George Clooney eyeing Oscar return with ‘The Boys in the Boat’

George Clooney has earned Oscar nominations in a whopping six different categories putting him on a par with Alfonso Cuarón and Walt Disney and one behind recordholder Kenneth Branagh.

Clooney’s first Oscar bids came in 2006, when he received a hatrick of nominations. He won Best Supporting Actor for “Syriana,” while he was nominated for Best Original Screenplay with Grant Heslov and Best Director for “Good Night, and Good Luck.” They lost the writing race to Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco for “Crash” while Ang Lee won Best Director for “Brokeback Mountain.” He didn’t have to wait long for his next invitations to the Oscars. He was nominated for Best Actor in 2008 for “Michael Clayton” and in 2010 for “Up in the Air” losing to Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”) and Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) respectively.

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He then picked up two more nominations in 2012 — for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Ides of March” (shared with Heslov and Beau Willimon) and Best Actor for “The Descendants.” Ironically, he lost the screenplay bid to “The Descendants” (Alexander PayneNat Faxon, and Jim Rash). It was Jean Dujardin who won Best Actor that year — for “The Artist.” Clooney’s most recent nomination came in 2013 when he won Best Picture for “Argo” alongside Heslov and Ben Affleck.

Clooney has had a few projects since then that flirted with the Oscars but never caught on, including “The Monuments Men,” “The Midnight Sky,” and “The Tender Bar.” This year he has a very strong contender with “The Boys in the Boat.” This Amazon release tells the true story of the 1930s University of Washington’s rowing team that won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The film is based on the book by Daniel James Brown, with “The Revenant” scribe Mark L. Smith penning the adaptation. Joel Edgerton and Callum Turner star.

While this MGM release isn’t out till Christmas, its had some very positive test screenings. Could it bring Clooney his first Oscar nomination since 2013 and second Best Director bid overall?

At the moment, he sits just outside of our predicted nominees for Best Director: Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”), Martin Scorsese (“Killers of the Flower Moon”), Yorgos Lanthimos (“Poor Things”), Greta Gerwig (“Barbie”), and Celine Song (“Past Lives”). “The Boys in the Boat” is also outside of our predicted Best Picture lineup: “Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Barbie,” “Past Lives,” “The Color Purple,” “Maestro,” “The Holdovers,” “Poor Things,” “The Zone of Interest,” and “Anatomy of a Fall.” And “The Boys in the Boat” is also outside of our predicted nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay: “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Oppenheimer,” “Barbie,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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