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Oscar History

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Entries in Oscar Trivia (300)


Viola Davis to Break Records if She Crashes the Best Supporting Actress Party

Over the weekend Viola Davis's camp confirmed they were officially aiming for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Fences. This disappoints us since she won the Lead Tony on Broadway for the role and now it seems like we're going to remain ages and ages away from another WOC winning Best Actress. It's been a long time since Halle Berry. Viola will of course become the most nominated black actress at the Oscars ever if she's nominated for Fences (which will be her 3rd nomination) making her the immediate frontrunner. 

Can Viola & Denzel repeat their Tony winning dominance at the Oscars for Fences?

Updated Best Actress Chart
Updated Best Supporting Actress Chart 

But let's discuss a less cited but even more impressive (though frustrating) record Viola may break. If Viola is nominated for Fences she becomes not just the most nominated black actress but the most nominated black woman of all time in any category. Viola is currently tied with five other women with two nominations each: most famously Oprah Winfrey (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress... she also has the non-competitive Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award), Whoopi Goldberg (both for acting), and Ruth E Carter (both times for costume design) who rose up in the 1980s and 1990s. Since the turn of the century three more black women have joined them: Viola, plus Sharen Davis (both times for Costume Design) and Siedah Garrett (both times for Original Song). The only way Viola doesn't keep this record for her own is if Sharen Davis joins her in a tie for most nominated in January. Sharen designed the costumes for Fences and could also be in the mix this year for a third time. Of those six women, only Whoopi has won a competitive Oscar. 

Costume Designer Sharen Davis (Fences) could break the record WITH Viola!

P.S. One Last Note: I would like to say that the way sites are reporting on Fences is going to be disturbing us all season. I keep reading sentences like this:

'August Wilson adapted his own play for the screen and beefed up Viola's role'.

As far as we know that is not true unless of course he wrote a screenplay version that collected dust in a drawer before any movie version was planned and before there was even a revival on Broadway that they ended up using a decade later when the movie finally got a greenlight. August Wilson died in October 2005, eleven years ago (five years before Viola and Denzel won their Tony Awards for his classic play). From our understanding the movie version is just the great playwright's revival text again with dramaturgy by Tony Kushner (he's not taking screen credit for "adapting" the transition to the screen... which is probably wise given the sensitive topic of the Oscars not appreciating black artists enough). A posthumous nomination for Wilson seems possible (given the current spin) but it's still odd since he passed away over a decade before the movie began filming.


Oscar Horrors: "Dr Jekyll and Mr Mouse"

Boo! It's time for "Oscar Horrors". Each night at 7 through Halloween we look back on a horror film or horror-adjacent film's Oscar nomination until Halloween. Here's Nathaniel R...

Here's an odd statistic to consider. Did you know that Tom & Jerry was Oscar's favorite character-based cartoon franchise? The MGM cat and mouse team won seven Oscars in the Best Animated Short category, more than any other series but for Disney's "Silly Symphonies" which also won seven times. Tom & Jerry's very first short was nominated and they won for four consecutive years from 1943-1946 at the peak of their fame.

Click to read more ...


Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

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Foreign Film Race Pt 4: Female Directors and Oscar Submissions

Everything you wanted to know about the foreign language film race ...but were afraid to ask*

Toni Erdman, one of 14 films in the Foreign race directed by women, is widely expected to be nominatedPt 1 All the trailers -Albania to Italy
Pt 2 All the trailers - Japan to Yemen
Pt 3 Debut directors

Though Hollywood has an appaling track record when it comes to female representation behind the camera, other countries actually fare a lot better in this regard. Oh sure, it's still not as easy as it is for the men, but each and every year we see several female filmmakers from various countries around the Globe chosen as the best representative of their country's cinema. Now try to imagine how rarely that would happen if the USA had to export only one film to represent them annually. Hard to imagine isn't it? The only times it might conceivably have happened would have been Lost in Translation (2003) which lost best picture to a New Zealand production or The Hurt Locker (2009) which actually won best picture.

Denmark's PAW (1959) and Italy's SEVEN BEAUTIES (1976) were Oscar firsts for women

The 20 Oscar Nominated Foreign Language Films Directed By Women (and this year's hopefuls) after the jump. If you've ever wanted to do that 52 films by women viewing challenge some great ideas follow...

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And The Winner Is... Julie. No, the Other Julie.

137 days until the Oscars. Random Trivia Attack!

Did you know that Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music) losing to Julie Christie (Darling) for the 1965 Best Actress Oscar is one of only two times that the Best Actress winner has beaten a fellow nominee with the same first name?! Now you do!

The Only Other Time It Happened
1989 Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy) beating Jessica Lange (Music Box)

P.S. Though if you aren't terrible strict about it you could say three times given the case of Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) and Helena Bonham Carter (Wings of Dove) but that one hurts to bring up so never mind!


Foreign Watch: Two Oscar Favorites Join the Fray

We've been faithfully updating the Oscar charts daily to reflect the submissions in one of our favorite categories. We'd call it our favorite but then how would Cinematography, Production Design, both Actress categories, and Costume Design feel? The deadline for submission is just a few days away so in a week or two the Academy will make the list official. Generally speaking, there are one or two surprises from our charts once they do -- a sudden addition or replacement and maybe a single disqualification. But if this list holds we are just short of the all time record number. The are currently 82 submissions, which is one shy of the record from 2014 (the Ida year).

90 year old legend Andrezj Wajda with his film trophies

Among the newly announced films are After Image, a biopic of an avant garde artist, by Andrzej Wajda for Poland and The Idol, the true story of a man who competed on "Arab Idol," from Hany Abu-Assad of Palestine. Oscar loves these two directors so they're surely threats for the finalist list. Poland has submitted films by Honorary Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda a total of nine times in their history and four of those were nominated: The Promised Land in 1975, The Maids of Wilco in 1979, Man of Iron in 1981, and Katyn in 2007. Meanwhile both of Palestine's nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category come from Hany Abu-Assad: Paradise Now in 2005 and Omar in 2013.  Can these men work their Oscar-hooking magic again?

Updates to the charts (part 1, part 2, part 3) also include new contenders from Argentina, Bangladesh, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Turkey.


Venice Prizes for La La & Lav

The 73rd annual Venice Film Festival came to a close today and with that comes jury prizes. Here's the list

Lav Diaz new film "The Woman Who Left" is inspired by Tolstoy's book "God Sees the Truth, But Waits". It's four hours long and took the top Venice prize.

Main Competition Jury (Jury President Sam Mendes)
Golden Lion: The Woman Who Left (Lav Diaz)
Grand Jury Prize: Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford)
Silver Lion (Best Director): [tie] Amat Escalante for The Untamed and Andrei Konchalovsky for Paradise
Volpi Cup Best Actress: Emma Stone for La La Land
Volpi Cup Best Actor: Oscar Martínez for The Distinguished Citizen
Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Paula Beer for Frantz 

A FEW NOTES on the winners after the jump...

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