Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Academy Award Trivia

Before downloading a film, I used to check whether it has got any academy award nominations or wins with an expectation that it'd be a good movie. Sometimes back I downloaded only the films which have either best picture award or best screenplay award nominations (later I have changed this perception after watching a few films which are not worth the awards... that's a different story). However, it is kind of interesting to know about the facts and statistics of academy awards, like who has won maximum times, who hasn’t won even a single time, etc. While I was surfing about them, many such facts fascinated me. I have posted a few of them below.

Walt Disney is the only individual person to walk away with maximum number of Oscar wins and nominations, a total of 26 wins out of total 64 nominations.

The record for maximum number of Oscar awards has been shared by 3 movies - Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of the Rings – Return of the King each holding the record number of 11 awards.

There is an informal term called Big Five awards i.e., the awards for best picture, best director, best actor, best actress and best screenplay. Only three movies have got the Big Five Awards till date. They are It happened one night, One flew over cuckoo’s nest and The silence of the Lambs.

The best picture winning film usually has awards or nominees in other major categories too, mainly acting category. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is an exception, to be the first and only film which has more than 10 awards including best picture category but not a single nomination in acting category.

Winning an academy award is what every actor and actress wants to achieve in their lifetime at least once. How about winning it twice, successively!! Spencer Tracey and Tom Hanks are the only two actors to achieve it. Tracey won best actor awards for Captains Courageous in 1938 and Boys Town in 1939. Tom Hanks won for Philadelphia in 1993 and Forrest Gump in 1994.

In best actress category, Katherine Hepburn and German actress Luisa Rainer won 2 awards in consecutive years. Hepburn won the awards in 1968 and 1969 for Guess who’s coming for dinner and The Lion in winter, and Rainer in 1936 and 1937 for the films The great Ziegfeld and The good earth.

It happens sometimes for talented artists to not win an award despite their repeated nominations. Lawrence of Arabia actor Peter O’toole was nominated 8 times in acting category but he has never won an award.

The above said thing happened for one of the most talented filmmakers of all the time Alfred Hitchcock who has even created a genre by his name “Hitchcockian”. Unfortunately he had never won an award out of his 5 nominations.

Russel Crowe is the only actor to have nominated for Best Actor Oscar for three times in a row, for The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001). Of these three, he won the award for Gladiator.

The facts that fascinated me the most are related to Australian actress Cate Blanchett and her oscar profile. She has some unique achievements in oscar history.  She got the best supporting actress award for playing the role of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator, making her the first and only person till date to win an Oscar for playing the role of a previous Oscar winner, Hepburn. 

Left: Katherine Hepburn, Right: Cate as Hepburn
Cate is also the first and only actress to be nominated twice for the same role, as Queen Elizabeth in 2 different movies Elizabeth (1998) and then again in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).

Cate has an added credit to her award profile. She is the only actress to have appeared in 10+ films that were nominated for Best Picture.

Cate is also in the league of 11 actors to have nominations in both main and supporting acting categories, in the year 2007 - best actress for Elizabeth - the Golden age, and supporting actress nomination for I am not there. 

Like Cate, another beauty Kate Winslet also has a distinctive feature in her academy award credit. She is the only artist to twice share an oscar nomination with another for portraying the same character in same movie. In titanic, she shared her role of Rose with Gloria Stuart who played the older Rose. Kate and Gloria received best actress and best supporting actress nominations respectively. 

For the second time, Winslet played younger Iris Murdoch in the film Iris with bond mentor Judi Dench playing older Iris. Winslet got supporting actress nomination and Dench got best actress nomination. These are the only instances of the younger and older versions of a character in the same film both yielding Academy Award nominations.

The Hurt locker is the first (and only) Best Picture winner directed by a woman, Kathryn Bigelow who is also the only woman director to win an academy award.

There are many films made as trilogies, even more than 5 or 6 as a series like Harry potter. Of all of these trilogies made, only two trilogies have all the three films nominated for best picture award. They are The Godfather trilogy and Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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