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Monday
Feb252019

Oscar Trivia with the 91st Annual Academy Awards now a wrap

Now that the big show has ended let's talk trivia. Please do share any cool things you noticed in the comments.

PICTURE & DIRECTING

• With Alfonso Cuarón's win we are reminded that Mexico is completely dominant for Best Director prizes in Hollywood of late. Five of the past six winners have been Mexican directors (Damien Chazelle for La La Land being the lone non-Mexican winning). The US is really lagging, and not behind Mexico -- in the ten past ceremonies only two American-born directors have won: Chazelle and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker

Alfonso Cuarón is the first and ONLY director to win for directing a foreign-language film. Some trivia listings suggest he's the second after Michel Hanavicius for The Artist but that was a silent film, so language isn't relevant...

• Alfonso Cuarón is the third director to win twice without ever having one of his movies win Best Picture winner. The others are George Stevens (Giant and A Place in the Sun) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain)

• It's the new normal. Though the "expanded" era of Best Picture era began in 2009 we've only had the current system (varying degrees of nominees + "preferential" ballot to determine the win) since 2011. In the 8 years of the current system, Best Picture/Best Director have split more than half the time.

• Green Book is the 5th film to win Hollywood top prize, Best Picture, without even having a  Best Director nomination. The only others were Wings (1927), Grand Hotel (1932), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and Argo (2012). More amorphously (and mileage may vary on what the movies are primarily about)  but there have been several movies with race relations, interracial strife, ethnic prejudice or ethnic genocidal topics to with the top prize including: Gentleman's Agreement (1947), West Side Story (1961), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Dances with Wolves (1990), Schindler's List (1993), Crash (2005), and 12 Years a Slave (2013).

Green Book is approximately the millionth movie to win Best Picture without passing the Bechdel Test. They really cannot get enough of movies about men with one token female role.

Green Book is a very typical length as Oscar winning movies go. It is 2 hours and 10 minutes long. The average Best Picture length last time we checked about about 2 hours and 18 minutes.

ACTING

• With Glenn Close's loss on her 7th nomination she is now the all-time loser among women, defeating Deborah Kerr & Thelma Ritter's previous record of six wins with no Oscar. Amy Adams has now, with her sixth losing nomination, joined Ritter and Kerr as runner up to Glenn Close in most nominations without a win. If you include male actors the list goes like so with asterisks indicating that they (at least) received Honorary Oscars in their lifetime.

  1. Peter O'Toole* (8 nominations) 
  2. [TIE - 7 noms each] Glenn Close & Richard Burton 
  3. [TIE - 6 noms each] Amy Adams, Thelma Ritter, and Deborah Kerr*
  4. [TIE - 5 noms each] Albert Finney, Arthur Kennedy
  5. A lot of people have 4 noms without ever winning. It's not uncommon but five and up is scarce for the non-winners.

• With Mahershala Ali's second win, he joins Vivien Leigh, Luise Rainer, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, and Hillary Swank as the only six actors who have won each time (i.e. multiple times) they've been nominated. They all went 2 for 2.  Related Note: Walter Brennan, a popular character actor of the 1930s and 1940s pulled off a perfect 3/3 but then got one more nomination spoiling his 100% record ;) 

• Rami Malek is the first person of Arab or Egyptian descent to win an acting Oscar. The only other nominee that we're aware of was the 1960s superstar Omar Sharif, who was nominated once (Lawrence of Arabia)

• Mahershala Ali is the first person of color to win two supporting acting Oscars. He now ties with Denzel Washington for the most acting Oscars for a person of color: 2. (Anything over 2, for any actor of any gender or color, is of course a rarity -- Katharine Hepburn has the record with 4 Oscar for acting) 

• Olivia Colman is the third person to win Best Actress playing a queen. The previous royal winners were Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter (1968) and Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006). If you include Supporting Actress there are four since you can add in Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love (1998).

WRITING

• With Rami Malek's win, screenwriter Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody) has written three of the past five Best Actor winners. How crazy is that? 

• Black writers have been killing it in the Adapted Screenplay category of late: 4 of the last 10 winning films in that category have been written or co-written by black men with Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott being the latest via BlacKkKlansman.

CRAFT CATEGORIES

Black Panther is the FIRST superhero movie to win Best Costume Design (and the only one ever nominated in point of fact) and the second to win Production Design (the previous win was for Tim Burton's Batman in 1989) 

• Hannah Beachler (Production Designer) became the first African-American woman to win her category. She is also, in fact the only black nominee ever in that category, male or female. 

• Ruth E Carter (Costume Design) is now in a three way tie with Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis for most honored black woman of all time with Oscar. They each have 3 nominations and 1 win. She's also the first African-American woman to win in Costume Design. The only other African-American nominee has been Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls) who has yet to win. 

Roma joins Schindler's List (1993) as the only two black & white films to win Best Cinematography since the Oscars stopped having a separate category for Black and White films (the first year for a combined category was 1967 -- Bonnie & Clyde won). 

MISCELLANIA

• Peter Ramsey is the first African-American to win in Animated Feature (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) but we'll surely soon have more since that category is young.

• Asian and black women did exceptionally well at the 91st Oscars winning in the following categories last night: Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Supporting Actress.  

EGOT MOVEMENT

• Ludwig Goransson, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Lady Gaga all now have Oscars to go with their Grammys.  EGOT

• Rami Malek, Spike Lee, Regina King, and Kate Biscoe (Makeup) now have an Oscar to go with their Emmys. EGOT

• Olivia Colman, Ruth E Carter (Costume Design), Hannah Beachler (Production Design), John Warhurst (Sound Editing) and John Ottman (Editing) all have Oscars now. Though they don't have any of the other big four showbiz awards they're worth mentioning because they've previously been Emmy nominated so maybe they'll win next time they are? EGOT

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Reader Comments (54)

Technically speaking, Eleanor of Aquitaine was a Queen Consort (i.e. a King's wife), whereas Dench, Mirren and now Colman played Queens by right of birth.

(Additional trivia that has nothing to do with this ceremony, but that I find endlessly fascinating: 100% of actors nominated for playing a British Prime Minister ended up winning. It's 3/3 with George Arliss, Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman.)

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Kevin Spacey is also 2/2.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterApologies

Denzel and Mahershala are two of only four African Americans to win multiple Oscars, I'm pretty sure. The other two are sound mixers, also with two wins apiece: Willie Burton (Bird, Dreamgirls) and Russell Williams (Glory, Dances with Wolves).

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Nick-Technically Spike Lee, too, but that's only if you count Honorary Oscars.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

An Asian woman also won for Documentary Feature.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

"Rami Malek is the first person of Arab or Egyptian descent to win an acting Oscar. The only other nominee that we're aware of was the 1960s superstar Omar Sharif, who was nominated once (Lawrence of Arabia)"

Shroreh Aghdashloo?

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

3 of the 4 acting winners were playing gay/queer characters. Surely that's a record.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike

So much history made last night. So many people of color and women represented. I didn't agree with a good portion of the outcomes in the major categories, but the impact was undeniable.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

@J. - she's not Arab or Egyptian (she's of Iranian descent).

With Rami Malek's win, screenwriter Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody) has written three of the past five Best Actor winners. How crazy is that?

Sucks to see gimmicky performances in middling biopic get rewarded so often.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Has Regina King ever done theater as an adult?

Olivia Colman will easily triple crown.

They hate Glenn Close.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

With King's victory I think, though I'm not sure, that Barry Jenkins became the first black director to guide two actors to Oscars.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Colman becomes the 15th actress to win an Oscar in her 40s, and the 6th person over 40 to win in the last 10 years. This is the best 10 year stretch for women over 40 in Oscar history. Women in their 30s is the most popular age group to win - 34 overall, but it's not happened since 2008 (Kate Winslet).

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Lead Actress I should say.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

3/4 of the acting winners were POC, which is a first.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGuest

2018 has officially been the worst year for the Oscars. No noms for You Were Never Really Here and Hereditary. Many wins for that dreadful Queen movie and a mediocre superhero film. The cherry on top is Glenn Close losing yet again.
Fuck the Oscars! Not giving any damn anymore. #cancelled

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

With Regina King's win, Barry Jenkins is now 2/3 for acting nominations/wins. He joins a list of 8 other directors with a 2/3 record.

Petter Farrelly is now 1/2 and Yorgos Lanthimos is 1/3.

Unfortunately, Bryan Singer is now 2/2 and is tied with two others for a perfect 2/2 record.
Let's all hope he doesn't get to three.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Fact check request: The Washington Post said in its recap that Hannah Beachler and Ruth Carter are the first African-American women to win in a non-acting category since Irene Cara. Is that true? No producers, or documentarians, or songwriters, or short film creators in between?

(I once read that Irene Cara was the first African-American woman to win an Oscar in any category since Hattie McDaniel, so by extension, Beachler and Carter are the 2nd and 3rd ever among non-actresses.)

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

Olivia Colman will undoubtedly add to her EGOT haul next year when she plays an inferior queen, Elizabeth II, and goes on to win every TV award possible.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Glenn "What do we have to do to win?"

Amy "Let's call Kate Winslet"

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

@Brevity After a very cursory search, that appears to be correct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_Academy_Award_winners_and_nominees

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterApologies

Glenn "Can you believe I lost again"

Frances "Here have one of mine"

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Somewhere in a quiet corner of Hollywood an Actress quietly cackles to herself.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Totally irrelevant, but isn't Alfonso Cuaron hot? Never paid much attention to his looks but was really impressed last night

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbarbara

Mahershala Ali has won two Oscars and both for films that have also won Best Picture. The only other actor I can think of that has that same distinction is Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront and The Godfather)... Jack Nicholson also won for two Best Picture winners (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment), but then he won a third Óscar for As Good as it Gets, which did not win Best Picture, so he has not won only for Best Picture winners.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Oh damn, In Cold Blood didn't win in 1967.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

"They hate Glenn Close."

Do they think she is a Republican?

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Mark Ronson now has a Grammy and an Oscar. He's been nominated for an Emmy before as well.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Richter Scale, also, each of the films for which Ali has won received a total of three Oscars in virtually the same categories (picture, screenplay, and supporting actor).

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

What is Yul Brynner's ethnicity? Does he not count here?

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSamson

Anthony McCarten has written a movie, currently in post-production, with Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis. Go Jonathan!

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Irene Dunne has 5 nods and no wins.

All 4 acting winners are Emmy nominees/winners, AND they’re all currently in tv shows. That last part is a first for any Oscar year.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBD (the real one)

@richterscale Dustin Hoffman’s 2 Oscars were for BP winners Kramer vs Kramer and Rainman.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBD (the real one)

Sorry, wish we could edit our posts.

Gene Hackman is also a two time winner in BP winners The French Connection and Unforgiven.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBD (the real one)

BD: Of course, you're right. Those are good ones. It's pretty good company to keep...

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Before everyone starts indicting "Worst Year of the Oscars," let's not forget 1956. Around the World in 80 Days won Best Picture despite being a 3-hour long footnote today. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wrong Man, and The Searchers all failed to even win ONE nomination between them. Ingrid Bergman took Best Actress for one of the most forgettable roles in her career. The writing branch accidentally nominated a Bowery Boys movie, while also being such cowards they couldn't name Dalton Trumbo despite his film winning Best Screenplay (and the same for Michael Wilson, who was denied credit for his nominated work on Friendly Persuasion). There have been other bad years with the Oscars-let's remember perspective before we indict this the worst of all time.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Alfonso Cuarón is the fourth (rather than the third) director to win Best Directing twice without either of his films winning Best Picture. As well as George Stevens and Ang Lee, Frank Borzage also did it, with Seventh Heaven, which lost to Wings, and with Bad Girl, which lost to Grand Hotel.

Re: B&W cinematography, seeing as Schindler's List had some colour sections, Roma is the first all-B&W winner since they discontinued the separate B&W and colour categories.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

They don't hate Glenn Close. They just can't stand that tv movie. That performance and that tv movie winning over the Favorite would be a hate crime. Movie God won't let that happen.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSamson

Matt - I don't know if that is a reference to how good Claire Foy is in The Crown or a casual insult to our reigning British Monarch - as a Brit I hope not the latter - but I agree Olivia will win an Emmy as she will as usual be superb

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCjD

The Shape of Water was even worst than Green Book.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Samson, you're one of those who need to shutup.

Goodness, why do people who don't know a lick about movies, stop commenting on them?

Yeah.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Close is the second actress to go 0 wins from 7 nominations
Geraldine Page also reached this number, then subsequently won on her 8th nomination.
There's still hope for Glenn yet!

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPaulT

Did every movie nominated for Best Picture win at least one Oscar? Has that ever happened before in the expanded era? How often in the "olden times" of five nominees?

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

@Me. Everyone has the right to their opinion. Samaon is actually correct. The movie was a TV movie and Glenn did a good job of acting, but not great. Colman was brilliant. IMO

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

I once loved Spike Lee ... and I thought his movie this year was great. But now I have no

respect for him. A sore loser is unacceptable.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Dave -- i'm not sure how often it happened before the expanded era but it happened in 2014 as well

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I heard Octavia Spencer was a producer of Green Book, is that true? If so then she would have two Oscar wins now.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

@KJ: She wasn't the level of producer that comes with an Oscar if the movie wins.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

This is the first year that all four acting winners were born in the 1970s or later.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

Mahershala Ali is only the sixth actor to win consecutive Oscars (supporting actor for Moonlighting 2018 and Green Book 2019). The others are Tom Hanks (lead actor for Philadelphia 1994 and Forrest Gump 1995), Jason Robards the only other person to do it for supporting roles (All The President's Men 1977 and Julia 1978), Katherine Hepburn (lead actor for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 1968 and The Lion in Winter 1969), Spencer Tracy (lead actor for Captains Courageous 1938 and Boys Town 1939), Luise Rainer (lead actress for The Great Ziegfeld 1937 and The Good Earth 1938).

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGil C.

A Star Is Born is only story to win an Oscar in three separate movies:
1937 version - Best Writing, Original Story
1976 version - Best Music, Original Song... Barbra Streisand (music), Paul Williams (lyrics)
2018 version - Best Music, Original Song... Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt.

1955 version with Judy Garland had six nominations but did not win any.

February 25, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGil C.

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