A Few Minutes with Feinberg: Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number -- Except for the Academy? (Video)
THR's awards analyst identifies the average age of the Oscar winners from years past and wonders if it offers any clues about who might take home gold this year.
Thanks for checking out the 17th episode of A Few Minutes With Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter’s weekly video series in which I spend -- you guessed it -- a few minutes dissecting the race to the Academy Awards.
For this episode, I thought that it would be fun to look at the ages of this year's acting and directing nominees and to see how they compare with the average age of the acting and directing Oscar winners from the last 84 years.
Needless to say, the current nominee whose age is closest to the average is not necessarily at an advantage, and the current nominee whose age is furthest from the average is not necessary at a disadvantage. For instance, best actor nominee Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and best actress nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) are now precisely the average age of the winners of their respective categories, but the former still seems an impossible long-shot, and the latter is not the perceived front-runner, either. Still, it's always fun to compare the present with the past!
Also worth noting: several age-related records could be broken this year. Nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) is already the youngest best actress Oscar nominee and could therefore become the youngest best actress Oscar winner -- Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won for Children of a Lesser God (1986). 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) is already the oldest best actress Oscar nominee and could therefore become the oldest best actress Oscar winner -- the late Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won for Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Riva turns 86 on the day of the Oscars. And 30-year-old Benh Zeitlin, one of the youngest people ever nominated for the best director Oscar, could become the youngest person ever to win it if he is honored for his direction of Beasts of the Southern Wild -- the late Norman Taurog was 32 when he won for Skippy (1931).
For more fun facts, check out the video at the top of this post!