One of the most interesting parts of award season, at least to us here on this site, is seeing who steps up to endorse whom on the Oscar campaign trail. Because endorsements tell us about celebrity friendships. Julia Roberts has campaigned for Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt. Anne Hathaway has campaigned for Hugh Jackman. Jennifer Lawrence has campaigned for Emma Stone. Denzel Washington has campaigned for Viola Davis - it happens every year, celebrities come out in support of each other, but so many of them are connected in some way, so how they swing in any given year is a sport in itself.
This came to mind when I saw these new shots of Bradley Cooper taking his daughter to art lessons the other day. Bradley could have his own campaign to think about with two entries - Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley (a less likely option) and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, for which he could secure a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Going from the trailer it certainly looks like it’s the kind of go-for-broke performance that makes the list.
That said, the Ally to his Jackson Maine, Lady Gaga, is also in the hunt this year. Gaga received her first acting Oscar nomination with his direction in A Star is Born. Can Gaga count on Bradley? Will he host a dinner in her honour? Will he namecheck her in any of his interviews while doing press for his movies?
Not that Gaga necessarily needs his specific endorsement. But it’s shaping up to be a competitive year. Campaign strategists are looking for every edge possible.