True Story: Last year, a couple weeks before The Academy Awards – a random thought crossed my mind: What if Leonardo DiCaprio opened the Best Actress envelope, and it read “Isabelle Huppert, ‘La La Land’.”
A person’s name with the wrong movie underneath. I thought that DiCaprio and the folks on stage would have no idea what to do. But I also thought that something like this would probably never happen.
An even crazier thing did, yet my random thought wasn’t far off from what happened. DiCaprio presented Best Actress to Emma Stone (from “La La Land”) and that envelope and card were at the center of the Oscars Best Picture fiasco.
So now another thought has crossed my mind for this year: What if there is a tie?
There was a tie in the Sound Editing category in 2013 (with “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty” sound editors both receiving Oscars). The previous tie was about 20 years earlier. Ties are rare at The Academy Awards, but a half dozen in the show’s history is a pretty high number. [The most significant one has to be the Best Actress tie between Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn at the 1969 ceremony.]
My gut instinct is that even though there are clear frontrunners in all four of the acting categories, there could very well be an acting tie this year.
And I’ve got a hunch that it’s for Best Actor. My suspicion is that Gary Oldman definitely wins for his performance as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour”. His co-recipient is either Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) or Daniel Day-Lewis, receiving his fourth career Best Actor Oscar for “Phantom Thread”.
Older Oscar voters will likely lean towards Oldman. However, a percentage of that demo might want to honor Day-Lewis again, since this is supposedly the final on-screen performance of his career. But for the younger demo, they’ll probably want to vote for Chalamet – and his commendable, breakthrough performance.
As for the fellow nominees in the category, Daniel Kaluuya doesn’t have quite the same momentum as Jordan Peele and “Get Out” do, and while I’m glad Denzel Washington is nominated for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”, a win for him would be one of the most stunning Oscars upsets in a long time.
The Best Actor honor could easily go to just one person (in this case, Oldman). But if either (or both) Chalamet or Day-Lewis are victorious on March 4, it’s because the voting was very close.