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Oscar Trivia: 50 Fun Facts To Prepare You For The 85th Academy Awards

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
February 20, 2013 11:02 AM
24 Comments
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11. If Michael Haneke wins, he'd be the only director to take the prize for a film entirely in a foreign language.

12. He's also the first Austrian director to be nominated since Fred Zinnemann in 1978 (for "Julia"). Unlike Haneke, Zinnemann was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

13. If Ang Lee win Best Director on Sunday, he'll become the second non-caucasian to win in the category. The first... was also Ang Lee, for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006.

14. At 30, Benh Zeitlin is the seventh youngest Best Director nominee in history (beaten only by John Singleton, Orson Welles, Kenneth Branagh, Claude Lelouch, M. Night Shyamalan and George Lucas). If he takes the prize, he'll be three years younger than the current director who holds the record, Norman Taurog, who won for "Skippy" in 1931.

15. Conversely, if Michael Haneke wins, he'd become the second oldest winner of the category in history, beaten only by Clint Eastwood for "Million Dollar Baby."

16. No Steven Spielberg film has won an Oscar since "Saving Private Ryan" fifteen years ago.

17. According to the LA Times, Warner Bros. and Disney each spent at least $10 million on the Oscar campaigns for "Argo" and "Lincoln," respectively. But with a front page ad in Variety alone costing $80,000, that's hardly surprising. Meanwhile, to boost "Les Miserables," Universal sent every Critics Choice Awards voter an iPod Shuffle with the soundtrack pre-loaded.

18. If he wins, Daniel Day-Lewis would be the first person to land an Oscar for playing a U.S. President.

19. One other actor has been nominated for playing Abraham Lincoln -- Raymond Massey for "Abe Lincoln In Illinois," in 1940. He lost to Jimmy Stewart in "The Philadelphia Story."

20. Day-Lewis would also be the first actor to win an Oscar for a Steven Spielberg film (Tommy Lee Jones or Sally Field could also manage the feat this year).

21. He'd also be the first actor to win three Best Actor trophies. Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan each have three Oscars in total, but one of Nicholson's was in Supporting Actor, and all of Brennan's.

22. Robert De Niro, Sally Field and Denzel Washington would all join the three-Oscar club if they win this year. Only five perfomers hold the honor at present: Katherine Hepburn (with four), Nicholson, Brennan, Ingrid Bergman and, as of last year, Meryl Streep.

23. Every nominee in the Best Supporting Actor field has already won an Oscar. Philip Seymour Hoffman is the only one who hasn't won in the same category.

24. Denzel Washington plays an alcoholic in "Flight," making him the 19th actor to be nominated for playing a drunk.

25. Most notably, in 1983, all five nominated actors (Michael Caine in "Educating Rita," Robert Duvall in "Tender Mercies," Tom Conti in "Reuben Reuben" and Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney in "The Dresser") played drunks or alcoholics to one degree or another.

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24 Comments

  • megjfreedman | April 14, 2013 11:57 PMReply

    #4: George Clooney was third. Laurence Olivier and Michael Douglas did it before him.

  • Joey | February 22, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar for her film debut.

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • John Moran | February 21, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    Audrey Hepburn's role in Roman Holiday was her first lead performance. She previously appeared in smaller roles, including as a waitress serving Alec Guinness in the classic Ealing Comedy The Lavender Hill Mob. So, her win was not for a debut.

  • Tyson | February 20, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    #49 Hasn't Meryl Streep appeared in three best picture winners? The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Out of Africa?

  • Brandt Hardin | February 20, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Such lackluster choices are very unbecoming of such a tremendous year for cinema. Where are the nominations for movies like The Grey, Jesus Henry Christ and Killing them Softly? Read about the Top 10 Movies of 2012 with reviews and other honorable mentions at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2013/01/top-10-movie-picks-of-2012.html

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    this just doesnt make sense to me:
    "29. Only one actor has even been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, for the same performance -- Barry Fitzgerald, for "Going My Way" in 1944 (he won Best Supporting Actor, while Bing Crosby took Best Actor for the same film). Two actors -- Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx -- have picked up nominations in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, but for different performances. Both won Best Actor."

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:47 PM

    re-read it and got it now, this was before the rule change.

  • David | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    "38. Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations, and no wins, a record in the category." - But Thelma Ritter was nominated 6 times in this category, without a win.

  • Danielle | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    If you like movie trivia, check out this Blubbr's awesome Oscars video trivia contest. Tons of Fun 2013 Oscar trivia games!

  • cirkusfolk | February 20, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Good list.

  • anna | February 20, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    " Quvenzhane Wallis is the first acting nominee to have a Q in her name."


    lol, good one.

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:35 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Rob | February 20, 2013 10:58 PM

    Also Mo'Nique, just a few years ago.

  • Paul | February 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    I assume they mean first name? Anthony Quinn won two Best Supporting Oscars and was nominated twice for Best Actor.

  • eduardo | February 20, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    about #46: The dark knight rises became the 3rd movie from the Batman franchises (live-action, of course) that didn't receive an oscar nomination, the other 2 are the 60's version and Batman & Robin

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    "13. If Ang Lee win Best Director on Sunday, he'll become the second non-caucasian to win in the category. The first... was also Ang Lee, for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006."

    This makes me sad.

  • Chris | February 20, 2013 11:52 AMReply

    You've got the Newman/Deakins numbers reversed. Newman has 11 nomination and Deakins has 10.

  • Michael | February 20, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    29. Barry Fitzgerald won Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way. Bing Crosby won Best Actor for the same film.

  • MAL | February 20, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    In Item 25, it was Robert Duvall (not Robert De Niro) in Tender Mercies -- and he was the winner that year.

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