Will Bradley Cooper Make Oscar History This Year?

When Bradley Cooper was nominated for his performance in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper at the Academy Awards last year, much was made about the fact that he had joined a small group of actors who had been nominated for Oscars in three consecutive years. But Cooper, who had previously been nominated for Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, isn't showing any signs of resting on his laurels. In fact, if the first trailer for the Cooper's upcoming cooking drama Burnt is any indication, Cooper is aiming to join an even more elite group of actors with four consecutive Oscar noms.

Only seven actors in history have achieved this milestone, including the legendary likes of Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Will Burnt be good enough to land Cooper in their midst? The movie from director John Wells (August: Osage County) and screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) tells the story of a man named Adam Jones who, after burning out as a two-star Michelin chef in Paris, moves to London to try to get that elusive third star.

Of course, a fourth nomination for Cooper is far from a given. The competition will be incredibly fierce this year, with actors like Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes), and last year's winner Eddie Redmayne ( The Danish Girl ) already dominating the conversation. And, even if Cooper were nominated, if he didn't win he would have the dubious distinction of being only the third actor in history to reach four consecutive nominations without having won any of them, following Thelma Ritter and Al Pacino (although Pacino did eventually win 17 years later for Scent Of A Woman).

But while we wait for the 88th annual Oscar race to come into focus, let's take a look at what might make Cooper's cooking drama a real contender.

1. The Ambition

"What do you want?" someone asks Cooper's Adam Jones at the beginning of the trailer. "I want to run the best restaurant in the world," he answers. Characters with clearly-defined goals are always the most compelling to watch, and it sounds like Jones has a very specific one in mind. Whether he attains it or not, it should be fun to watch him try.

2. The Food Porn

OK, so food porn alone probably isn't enough to land a movie Oscar nominations, but it certainly can't hurt its chances by making voters' mouths water for two hours straight. From the looks of some of the delicious dishes on display in the two-minute trailer, Burnt will have some of the most artistic-looking food this side of NBC's Hannibal.

3. The Drama

Did you think life was easy for a Michelin-starred chef? Think again. "If you try to start a new restaurant, there are at least a dozen people who will try to have you killed," Jones is informed midway through the trailer. Seriously? Over coq au vin? This startling information is followed by dramatic shots of Jones getting into fist fights and a line cook throwing her apron in his face. Drrrama!

4. The Tension

Last year's indie darling Whiplash had a magnificent undercurrent of tension running throughout the film's entire 106 minute running time, and Burnt seems to be aiming for a similar level of anxiety. The soundtrack makes inventive use of clattering whisks that turn the cacophony of a kitchen into the sound of a ticking time bomb. (It's probably the most creative instrumental choice in a film since Dario Marianelli's clacking keyboards in his Oscar-winning score for 2007's Atonement.)

5. The Supporting Cast

Playing off of other incredibly talented actors can only help elevate your own performance; so if Cooper was able to snag a nom for his essentially solo performance in American Sniper this year, then Burnt should be a cakewalk with its incredible supporting cast. Academy Award winner Emma Thompson (above), Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman, Sniper co-star Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Daniel Brühl (Rush), Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Of Grey), Lily James (Cinderella), and Omar Sy (Jurassic World) will all appear in the film.

6. The Failure

Every film worth its salt makes its character hit rock bottom, and that certainly seems to be the case with Burnt. Whether it's played for laughs (Leonardo DiCaprio on quaaludes in The Wolf Of Wall Street) or pathos (pretty much everyone in Requiem For A Dream), there comes a point when it seems like things truly can't get worse — and sometimes they don't. Cooper should get plenty of mileage out of Adam Jones's nadir, which apparently finds him overturning tables in an abandoned restaurant.

7. The Gordon Ramsay Impression

Hell's Kitchen might not be anybody's idea of quality television, but there's a reason it has lasted for 14 seasons. There's something thrilling about watching someone who's the best at what they do, even when they're ruining the lives of people around them. (This is exactly what makes UnREAL 's Rachel Goldberg such a compelling character.) It looks like Cooper's overzealous Adam Jones will be pretty much the exact opposite of the more affable Jack Bourdain, quelling anyone's fears that Burnt will simply be a feature-length retread of Cooper's starring role in FOX's one-season wonder Kitchen Confidential.

Burnt will start cooking up drama on Oct. 23, 2015.

Images: JoBlo Movie Trailers/YouTube (7)