The academy really likes to give out statuettes to new blood, almost as much as they enjoy to give out to the old timers. Here are the youngest ever winners, and the oldest.
Paper Moon (1973)
Such a joy. I feared O’Neal would be a performance that you could credit the director more than the performer, as many other young nominee performances, but hers is nuanced and mature and is entirely her own. Well deserved. Also, Madeline Kahn’s nominated performance is fantastic.
Winner for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Tatum O’Neal) in 1974.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Madeline Kahn), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Sound.
Ordinary People (1980)
Very simply made film, almost got a TV movie feel to it, but it is elevated by its subject matter. I wouldn’t have given it best picture, but it is still a good movie.
Winner of Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Timothy Hutton), Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium in 1981.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mary Tyler Moore) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Judd Hirsch).
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
I have heard so many bad things about this, so I was ready not to like it. But I have to say, I don’t get all the hate. I really enjoy the pace and dynamics of the quite sad lead characters. Aykroyd is pretty atrocious however.
Winner of Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Jessica Tandy), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Makeup in 1990.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Morgan Freeman), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Dan Aykroyd), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing.
The balance of melancholic and uplifting here is astonishing. I really enjoy Mike Mills’ way of telling a story, not just by plot, but also seemingly random elements that works well with the feel of the movie.
Winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Christopher Plummer) in 2012.