Bardem and Cruz are the most acknowledged Spanish actors in Hollywood right now and are a widely beloved couple. Fans speculated about their romance since the release of Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) due to the passionate scenes between the two in the film. Bardem confirmed their relationship in 2010, confessing his love to Cruz in the acceptance speech at the Cannes film festival. They have both been nominated for Oscars four times, however never before in the same year. Now, Bardem is nominated for Best Actor in Being the Ricardos, and Cruz for Best Actress in Parallel Mothers. The actor commented on the Academy’s decision saying: “For Penélope and I to be nominated at the same time is magical.” Realistically, this year's competition seems too strong for them to win, but just seeing them both on the red carpet, not only as a couple but as nominees will be a pleasure.
The nominations for Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst are more interesting because they are honoured for the same film, The Power of the Dog. What’s more, they played a loving couple. This persuasive portrayal of marriage probably results from the real-life feelings of the pair. Plemons and Dunst have been dating since 2016, after starring together in Fargo, and got engaged a year later. Although it’s the first Oscar nomination for both of them, the actress’ career is arguably more impressive, considering blockbusters such as Spiderman as well as critically acclaimed dramas like Melancholia. To be honest, I would rather see Kodi Smit-McPhee getting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor than Plemons, but they’re both impressive in Campion’s film. Dunst has quite high chances of receiving the award but since it was Ariana DeBose who won the Golden Globe, it might be difficult.
The Academy has previously nominated well-known actor couples in the same year such as Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in 1940 and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in 1967. Personally, my favourite Oscar couple is Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander (2016). When Vikander was announced as the Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl and kissed Fassbender before going on the stage I cheered so loudly that I almost woke up my parents. Of course, not only actor couples are honoured by the Academia. For example, the actress Frances McDormand and the screenwriter Joel Coen both received Oscars for Fargo. However, one of the most exciting Oscar ceremonies was the one in 2010, when divorcees Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron were both nominated for Best Director and Best Film. It was Bigelow who received both awards for The Hurt Locker, becoming the first female director in history honoured by the Academy, and until last year the only one.