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Vanity Fair Hollywood covers: Oscar omens?

February 4, 2008 |  7:01 pm

The March cover of Vanity Fair features 10 "fresh faces," including former and current Oscar nominees Amy Adams ("Junebug," 2005) and Ellen Page ("Juno," 2007). While Anne Thompson of Variety wonders, "Am I the only one who thinks that 'Juno' star Page looks like she's in drag when she puts on a dress?" I wondered whether an appearance on the cover helps or hurts one's Oscar chances.

The magazine has been celebrating Hollywood at Academy Award time with a jam-packed issue since 1995. Back then, among the 10 lovelies graduating from the "Class of 2000" were future Oscar winners Gwyenth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love," 1998) and Nicole Kidman ("The Hours," 2002), as well as future nominees Uma Thurman and Julianne Moore. The following year, it was to be "Boys' Town," with former and future nominee Leonardo DiCaprio, future nominee Tim Roth and future winner Benicio del Toro ("Traffic," 2000) among the 10 men.

In 1997, the cover heralded "The Next Wave" and featured future winners Charlize Theron ("Monster," 2003) and Renee Zellweger ("Cold Mountain," 2003), as well as future nominee Minnie Driver and seemingly perennial nominee Kate Winslet (she already had the first of five nods under her belt for "Sense and Sensibility"). Among the "Hot Next Wave" of 1998 were future double nominees Joaquin Phoenix and Djimon Hounsou. And making the first of three appearances was Cate Blanchett in the year before her first Oscar nom. She would also appear on covers in 2001 and her winning year of 2005.

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Among the 14 "New Kids on the Block" of 1999 were future winners Adrien Brody ("The Pianist," 2002) and Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line," 2005), as well as future nominees Kate Hudson and Sarah Polley. Penelope Cruz was the sole "Splendor in the Grass" 2000 cover model to go on to an eventual Oscar nod. So sure were the editors of "Vanity Fair" of her potential that she was the lone non-Oscar nominee or winner included in the 2001 "Master Class." It would be six more years till she was finally a contender.

Among those embodying "Rhapsody in Blue" in 2002 were future winners Jennifer Connelly ("A Beautiful Mind", 2002) and Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener," 2005), as well as future nominee Naomi Watts. After showcasing Oscar favorites Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson among the many males on the "Alpha List" in 2003, "Send in the Gowns" showcased three winners (Paltrow, Connelly and Hilary Swank) and three nominees (Moore, Watts and Diane Lane) among the 13 models of 2004.

One of the unlucky seven was Scarlett Johansson, who also appeared on the next two covers but has yet to score an Oscar nomination. She was in good company in 2005 with fellow Oscar bridesmaid Winslet among the "Not So Desperate Housewives" while in 2006 her costar on "Ford's Foundation" was one-time nominee Keira Knightley.

Finally, last year's cover featuring four funnymen, including one-time Oscar host Chris Rock and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Owen Wilson, in penguin suits (a.k.a. white tie) also included a quartet of real-life penguins. And with wins for documentary ("March of the Penguins") and animated feature ("Happy Feet"), those birds are the biggest Oscar winners to appear on the Vanity Fair cover in four years.

To see a gallery of the covers CLICK HERE


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