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Undefeated Oscars champ Hilary Swank aims for No. 3 in 'Amelia'

August 13, 2009 |  9:19 am

Amelia Hilary Swank

It's shocking to think that all of the following stars are Oscarless — Glenn Close, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Albert Finney, Julianne Moore, Peter O'Toole, Gena Rowlands, Donald Sutherland, Liv Ullmann — while Hilary Swank has two ("Boys Don't Cry," "Million Dollar Baby"). But Swank's Oscar success is even more striking when you recall that she — like another star often dismissed as lightweight, Sally Field — has never lost. Both gals have gone two for two.

Now Swank is going for a third chunk of academy gold in a film genre that often flies high in the race: biopics. She portrays doomed aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in "Amelia," directed by Mira Nair ("The Namesake") and penned by Ronald Bass ("Rain Man," Oscar's best picture of 1988) and Anna Hamilton Phelan ("Girl, Interrupted"). Distributor is Oscars-savvy Fox Searchlight ("Slumdog Millionaire," "The Wrestler," "Juno," "Little Miss Sunshine"), which is giving "Amelia" an Oscars-friendly release date: Oct. 23. Hitfix just published a new photo still (above), which features Swank with Joe Anderson, who portrays Wilmer “Bill” Stultz — her copilot and navigator on a 1928 flight from Newfoundland to Wales. 

Maybe all of this Oscar clout will help McGregor and Swank's other costars Ewan McGregor and Richard Gere land their first-ever Academy Award nominations. In "Amelia," McGregor portrays her lover Gene Vidal (Gore Vidal's poppa) and Gere portrays publisher George Putnam, whose marriage to Swank was a flop.

Photo: Fox Searchlight

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