There’s a reason actors love to work with David O. Russell.
For the second year in a row, the “American Hustle” director led his cast to nominations in all four acting categories, with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper earning nods Thursday for best actor, actress, supporting actress and supporting actor, respectively.
Last year, Russell managed the same feat, when he scored acting nominations across the board for his “Silver Linings Playbook” cast of Cooper, Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.
Going into the nominations, both Adams and Bale were considered bubble candidates, so few had expected Russell to make history.
Also read: Oscar Nominations: The Complete List
Russell’s achievement ties him with William Wyler as the director with the most acting nominations in consecutive movies, although they arrived at that figure a bit differently. Wyler directed three actors to nominations for 1941’s “The Little Foxes” and five actors to nominations for 1942’s “Mrs. Miniver.”
But “American Hustle” also helped Russell beat Wyler’s record of 10 for the most acting nominations for three consecutive films. When you add the three nominations for “The Fighter” three years ago, Russell now holds the record of 11 for back-to-back-to-back films.
Before Russell “Silver Linings Playbook” landed nomination in all four acting categories, it had been 31 years since another film turned the trick. That film was “Reds” (1981), which earned a best actor nomination for Warren Beatty, a best actress nomination for Diane Keaton, a best supporting actor nomination for Jack Nicholson and a best supporting actress nomination for Maureen Stapleton. Despite that impressive showing, only Stapleton went home with an Oscar for acting that year, although Beatty did win best director.
See photos: Oscar Nominees in Pictures
In fact, only 15 films in history have managed to snag nominations in all of the acting categories. It’s a group that contains such film classics as “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “A Streetcar Named Desire”(1951), “Network” (1976), “From Here to Eternity” (1953) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966).
No film has ever won all four acting categories, although “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network” did win three out of four.
As for Russell, he has a strong track record of guiding actors into the winner’s circle. Last year, Lawrence won best actress for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Fighter” scored a best supporting actor Oscar for Bale and a best supporting actress Oscar for Melissa Leo in 2010.
Stick with him baby, and someday you could be thanking the Academy.