Brendan Fraser was the Oscar favorite for Best Actor all season for his performance in “The whale» and remains the odds on favorite to win. At first glance, that doesn’t seem surprising — it’s a baity and transformative turn — but anyone who follows it closely knows their chances took a hit when “The Whale” was snubbed in Best Picture. If Fraser wins gold, he will be one of the few Best Actor champions for a non-Best Picture nominee and the first in 13 years.

The most recent was Jeff Bridges, which prevailed for “Crazy Heart” (2009) in the first year of the expanded Best Picture lineup. Two years ago, Chadwick Boseman was widely predicted to follow in Bridges’ footsteps despite failing Best Picture of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” but the late star lost out to Anthony Hopkinsfrom the Best Picture nominee “The Father,” at the most awkward Oscars ever.

You can cite the cases of Bridges and Boseman in the arguments for and against a Frasier victory. “Crazy Heart” only received three nominations, the others being Best Supporting Actress for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Best Original Song, as did “The Whale,” which also scored offers for supporting player Hong Chau and best makeup and hairstyle. ‘Crazy Heart’ also won Best Original Song and ‘The Whale’ can also win a double winner if it wins Best Makeup and Hairstyling, as it is planned to do, in addition to Best Actor. Bridges had the late story while Fraser has the comeback story, but the former was arguably more powerful — he’s a showbiz legend who was in his fifth nomination at the time (he now has seven). Fraser is on his first offer. Additionally, even though “Crazy Heart” was MIA for Best Picture, Gyllenhaal’s nomination came as a complete surprise, signaling further support for the film, as Chau was expected be preselected.

“The Whale” was also set to make the cut for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay on the heels of his Producers Guild of America Award nomination and Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the BAFTAs, but he was kicked out of both. You know what else was predicted to earn Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations and was AWOL? Yes, “My Rainey”. The Best Picture snub of “The Whale’s” also seems like a tougher shot since the lineup is set at 10 now, while “Ma Rainey” competed in the sliding scale era (there were eight nominees this that year), so you can say that “Ma Rainey”, who had five nominations and won two, would have made it with 10 spots. Boseman was also stronger on paper at this point, having won the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award Fraser bagged Critics Choice, delivering a moving speech, but lost to Austin Butler (“Elvis”) at the Golden Globes, which he did not attend after accusing Philip Berkformer president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for groping him over lunch in 2003.

SEE How to watch “The Whale”

Best Actor and Best Picture have been intertwined throughout the Oscars’ 94-year history — not exactly breaking news here in a male-dominated industry. If you don’t count the three Best Picture champions who won the two main categories – ‘It Happened One Night’ (1934), ‘Flight Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975) and ‘The Silence Lambs” (19991) – there were 24 films that won Best Picture and Best Actor, while only nine won Best Picture and Best Actress. Last year, none of the films from the Best Actress nominees were even nominated for Best Picture.

Besides Bridges, 19 other men won Best Actor Without a Best Picture nomination for their film. The others of this century are Denzel Washington (2001’s “Training Day”), which upset the favorite and defending champion Russell Crowe after the “A Beautiful Mind” star assaulted a BAFTA producer for editing his speech, and Whitaker Forestwho swept the season for ‘The Last King of Scotland’ (2006) and is the most recent of five men to win Best Actor as the only nomination for his film.

Other Best Actor champions not nominated for Best Picture include tom hank (1993 “Philadelphia”), Nicholas Cage (1995 “Leaving Las Vegas”), Jeremy Irons (1990 “Reversal of Fortune”), Paul Newman (1986 “The Color of Money”), Michael Douglas (only one nominee for “Wall Street”, but his other 1987 film was the Best Picture nominee “Fatal Attraction”), John Wayne (1969 “True Grit”) and Humphrey Bogart (1951 “The African Queen”). Most of them happened when Best Picture was a field of five and some of those movies would no doubt have made an expanded lineup. ‘Philadelphia’ had five nominations, while ‘The African Queen’, ‘The Color of Money’ and ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ had four.

While Fraser faces “only” two people among the Best Picture nominees – compared to Boseman, who faced four – these two, Butler and Colin Farrel (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), stem from fairly popular and powerful contenders who are far less polarizing than “The Whale”. “Elvis” earned eight nominations and “Banshees” scored nine. More nominations don’t guarantee wins, but they do indicate widespread support. Third-place finisher Farrell topped the Critics Awards and won the Comedy/Musical Globe, while No. 2 Butler has his own transformative role, playing an iconic figure in a biopic , one of the academy’s favorite genres. Bill Nighy (“Living”) is in fourth place and his film has only one other nomination, Best Adapted Screenplay, and only nominee Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) is fifth.

The good news for Fraser is that the race is already split, so no one can sweep and he could easily win the Screen Actors Guild Award (he’s the first in these odds Also). But as someone from a non-Best Picture nominee against two stronger films, he’d be better off right now if he swept.

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