Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Oscars Trivia

You probably know that I’m a sucker for figures, statistics, etc., so no surprise that I’m reproducing here an article by Variety with figures that look like trivia, but some are truly interesting.

Each of the five best-pic contenders saw its director nominated -- which, incredibly, is only the fifth time that's ever happened.

"Button's" Kathleen Kennedy earned her sixth producing bid, tying her with Stanley Kramer and Steven Spielberg for the record for individual producers.

Stephen Daldry makes Oscar history by going three for three: With this year's "The Reader," he has scored a directing bid for the trio of films he's helmed ("The Hours," "Billy Elliot").

With a 15th bid for "Doubt," Meryl Streep maintains her easy lead in most acting noms. Runners-up are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, with 12 apiece.

"Doubt" scored four acting noms, the first time that's happened since the 2002 "Chicago," another Miramax film.

A.R. Rahman ("Slumdog") is a triple nominee, for his music score and two songs: "Jai Ho" and "O Saya," which rep the third and fourth bids for songs not in the English language.

Andrew Stanton ("Wall-E") is only the fourth person to score a second bid in the animated feature category, which began in 2001. He also earned a citation in original screenplay as one of the scribes on the film.

Two best-pic contenders center around real-life TV shows: "Frost/Nixon" (the 1977 interviews) and "Slumdog Millionaire" (the India version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire").

France maintains its lead in the foreign-language race, with its 35th bid for "The Class."

There are nine first-timers among the 20 acting contenders. Seven of the 10 lead actors are aged 45 or older.

Kate Winslet was nommed as leading actress in "Reader," though she won a Golden Globe as supporting actress for the same film.

Heath Ledger scored a supporting actor nom for "The Dark Knight" on the first anniversary of his death. This marks the seventh posthumous acting nomination, including the sole winner so far, Peter Finch ("Network").

Robert Downey Jr.'s nom ("Tropic Thunder") marks the first time since Laurence Olivier's 1965 "Othello" that an actor has been nommed for playing a role in blackface.

"Waltz With Bashir" is the first animated feature nominated for a foreign-language Oscar (though it's the 13th toon to be submitted in that race; last year's "Persepolis" didn't even make the short list).

Viola Davis and Michael Shannon are supporting contenders (for "Doubt" and "Revolutionary Road," respectively) though each has only about 10 minutes of screen time.

Michael Semanick was cited twice in the sound mixing race, for his work on "Benjamin Button" and "Wall-E." Ben Burtt is up for "Wall-E," in both sound editing and mixing.

Lora Hirschberg ("Dark Knight") becomes the third woman nominated in the sound mixing category.

To read the article at Variety please go here.

Also from the Associated Press

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with 13 Oscar nominations, has tied with eight other films to become the second-most-nominated movie in Academy Award history. First place is still held by "Titanic" (1997) and "All About Eve" (1950), with 14 nominations each.

THE STREEP STREAK: Meryl Streep continues to be Oscar's most nominated performer, with this year's nod for "Doubt" bringing her total to 15. That's three ahead of Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, who have 12 each. But Hepburn, who died in 2003, won four Oscars and Nicholson has won three, while Streep has two.

A NEW RECORD HOLDER: Kate Winslet is now the youngest person to garner six Oscar nominations. Winslet received her sixth nomination, for "The Reader," at 33, one year younger than Bette Davis was when she got her sixth in 1942 for "Now, Voyager."

REPEAT PERFORMER; Philip Seymour Hoffman is the only repeat Oscar nominee from last year. Hoffman, nominated Thursday for supporting actor for "Doubt," was nominated for supporting actor last year for "Charlie Wilson's War." He won the lead actor Oscar for 2005's "Capote."

POSTHUMOUS NOMINEES: With his supporting actor nomination for "The Dark Knight," Heath Ledger joins a handful of Hollywood notables to be so honored after their deaths. Others include James Dean ("East of Eden," 1955, and "Giant," 1956), Spencer Tracy ("Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," 1967), Peter Finch ("Network," 1976), Ralph Richardson ("Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," 1984) and Massimo Troisi ("The Postman," 1995). Only Finch has gone on to win.

UNOFFICIAL NOMINEE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also lists Jeanne Eagles as an "unofficial" nominee for best actress for 1929's "The Letter," the year she died. Although only winners were announced that year, the Academy says records indicate Eagles was "under consideration" for an award.

CHANNELING A PRESIDENT: Frank Langella, nominated for "Frost/Nixon," becomes the second actor nominated for a best actor Oscar for portraying former President Richard Nixon. Anthony Hopkins was the first, for 1995's "Nixon."

BEEN THERE BEFORE: Five acting nominees in this year's Oscar competition are previous winners: Sean Penn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and Marisa Tomei.

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