, was Adrien Brody for The Pianist. Some argued that Brody’s chances were helped because he was the only newcomer in the mix that year (other nominees included Jack Nicholson, Nicolas Cage, and Michael Caine). In other words, everyone else had won their Oscars.
Looking at the nominee list this year, it’s 2003 all over again. With the exception of Viggo Mortensen (for Eastern Promises), who has pretty much no shot, all of the nominees have won their Oscars except for Johnny Depp. So, could Johnny Depp emerge as the winner? He’s paid his dues, he’s as acclaimed and beloved as any actor today, but he’s never won that Oscar. I think Daniel Day-Lewis is more than deserving, just as he was in 2003, but you never know what last-minute inspiration could strike the Academy. Stranger things have happened.
SAG AWARDS UPDATE: For those keeping track of Sunday’s SAG Award winners, which included Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood, he also won the SAG Award in 2003 (beating Adrien Brody).