Random Oscar trivia!

Now that the dust from last week’s Oscar nominations announcement has settled a bit, I thought I’d comb through the lists and find some interesting bits of trivia. It’s nice to know that many of you out there are as obsessed with this stuff as I am. Thanks to my EW colleague Thom Geier for coming up with a couple of these. Let me know if there’s any good tidbit I’m missing.

With his Best Director nomination for The Reader, Stephen Daldry has become the first director ever to receive nods for his first three films. (The other two were Billy Elliot and The Hours.)

This year, three of the four winning lead-acting performances at the Golden Globes (Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road, Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky, and Colin Farrell for In Bruges) weren’t nominated for the Oscar. That marks the first time that’s happened since 1954, when Spencer Tracy (The Actress), David Niven (The Moon is Blue), and Ethel Merman (Call Me Madam) failed to score Oscar nods after winning the Globe.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Penélope Cruz has become the fourth actor to receive nominations for performing in two different languages. Ingrid Bergman’s seven noms include a Swedish-language role in Autumn Sonata, Robert De Niro spoke Sicilian in The Godfather Part II, and Benicio Del Toro spoke Spanish in Traffic (and English in 21 Grams).

Waltz With Bashir is the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

This year marks only the fifth time in Oscar history that the Best Picture and Best Director races matched 5 for 5. It last happened just three years ago, when Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, Good Night and Good Luck, and Munich were recognized in both categories.

With Frank Langella‘s nod for Frost/Nixon, Richard Nixon is the first president more than one man has been Oscar-nominated for playing. (Anthony Hopkins scored a nod for Nixon in 1996.)

If Heath Ledger wins the Best Supporting Actor award for The Dark Knight, he’ll be only the second posthumous acting winner ever, after Network‘s Peter Finch in 1977. Like Ledger, Finch had earned one prior nomination, and like Ledger, it was for playing a gay man, in 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.

addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)


Comments (120 total) Add your comment
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  • Cara

    Didn’t Geraldine Page also win a posthumous Oscar, for The Trip to Bountiful?

  • MsDaisy

    Page died a few months after she won her Oscar.

  • PeterBilt

    No i think your thinking of John Candy’s win for Wagon’s East

  • Wes

    Ledger is the first actor nominated for playing a comic book character.

  • Katie

    No, she was there to accept it. In old clips, they not that she had to pause to put her shoes back on.

  • Sean

    actually Ledger is not the first. Al Pacino was nominated for supporting actor for his work in the adaptation of the Dick Tracy comic. Not sure if these are the only two or if more exist.

  • sjh

    If Slumdog Millionaire were to win the Best Picture Oscar, it would only be the fifth film in the past 50 years to win without any acting nominations. The others being Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Braveheart, Last Emperor, and Gigi.

  • t.g. pierson

    Does Penelope Cruz’s nomination mean that Woody Allen has directed more actresses to an oscar nomination then any other director?

  • t.g. pierson

    Actresses nominated for a Woody Allen Film.
    Diane Keaton, Annie Hall
    Geraldine Page, Interiors
    Maureen Stapleton, Interiors
    Mariel Hemmingway, Manhattan
    Dianne Weist, Hannah and Her Sisters
    Judy Davis, Husbands and Wives
    Jennifer Tilly, Bullets Over Broadway
    Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway
    Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite
    Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown
    Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Did I miss anyone?

  • evrclr

    The way the last sentence of the article reads you are either saying that Ledger is gay or that the character he would win for is gay. It is confusing. Maybe it’s just me

  • dude

    And if the moon is purple on Thursday, for the first time since 1942, my previous streak of nominations shall not match the other award ceremony exactly for the first time in several decades.

  • Cara

    Thanks for the clarification, MsDaisy and Katie! (I’ve no idea why I so clearly recall that Page had passed away before she won! I’m clearly from a parallel universe or something…) :-)

  • Tend

    I suspect that the person who directed the most actresses to nominations is William Wyler. The nominees from his films include:
    Barbara Streisand, Funny Girl
    Fay Bainter, The Children’s Hour
    Samantha Eggar, The Collector
    Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday
    Eleanor Parker and Lee Grant, Detective Story
    Olivia de Havilland, The Heiress
    Greer Garson, Teresa Wright, and May Whitty in Mrs. Miniver
    Bette Davis, Teresa Wright, and Patricia Collinge, The Little Foxes
    Bette Davis, The Letter
    Maria Ouspenskaya, Dodsworth
    Bette Davis and Fay Bainter, Jezebel
    Geraldine Fitzgerald, Wuthering Heights
    Claire Trevor, Dead End
    Bonita Granville, These Three
    And of course, Streisand, Hepburn, de Havilland, Garson, Wright, and Davis all won.

  • Rebecca

    ervclr – I believe the reference to a gay character is in respect of the “one prior nomination” which for Ledger was for Brokeback Mountain.

  • GHB

    If Kate Winslet does not win this year, she will have tied with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter as the most nominated actress (6 each) not to have won. She wouldn’t be in bad company!

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