Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in 1951.


Withering Glance: Does Oscar shun hunky actors?

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK
  • Star Tribune
  • February 27, 2012 - 11:05 AM

CP: At your insistence, we are talking about Oscars hotties. As in guys who may take home the prize in acting categories tonight in Hollywood.

RN: Actually, Oscar and dreamboats generally don't mix. Probably because their average age is 102, Academy members usually favor the old coot. It's a peer vote.

CP: While this year's best actor pool includes such Hunks for Life as George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the same may not be said of the supporting actor hopefuls.

RN: I'm thinking octogenarian Christopher Plummer -- see codger division, above -- is going to hear his name announced at the Kodak Theatre, for "Beginners."

CP: Hope so. In the best-actor category, the last 10 winners have hardly been a parade of runway models: Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Jamie Foxx, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth. Two, maybe three of them fall into the Hunky Hall of Fame. The winning women, meanwhile, ranging from Natalie Portman to Halle Berry, have almost all been indisputably gorgeous.

RN: This explains why Montgomery Clift never struck Oscar gold. He was prettier than two-time winner Elizabeth Taylor.

CP: Surveying 50 years of best actor winners, same thing: a mere handful of certifiable lookers, including Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman (but his win came when he was 61) and Daniel Day-Lewis (who won for a character with cerebral palsy).

RN: You're forgetting Denzel Washington. Check out the Year of our Lord 1956, because it may represent the apex of best actor studliness: Yul Brynner, James Dean, Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson and Laurence Olivier. Brynner won, for "The King and I." I'm thinking his pecs were the clincher.

CP: Many years, the proudest of the male peacocks are decorating the red carpet as mere arm candy. Last year, por ejemplo, we got to ogle Tom Ford (making perfection positively dull), Jake Gyllenhaal (in Burberry), Zac Efron, Gerard Butler, Taylor Lautner (with a shirt on). Shall I go on?

RN: You have to ask?

CP: Will Ryan (Dimplestiltskin) Gosling even show up at the festivity? He was in three talked-about 2011 movies ("Drive," "Ides of March," "Crazy Stupid Love") and got nary a nomination. He's not on the presenters list, either.

RN: The injustice! Still, he's holding up the noble tradition of Tinseltown beefcake with nominations but no wins: Cary Grant. Ryan O'Neal. Tom Cruise. Harrison Ford. Jude Law. Will Smith. James Franco. Heck, even Robert Redford and Warren Beatty won for directing, not acting.

CP: The academy voters seem to uphold the idea that best actresses must also be beautiful women, while gorgeous guys can't really act.

RN: Life is so unfair when you're a movie star.

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