When it comes to win an Academy Award, recent years have shown that not any bio-pic performance means a guaranteed nomination, but if you get nominated for your performance playing a real person, then there is a good chance you will win.
Of the past 10 years (20 Lead Actor/Actress winners), 13 of these winners have won for playing real life people. That's 65% of winners since 2002.
• In 2011 Meryl Streep played the well known British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and won the Best Actress prize (her third Oscar)
• In 2010 Colin Firth played King George VI, stuttering British royalty at the dawn of the radio era and won for Best Actor.
• In 2009 Sandra Bullock played a surprise hero as the Southern mother Leigh Ann Tuohy and won for Best Actress.
• In 2008 Sean Penn played controversial politician Harvey Milk and won the Oscar for Best Actor.
• In 2007 Marion Cotillard played French singer Ediath Piaf and won the Oscar for Best Actress.
• In 2006 Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II and won the Oscar for Best Actress.
• In 2006 Forrest Whitaker played Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and won the Oscar for Best Actor
• In 2005 Reese Witherspoon played country music celeb June Carter and won the Oscar for Best Actress.
• In 2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman played author Truman Capote and won the Oscar for Best Actor.
• In 2004 Jamie Foxx played musician Ray Charles and won the Oscar for Best Actor.
• In 2003 Charlize Theron played prostitute/serial killer Aileen Wuornos and won the Best Actress oscar.
• In 2002 Adrien Brody played Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman and won the Best Actor oscar.
• In 2002 Nicole Kidman played author Virginia Woolf and won the Best Actress oscar.
The non-biopic winners: Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Kate Winslet (The Reader), Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Sean Penn (Mystic River).
I wouldn't expect 2012 to be different. As a result we can almost plan on either Best Actor Oscar winner or Best Actress winner going to a performer who played in a biographical film as a "Real (Reel) Person."
2012 Real (Reel) People Performances:
• Reel People: Ben Affleck is Tony Mendez
• Reel People: Daniel Day-Lewis is Abraham Lincoln
• Reel People: Kat Dennings is Renee Yohe
• Reel People: Anthony Hopkins is Alfred Hitchcock
• Reel People: Helen Mirren is Alma Reville
• Reel People: Billy Murray is Franklin D. Roosevelt
• Reel People: Sean Penn is Mickey Cohen
People: Jonny Weston is Jay Moriarity
• Reel People: Chow Yun-Fat is Cao Cao
Click the following links to see the previous Real (Reel) People projects from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.