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

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 20, 2013 at 11:02AM

If there's anything we love, it's pointless trivia. And with Oscar night on the way (and, if you're anything like us, an Oscar viewing party), if there's one thing that it's important for you to have, it's a fistful of Academy Award-related trivia for you to bore impress your friends with on Sunday night.
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Amour Behind-The-Scenes

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."

Steven Spielberg

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).

Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln

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.

This article is related to: Features, Oscars, Academy Awards, Awards


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