George Clooney's Problem (But Don't Feel Sorry for Him!)

1:41 PM PST 10/28/2011 by Gregg Kilday
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George Clooney in "The Descendants," left," and "The Ides of March"

THR examines the actor-director's rare predicament of having two Oscar contenders in "The Descendants" and "The Ides of March."

THE SLINGSHOT EFFECT: A combination of two great performances in the same year can boost one into the winner’s circle.

1993: Holly Hunter -- As a secretary who conspires with Tom Cruise in The Firm, Hunter earned a supporting nom. But by going period in The Piano, she landed the best actress trophy.

2004: Jamie Foxx -- Playing opposite Cruise in the thriller Collateral brought Foxx a supporting mention. But it was his star turn as Ray Charles in Ray that earned him the gold.

2008: Kate Winslet -- Winslet received Golden Globes for Revolutionary Road (lead) and The Reader (supporting). The Academy gave her one nom, for lead in Reader, and she won.

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