The 2019 Oscar nominations announced Tuesday have a bit of bad news for older actors: Just six of the 20 acting nominees are 50 or older — half as many as last year, when talent age 50-plus dominated the acting categories.
But there’s good news, too. Top Hollywood pundits say The Wife’s Glenn Close, 71, is the frontrunner for best actress — a win would be nice after her seven Oscar nominations, and Willem Dafoe, 63 (At Eternity’s Gate), and Viggo Mortensen, 60 (Green Book), have a shot at beating frontrunner Christian Bale, 44 (Vice), for best actor. Sam Rockwell, 50, who plays George W. Bush in Vice, is nominated for supporting actor, and its auteur Adam McKay, 50, is nominated for directing, original screenplay and (as its producer) best picture. Four of the five best director nominees are over 50, as are all 10 screenwriting nominees. Spike Lee, 61, got his first-ever nominations for best director and best picture for BlacKkKlansman.
Though Mortensen’s young Green Book costar Mahershala Ali, 44, is the frontrunner for best supporting actor, his likeliest rivals are Richard E. Grant, 61 (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Elliott, 74 (A Star Is Born). No one in history has earned more Oscar nominations for a single film than Roma auteur Alfonso Cuarón, 57, the frontrunner for directing, writing, cinematography and (as producer) best picture — and Roma is the likeliest nominee to win best foreign language film, too.
Four of the eight nominees for best picture also are contenders for AARP’s Movies for Grownups best picture trophy (awarded Feb. 4 in a ceremony airing Feb. 15 on PBS). Check out the full list of the nominees for Movies for Grownups Awards and the Oscars, which are televised Feb. 24 on ABC.