Oscar History

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Reader's Choice Factoids & Acting Oscar Trivia

I thought I was done posting about the 85th Academy Awards but here's one last takeaway post. See I realized we hadn't yet discussed YOUR votes and it is Reader Appreciation Month now (more to come). Plus one Best Actress Supremacy battle I think you'll like to ponder! 

Reader's Choice Stats Takeaway
Biggest Landslide: Anne Hathaway (Supporting Actress for Les Misérables) was the only Oscar winner to nab more than 50% of reader votes here. Though she was obviously the most polarizing actor, male or female, during Oscar season that didn't stop her from crushing her competition at the Oscars or here.
Poorest Showing: Denzel Washington's (Actor) return to form in Flight (seriously he's so good in that film) was, remarkably, in last place only 2% of the votes in his field. Yes even Jacki Weaver 4% and Alan Arkin 3% in the supporting categories won more of your love. What gives?  
Poorest Showing from an Oscar Winner: Though Christoph Waltz was also only third place in your ballots for Supporting Actor, Jennifer Lawrence actually had a weaker 3rd place showing - she took only 19% of your votes in Best Actress
Most Divisive Polling: Best Picture. Votes were all over the place with the winner (Argo) only managing 19% of the votes which was a very slim margin among the top four vote getters (readers also loved Amour, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty)
Agree to Disagree: Best Actress, always our marquee category here at The Film Experience, had the most votes of any of the polls and there was no agreement between Oscar, Nathaniel and The Film Experience readers: Oscar chose Lawrence; Nathaniel chose Riva; Readers chose Chastain. 

Ben Affleck's odd stats and Jennifer Lawrence vs. Joan Fontaine after the jump...

Oscar Trivia Takeaways
Ang Lee is now the second person of color to win the Best Director Oscar. He was also the first. He's still the only. 

Ben Affleck now joins the extremely slim ranks of movie stars turned lauded directors who've won multiple Oscars that came from different movies (i.e. most multi-hyphenates who have two Oscars win both for the same film). This is the tiniest of tiny club that really includes only Clint Eastwood (who has Oscars from Unforgiven & Million Dollar Baby), and George Clooney (who has Oscars from Syriana & Argo)... note: it would include Jodie Foster & Barbra Streisand if they were more applauded for directing and weren't so unprolific, and Woody Allen if he didn't start out as a multi-hyphenate (he was always a writer/director who also happened to star in his own film). Curiously, Affleck is now the only multiple Oscar-winning movie star to have not won either of his Oscars from acting or directing, the two disciplines he's most famous for. He won for Screenplay (Good Will Hunting) and for Producing (Argo)

Despite Affleck's big Oscar success, he is still behind Warren Beatty & George Clooney for breadth of nominations: Beatty & Clooney & Orson Welles remain the only three Hollywood titans to have been nominated in all four types of marquee categories (directing, acting, writing, producing). 

Jennifer Lawrence vs. Joan Fontaine
At the very young age of 22, Jennifer Lawrence is now the second youngest Best Actress winner ever. Marlee Matlin still holds the record having won at the age of 21 for her starring role in Children of a Lesser God (1986).

But Lawrence did grab hold of one all-time record this year: She's now the youngest two-time Best Actress nominee (Winters Bone & Silver Linings Playbook), beating Joan Fontaine who accomplished it by 24 (Rebecca & Suspicion); both of them won on their second nomination. It took over 70 years for anyone to break Fontaine's record so don't expect Lawrence to see a challenger in your lifetime. The only living actor who is halfway there is Quvenzhané Wallis -- little Keisha Castle-Hughes from Whale Rider is actually older than Lawrence! time flies. If Quvenzhané becomes a major star with Annie (2014) and keeps winning great roles through those awkward teenage years who knows. But it seems highly unlikely since black actresses rarely get a second nomination (only Viola Davis and Whoopi Goldberg have managed to break that glass ceiling)

But Lawrence's Oscar history battle with Fontaine may not yet be over. The youngest actress to three leading acting nominations is still Joan Fontaine who won her third (and last) nomination at 26 years for The Constant Nymph. If Lawrence wants that record too, she only has a few years to hustle for it.

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Reader Comments (39)

I just love this sort of trivia nonsense!

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe U.K.

Here's a bit of Oscar trivia that I noticed that I'm hoping my fellow TFE Oscar junkies can confirm/destroy:

From what I can tell, Hoffman and Adams are only the second pair of actors to be nominated for the same film on two separate occassions. They were first nominated together in Doubt and then again this year in The Master. The only other time that I have found this to have occurred was with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden (!) each nominated together in both A Streetcar Named Desire as well as in On the Waterfront.

Did I miss an important pairing? Just thought it was interesting and wanted to share. Sorry if I missed a previous discussion on this topic :)

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Travis -- ooh, i hadn't realized this but that's amazing. I do wonder if there's a third though that we're forgetting. anyone?

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Jennifer Lawrence seems like a sweet girl, but she was terribly weak in Silver Linings Playbook- her shaky acting, her lack of depth, her laughable accent, and she repeatedly botched her lines. It was all very distracting, and it took me out of the movie. Riva and Watts deserved the Oscar over her. Lawrence's lack of training and her very little acting experience, always shows in her film performances. Recently, Jennifer was out of league hosting SNL. Years from now, people are going to look back and realize the ridiculousness of giving her the Oscar ( the best example: giving Sandra Bullock the Oscar ) . Talk about painfully overrated.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternancy

I don't want to go to "the world is becoming worse and worse" territory but seriously: Lawrence breaking Fontaine's record? Really...

I mean, I haven't seen Suspicion and maybe Nick is right that she is bad in it but still, Lawrence as Best Actress for that performance was sad. She didn't know what to do: "Is this the face I should be making right now? I have no clue!"

When you're young and hot you only have to be in a "serious subject" movie to get a nod or even the Oscar.

But nooo, let's hate Winslet for winning for The Reader because she cried after getting the second Globe....

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I think if Lawrence pulls off Serena, she'll be back next year.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Of course can't be sure Jennifer Lawrence will beat Joan Fontaine to that marker but I think she stands a good chance. She's a better actress than Fontaine was, although JF had her moments and should have been nominated for Letter from an Unknown Woman, but more importantly she is more popular among her co-workers than Joan, who had quite a reputation as a frosty bitch. And not just with fellow actors and crews but she was actually voted least co-operative actress by the press at one time, the sort of thing that is usually death to award coverage and winning. As JL's recent interchange in the press room after her win shows she has an enchanting presence and a way with the fourth estate.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Wow. I guess I'm in the minority. While the film is flawed, I thought Lawrence was wonderful in "SLP." I would've given my Academy vote to Rivas, but that's not to negate Lawrence.
Also, while Hathaway was fine in an otherwise (profoundly) disappointing "Les Miz," Field deserved her 3rd Oscar for "Lincoln."

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjeffreychrist

I don't see a reason to be hating on Lawrence so much now. Out of the five gals nominated for Best Actress, Chastain and Watts will be back soon with a third nomination and possibly a win, Wallis has a very bright future ahead of her and Riva's nomination was a win all by itself. How many extremely old and foreign actresses get nominated? I see all of them as winners.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I believe the last Best Actress winner to return the year after she won was Emma Thompson for Howard's End/The Remain's of the Day in 1992/1993. Prior to that, it was Meryl Streep coming off her second win for Sophie's Choice with her nomination for Silkwood in 1983.

Jane Fonda also returned from her second win for Coming Home for a nod for The China Syndrome in 1979.

It's a pretty high standard that seems to be reserved for the most respected actresses in Hollywood, and I'll be rather surprised if Lawrence meets this bar, but hey, anything's possible.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

@Sad man - You had me at "extremely old" :p

Personally, I can't say I love or hate or have even much milder emotions than those because of awards "distribution".

But now that you mentioned Riva, I'm going to say that I actually have no problem that she didn't win in the sense that another Haneke prtagonist, Huppert in The Piano Teacher, deserved a nod and maybe a win more than Riva did.
If Huppert doesn't get at least ONE nomnations in her life time, I will just refuse to join the Academy when they ask me to.

Also, don't be sure about ANYONE's Oscar future. When was the last time Julianne Moore got a nomination?

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

@James: I didn't mean extremely old as an insult. lol But she is an old, lovely, lady. And in Hollywood's eyes she's a dinosaur, so it's even more impressive that she was nominated.

And Naomi should at least get some attention with the Princess Di movie this year. If I were the Academy I could not resist the idea of nominating her and Nicole for Grace Kelly. Aussie bffs pinned against eachother? Gold, pun intended.

And Chastain will be nominated again. She's the other it girl next to Lawrence, but a more adults only version of an it girl.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Travis: Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon were both nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress for the same movie in two separate occasions. In 1942 for Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson won Best Actress) and in 1943 for Madame Curie.
I wonder if there are more pairings.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterca

@Sad man - I know you didn't mean it as an insult :) She is, after all, the oldest nominee ever (I think?).

And yes, Naomi has a good chance with the Diana biopic but, who knows?

And Chastain, I think (and hope) she'll get many more nods but, about the IT girl, Mulligan was the IT girl 4 years ago. She might get back on the game with Gatsby but what I'm saying is that we all see patterns and laws that just exist until they don't ;)

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

ca - thanks for the trivia! this is a fun thread.

james t -- agreed on "don't be too sure of anyone's oscar future"... every time a newbie arrives i've noticed people think that they're coming back immediately. They rarely do. I mean NO nominations for Watts for 10 years for example after 21 Grams. Nothing for Carey Mulligan after An Education 4 years ago (despite winning much acclaim for at least one of hte projects). Nothing for Keira Knightley for 8 years after her first.

it can be really hard to return. and then other people just have no trouble compiling nod after nod (amy adams). it's a weird thing.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I thought Angela Lansbury was also in the mix with multiple acting nominations at a young age...

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Joan Fontaine is still alive. might this spark her into appearing on film again? you know she would automatically get buzz for oscar if she came back. she could set a new record for oldest nominee.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

San Fran -- angela lansbury actually still holds the all time record (first to two nominations) but she got all of her nominations in the supporting category and i was taking about Best Actress

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nathaniel -- Right! Thanks for the memory-jog.

Also -- I agree with you about Denzel. Possibly his best performance ever but in a year so crowded he didn't have a chance. I voted for Joaquin but could have voted for any of the five.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I liked Silver Linings and Lawrence more than I thought I would, although they still wouldn't be on my personal lists of bests. But I'm all for Lawrence enjoying this honeymoon period of celebrity.

Poor girl, she still has 2 installments of The Hunger Games to get through, and those books are boring, badly written, lacking in excitement, and have no character development. Sorry, the Twilight books had more interest and excitement. And since they are blockbuster films, you know they are going to go the way of standard spectacle. People will start grumbling about Lawrence, and even with years of experience it's hard to be diplomatic and keep the crowd favorably disposed towards you.

The "It Girl" category can be extremely transitory.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlorenzo

I love Jennifer Lawrence, I think she's a marvelously intuitive actress and her off-screen persona is enchanting. But she didn't deserve this win; while I'm grateful it didn't go to the bland Jessica Chastain or the horribly awful Québooboo, I would've preferred Naomi Watts or (especially) Emanuelle Riva.

No, Joan Fontaine's work in "Suspicion" is not her best -- she was superior in "Rebecca," "The Constant Nymph" and "Letter from an Unknown Woman" -- but even her competently good performance in "Suspicion" is considerably better than Lawrence or even Watts this year.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Streisand won an Oscar for Best Song.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete

joel6 -- I'll take Joan Fontaine's acting over Jennifer Lawrence's any day, thank you. And you're mistaken by saying that Joan was a "bitch;" Olivia was the mean and unprofessional one of the sisters de Havilland.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarla

CA - Thanks!

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

It's unfair to compare Joan to Jennifer, different kind of movies, different styles of acting. But I do enjoy Lawrence A LOT more.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Even as an unabashed Chastain fan, I don't think she is an 'it girl'. I think she moves more toward Julianne Moore (maybe redhead is on my brain on that one) as both had their breakouts, e.g. Short Cuts, Vanya on 42nd Street, and Safe as the 3 consecutive breakout projects for Moore, and first nominations rather 'late' (both in their 30s). Chastain, like Moore, just reads as a prestige movie actress while also been wisely spread out in her project choices. She will get her next nomination soon (although I am not sure if the 2 Eleanor Rigby movies or Miss Julie are movies the Academy gravitates toward).

As for Mulligan, come on, let's not act like she was not trying after she was declared 'it girl'. Ideally those roles in Never Let Me Go and Shame should have been nominated in back-to-back years.

James T- Don't get me started on the madness of Huppert never get an Oscar nomination, particularly for THAT performance. I am still dealing with the idea that Deneuve only has one, for a pretty terrible movie at that.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Joseph - Seriously. Can you not with the "Quebooboo" thing. It's not funny and it comes off as racist. Stop.

I kinda think Jennifer Lawrence will beat JF again. People seem to REALLY love her. Like, if she could win for SLP, anything is possible. Especially with Sabrina.

Who knows, maybe Quvenzhane will beat JLaw. They did vote her in this year even when it wasn't looking likely. Maybe this will be the start of black actresses getting more chances ... I'm probably just being optimistic.

Also, did anyone notice that Naomi's two nominations came the two years that the Best Actress age record was broken? With Keisha Castle-Hughes and Quvenzhane.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Well, I'll stay positive and I'll wait for Emmanuelle Riva's second Oscar nomination (even though she won't win... she couldn't this year with a performance for the ages).

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

Carey Mulligan is the best actress of generation and she has the ability of being incredibly good even in bad films, like Never Let Me Go. And she has my favorite thing about actress: auteur lust. I think she should have won for An Education, but that thing of her picking difficult or divisive projects won't help her getting a second nomination.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

In Riva's defense, who would have thought that Jessica Tandy would receive another nomination after Driving Miss Daisy (for Fried Green Tomatoes) and nearly land one for another (Nobody's Fool)? And Christopher Plummer came back from The Last Station to win for Beginners.

And I agree with James T/Nathaniel-no one can ever tell who from a year will get a second nomination. Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keira Knightley, Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Bill Murray, and Ryan Gosling are all still waiting for a second Oscar nomination, whereas Jacki Weaver and Melissa Leo, seemingly one-and-doners, only had to wait two years to enjoy theirs.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Pete -- i know Streisand has two Oscars but i think it's a stretch to consider a major acclaimed director since she never works... (shame, that) which is why i only mentioned her in passing. But yest she's also a movie star turned director with two Oscars.

James & Others -- the thing with Huppert is that even if she was an american actress making these movies in english, she might not win Oscar attention. Way too chilly and cerebral for what they respond to. But, duh yeah, she should've been nominated for The Piano Teacher. Still... it never would have happened. Even in English.

March 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

cal roth, please, carey mulligan is not the best actress of her generation. and, I didn't care for her performance in never let you go.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

I'd like to recommend a recent and wonderful movie with Huppert, Hong Sangsoo's In Another Country. Just for a change, Huppert is not an ultrabitch or a powerful cold woman. She is incredibly sweet and lovely and charming. I could had never seen it coming.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

My bad English, sorry

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Although I voted for Anne I was quite tempted to go with Helen Hunt. Such a brave and unexpected comeback.

I'm surprised with all that support for Jessica. That character reads blank to me.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

CIA blankness is why that character reads blank and not the performance feeling off the reservation. It is a specific kind of blankness, constructed by how the CIA trains its field agents. That character is defined by her work so yes, a big part of her is that construct but one of my favorite scenes with that character is her trying to act normal with Jennifer Ehle's character at the restaurant. The expressions of unease and uncomfortableness she has in talking about anything besides work is what sold me that this is a character who shows how messed up that construct of her is in practice. In ways she reads like the ideal CIA field agent but when she interacts with others and is removed from the central action she is ultimately somebody who is empty and gone.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Peggy, Jessica portrayed a character who personified an ideal. And she did in most human terms. There was no emotional void. The emotions were tangled up in a thick morass of politically and socially tabu mystery. She portrayed the most difficult of all the characters in the Oscar race. With brilliant intuition and contradiction. She deserved the Oscar.

March 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I see that, but for instance I don't buy her outbursts with Kyle Chanlder ... I'm sorry guys. I suppose I'm just not buying this gigantic CIA momentum on movies and TV.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I'm with you regarding Denzel Washington, Nathaniel. "Flight" is easily his best performance since "Training Day" and one of the the best of the year, yet it seemed to be met with a collective shrug. I guess people are refraining from expressing their excitement until "Fences."

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

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