Friday, January 28, 2011

5 Things You Might Not Have Known About This Year's Oscars

Get used to this, guys: for the next month I'm going to analyze and over-analyze the Oscar nominations until there's nothing else to be said about them. But think about how much you're going to learn! Anyway, here's some random little bits that might put them into new light.

1. Out of 120 nominees, 57.5% of them belong to the 10 Best Picture nominees. That's a truly staggering figure, indicating that, as we presumed during the predictions season, only a handful of films have dominated the awards season (this includes the 12 nominations received by The King's Speech). For a few other interesting statistics in relation to this, 15 of the 20 acting nominees come from a Best Picture nominee (compared to 9 of 20 last year), and all of the Best Picture nominees picked up screenplay nominations except one: Black Swan.

2. Alan Menken has more Oscars than any living person. The eight-time Oscar-winning composer is nominated this year for his contribution to "I See the Light" from Tangled, nominated for Best Original Song. Its his 19th nomination overall. He's a Disney mainstay, having worked on the music for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Enchanted, among others.

(from left) Greer Garson, Ingrid Bergman, Jennifer Jones

3. Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, and Jeremy Renner have achieved Oscar history. These three men were all nominated in Best Actor last year (Bridges won), and all three of them are nominated for Oscars again this year. Only one other time in the 83-year history of the award have three nominees from one category received consecutive nominations in the same year. In 1943, Greer Garson (Madame Curie), Ingrid Bergman (For Whom the Bell Tolls), and Jennifer Jones (The Song of Bernadette) were nominated for Best Actress (Jones won). The following year, all three of them received nominations, with Garson (Mrs. Parkington) and Bergman (Gaslight) competing in Best Actress (Bergman won) and Jones (Since You Went Away) competing for Best Supporting Actress (losing to Ethel Barrymore). The parallels between these trios are certainly worth noting.

4. Julia Roberts still holds a lot of sway in the Academy, despite having no nominations herself since 2000. Just as she championed Denzel Washington's Training Day performance in 2001 - which lead to him winning the Best Actor Oscar and making him the first black actor to win multiple Oscars - she's swayed voters to include Javier Bardem in this year's Best Actor field for his performance in Biutiful. And while we're on Bardem: he just recently welcomed the birth of his son with wife Penelope Cruz. This is the fifth year in a row in which either Bardem or Cruz has been Oscar-nominated. I'm not sure any other Hollywood couple in history can claim that kind of streak.

5. France really doesn't like the way Foreign Language Film turned out. Its not just that France's submission, Of Gods and Men, missed the shortlist a week ago, preventing it from receiving a nomination. More importantly, the French are angry about the inclusion of Algeria's Outside the Law; supposedly, the French are not pleased with their negative depiction in the film, which is about the Algerian independence struggle as told from the points-of-view of four Algerian men. French-Algerian relations have never been great, and it seems like this film (and the Academy's decision to nominate it) hasn't been helpful. 


Simon said...

Do you ever think about Cruz and Bardem's awesomeness and realize, even if they speak English in public, they're probably speaking only Spanish amongst themselves? That's, like, a big epiphany for me.

Jason H. said...