December 13, 2012 1:50am PT by Scott Feinberg
A Few Minutes With Feinberg: All That's Old Is New Again in This Year's Oscar Race (Video)
Thanks for checking out the twelfth installment 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 Oscars. This week, I'm coming to you from Goleda, California, where Kirk Douglas presented Robert De Niro with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film last Saturday night.
Being around the great "Bobby D," who already has two Oscars to his name -- but not even a nomination in the last 21 years -- got me thinking about just how many of this year's other top directing and acting contenders have already won an Oscar.
This, of course, begged the question: Does it help or hurt a contender's prospects if he or she has previously won an Oscar? The answer: I don't think there is a simple one.
The reality is that few Academy members remember who has and has not won previously; us awards nerds pay much closer attention to those sorts of stats than they do. Even those Academy members who do pay attention to such things, however, are influenced by it in very different ways. Some certainly prefer to offer acknowledgment to someone who has never before received it over someone who has. But others take literally the titles of the categories on which they vote and seek to identify the person who has truly done the year's best work in his or her category, regardless of whether or not they have previously been recognized.
Finally, there is another group of voters who can be swayed by sentiment. For example, they were frequently reminded last year about the fact that it had been 29 years since Meryl Streep last won an Oscar, despite consistently giving great performances, and so they elected to rectify that by honoring her for a performance that was very good, but really not considerably better than many others that she had given over the many years during which they had taken her for granted. The bottom line: the impact of a contender's past on his or her present prospects can really only be judged on a case-by-case basis.
And so, without further ado, here is a rundown of 2012 contenders who have already won an Oscar -- or, in the case of a few of them, two!
- Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) -- previously won best director for The King's Speech (2010)
- Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) -- previously won best director for The Hurt Locker (2009)
- Ang Lee for Life of Pi -- previously won best director for Brokeback Mountain (2005)
- Steven Spielberg for Lincoln -- previously won best director for Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Schindler's List (1993)
- Robert Zemeckis for Flight -- previously won best director for Forrest Gump (1994)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) -- previously won best actor for There Will Be Blood (2007) and My Left Foot (1989)
- Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) -- previously won best actor for Ray (2004)
- Denzel Washington (Flight) -- previously won best actor for Training Day (2001) and best supporting actor for Glory (1989)
- Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) -- previously won best actor for The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
- Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) -- previously won best actress for La Vie En Rose (2007)
- Helen Mirren (Hitchcock) -- previously won best actress for The Queen (2006)
- Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) -- previously won best supporting actress for Shakespeare in Love (1998)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) -- previously won best supporting actor for Inglourious Basterds (2009)
- Javier Bardem (Skyfall) -- previously won best supporting actor for No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) -- previously won best actor for Capote (2005)
- Russell Crowe (Les Miserables) -- previously won best actor for Gladiator (2000)
- Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) -- previously won best supporting actor for The Fugitive (1993)
- Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) -- previously won best actor for Raging Bull (1980) and best supporting actor for The Godfather, Part II (1974)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Helen Hunt (The Sessions) -- previously won best actress for As Good As It Gets (1997)
- Sally Field (Lincoln) -- previously won best actress for Places in the Heart (1984) and Norma Rae (1979)
- Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) -- previously won best supporting actress for California Suite (1978) and best actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)