If you’ve been following our August Man Malaysia Facebook page (if you haven’t what are you waiting for?), you would undoubtedly know that we have been posting up great bits of information regarding the 88th Academy Awards happening this weekend. However, if you really want to impress your friends these weekend or just be that ultra-Oscar-fan who seems to know a surprising amount of trivia about the Academy Awards, here is our list of 11 things you should know about Uncle Oscar.
The Oscar statuette is not as light as you think! It weighs about 3 kg and stands about 34 cm tall. The Academy Awards icon got its name from Margaret Herrick, the Academy librarian who upon seeing the statuettes in 1931 exclaimed “Why it looks like my Uncle Oscar!”
The only silent film to win best picture was Wings in 1927/28 and while the 2011 movie, The Artist, was mostly silent, it had a sountrack that featured some sequences with sound effects, music throughout and several characters with brief dialogues. Speaking of The Artist, it was the last entirely black-and-white film to win best picture with the previous one being The Apartment in 1960. Additionally, Gone With The Wind (1939) was the first ever film that wasn’t in black-and-white to win the award.
As coveted as an Academy Awards is in the industry, there are those who have refused and the first person to ever do this was Dudley Nichols. In 1935 he won best screenplay for The Informer but ended up boycotting the ceremony due to an ongoing dispute the Academy and the Writer’s Guild. Other notable names who also refused their Oscars include Marlon Brando and even Banksy to name a few.
Currently the actor who holds the title for most best actor awards goes to Daniel Day-Lewis with three Oscars for Lincoln, There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot.
As for the actress who holds the equivalent is Katherine Hepburn winning four best actress awards for Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond. Even so, she never attended the ceremonies even though she was nominated 12 times. The only time she ever made an appearance was in 1974 in order to present Producer Lawrence Weingarten the Irving G. Thalberg Award.
The individual to hold the most Academy Awards is none other than Walt Disney with 26 awards for best short subject, best documentary, and best picture. Of the 26, four are honorary awards presented to him including one for the creation of Mickey Mouse.
Whoopi Goldberg was the first female and also the first African-American at that to host the Academy Awards ceremony in 1994 without a co-host, doing so four times in the span of 1994 to 2002. She is also the only host to have an Oscar of her own winning one for her supporting role in Ghost.
The title for only movie to win every award it was nominated for goes to The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King at the 76th Annual Academy Awards where it won in the following categories: best picture, best director, best writing (adapted screenplay), best film editing, best art direction (set decoration), best costume design, best makeup, best music (original score), best music (original song), best sound mixing, best visual effects.
The most Oscar-nominated family goes to the Newmans with 89 nominations and counting. The main contributor is of course composer Alfred Newman, with Emil, Lionel, Randy and David making their own contributions as well. Thomas Newman has 13 nominations including best achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score) for Bridge of Spies.
The subject of race at The Oscars cropped again this year. It is, however, been an issue that has long plagued The Oscars and not without reason. It was only in 2002, that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry became the first African-Americans to win the best actor and best actress Oscars, amidst heavy criticism that year. Till then, actors like Sydney Poitier, Whoopi Goldberg and Denzel Washington had only received acknowledgement in the supporting category.
Accusations of discrimination aren’t been confined to only the subject race, The Oscars have also been accused of gender-bias. In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow made history by becoming the first woman to win a best director, beating ex-husband James Cameron nominated for Avatar (2009). Previous “snubs” include Barbra Streisand who didn’t get directorial nod despite The Prince of Tides (1992) receiving seven nominations and Penny Marshall who wasn’t nominated for the film Awakenings (1990) although it was nominated for best picture.
In 1992, The Oscars shed its staid image when Beauty and The Beast (1991) became the first full length animated feature film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar. It however only won awards in the original score category.