The Help is the inspiring true story of a crusading journalist in the Deep South and the women whose lives she touched. It’s a fantastic film with a deep ensemble, and three of its cast were deservedly nominated for Oscars earlier this year.
Octavia Spencer, who plays Minny Jackson, ended up competing with fellow cast-member Jessica Chastain for Best Supporting Actress. Despite predictions of split votes, Spencer went on to win the award.
The Help is a great film, but it wasn’t the first to have cast-mates competing against each other for an Oscar. Here are some others:
Everyone remembers Marlon Brando’s Best Actor win for his portrayal of Don Corleone.
What tends to get overlooked is that, in addition to Brando’s Best Actor nod, the film picked up three Best Supporting Actor nominations, for Robert Duvall, James Caan and Al Pacino.
The Godfather Part II
The debate about which is the better of the two Godfather films will rage on, but when it comes to acting nominations at least, Part II has the edge.
Robert De Niro matched Brando’s Best Actor win with a win of his own for his portrayal of a young Corleone, while Part II went one better in the Supporting Actor stakes, with nods for Al Pacino, Michael Gazzo, Lee Strasberg and Talia Shire.
Viola Davis seems to be integral to assembling a good ensemble. Three years before her Best Actress nomination for The Help, she picked up a Best Supporting Actress nod for Doubt.
Her co-star Amy Adams was nominated in the same category, while Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively.
After facing off on the battlefield, Tom Berenger and Willem Defoe found themselves facing off for Best Supporting Actor during the 1987 Academy Awards.
The Colour Purple
Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey both picked up Best Supporting Actress nominations for their roles in this grim take on the oppression of African-American women in America’s Deep South.
Interestingly enough, Octavia Spencer is the only person on this list to win an Oscar in the category she shared with as cast-mate. So don't miss her in The Help, Sunday at 20:05 on M-Net and M-Net HD and available from DStv On Demand directly after the premiere.
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