Clearly the Joaquin Phoenix add campaign worked.

Clearly the Joaquin Phoenix add campaign worked.

I fully expected to begin this post with the fact that no category had ever been entirely populated with former winners.  I expected that category to be Best Director.  Instead, with three nominees I wasn’t expecting, things have changed.  Instead, that category is Best Supporting Actor.

But the biggest news might be that Harvey Weinstein has done it again, and how.  By getting David O. Russell into the Best Director race, he has managed to do some things that haven’t been done in a long time.  And for the first time, The Weinstein Company has two films nominated for Best Picture.  And since Silver Linings Playbook is in for Director, we may have a return of the Miramax-Dreamworks wars for BP we had in the late 90’s.

But that will be part of the list below.  I also have to add in Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin to my Oscar nominated directors list.  That will be tricky since this is Zeitlin’s first feature film.

I went 4 for 5 on all the acting, 5 for 5 on both screenplay categories and 8 for 9 on Picture (I thought Amour would only get in if there were 10), but I went a shocking 2 for 5 on Director.

So, on to the trivia:

  • Silver Linings Playbook is the first film to be nominated for the big 5 awards (Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay) since 2004.  The first to be nominated for the big 7 (add in Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) since 1981.  Hell, it’s the first film to even be nominated for Actor and Actress since 2005 – there had never been a gap longer than 3 years before this 7 year gap in Academy history.
  • While there have been 41 previous films to be nominated for the big 5, only five of them were comedies: It Happened One Night, The Philadelphia Story, The Graduate, The Apartment and Annie Hall.  No comedy has ever been nominated for the big 7.
  • That it is the favorite to win Best Actress makes sense – of the 13 films to be nominated for the big 7 previously, 7 of them won Best Actress.
  • While Best Actor often is full of former winners (and has two this year), the Best Supporting Actor has historically not been.  Prior to 1992, only twice were there multiple former winners nominated and only six times total has it happened.  There has never been a year in which more than 2 of the nominees already had Oscars.  This year, in what I believe is a first, we have a category in which every nominee already has an Oscar – Best Supporting Actor, with the nominees being Robert De Niro (Actor – 1980, Supporting Actor – 1974), Alan Arkin (Supporting Actor – 2006), Christoph Waltz (Supporting Actor – 2009), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Actor – 2005) and Tommy Lee Jones (Supporting Actor – 1993).
  • In fact, while Best Director has two former winners (Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg), Best Actor has two (Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington), Supporting Actor has five and Supporting Actress has two (Sally Field, Helen Hunt), none of the Best Actress nominees have ever won and they only have a combined three nominations.  In other words, given the multiple Oscars for certain actors, the other three acting categories have at least as many Oscars combined as the Actress category has prior nominations combined.
  • Emanuella Riva is the oldest nominee in history and Quvenzhané Wallis is the youngest ever for Best Actress but you didn’t need me to tell you that.
  • Amy Adams is in danger of becoming the new Thelma Ritter.  With Anne Hathaway or Sally Field likely to win, this will be Adams’ fourth nomination (and loss) in the last decade.
  • Adams and Hoffman have done something unique here – earned supporting Oscar nominations for playing against each other for the second time.  In Doubt, she was the nun who accused his priest.  In The Master, they play a married couple.
  • There are two first-time nominees in Actor (Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper) and Actress (Riva and Wallis) but all 10 Supporting nominees have been nominated before.
  • This is the fifth year in a row that we have someone nominated for Best Supporting Actor after a least a decade-long gap between nominations.  In 2008, we had Robert Downey Jr. (16 years), in 2009 we had Woody Harrelson (13 years) and Matt Damon (12 years), in 2010 we had Geoffrey Rush (10 years), in 2011 we had Max Von Sydow (23 years), Kenneth Branagh (22 years) and Nick Nolte (13 years) and this year we have Robert De Niro (21 years).
  • Kathryn Bigelow (4) breaks Ang Lee’s 1995 record of most critics wins (3) without earning a Best Director nomination.
  • With his nomination, Spielberg moves into a tie for 3rd place all-time with 405 points, tied with Frank Capra, John Ford, David Lean and Fred Zinnemann.  If he wins, he ties Billy Wilder for 2nd all-time with 450 points.
  • Spielberg now also becomes the first person ever nominated for Best Director in five different decades.
  • Amazingly, no actor or actress has ever won an Oscar in a Spielberg film – there is the possibility that might change 3 times this year.
  • The 12 nominations for Lincoln leaves Spielberg with 124 total nominations for his films – 2 short of the record set by William Wyler – the next closest after them is Scorsese with 75.  Spielberg has the most points of any director for Editing, Cinematography (breaks a tie with Wyler), Score, Sound, Visual Effects and Sound Editing than any other director.
  • If Lincoln wins 8 Oscars, Spielberg will tie Wyler for most Oscars for his films in history with 39 – the next closest is David Lean with 26.
  • But Spielberg will continue to be a distant 2nd in points.  His films combined now have 4050 points.  Martin Scorsese is a very distant third with 2880.  But William Wyler has an incredible 5180 – that’s because I weight acting much more and so many of Wyler’s points were for acting nominations – he is the all-time leader for Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress; while Spielberg’s films have never had an Oscar-winning acting performance, Wyler’s have had 14.
  • Lincoln is Spielberg’s 23rd feature film to receive an Oscar nomination – tying him with Michael Curtiz for 2nd place behind George Cukor with 24.
  • But Paul Thomas Anderson’s lack of a nomination is also historic – he’s the first winner of Best Director at the LA Film Critics not to get nominated since Spike Lee in 1989 and just the fourth in their 38 year history to do so.
  • Before this year there had only been 3 directors who were nominated for the DGA, BAFTA, Globe and BFCA and failed to earn an Oscar nomination – Baz Luhrmann in 2001 for Moulin Rouge, Marc Forster in 2004 for Finding Neverland and Christopher Nolan in 2010 for Inception.  This year there were two – Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck.
  • This is the first time since 2007 that only one director is nominated for all five groups – Oscar, DGA, BAFTA, Globe and BFCA.  If I had told you before the race began that it was going to be Ang Lee you would not have believed me.
  • Only two of the 5 Best Director nominees earned DGA nominations – the lowest amount since the DGA fixed their nominees at 5 in 1967.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild is nominated for Picture, Director, Screenplay and lead acting – the 14th film in Oscar history to do that but earn no other nominations.  It had happened 6 times from 1930 to 1938, then only 5 more time from 1939 to 2002.  This is the third time in the last decade.  Each of the last five times it has happened the film has won either Original Screenplay (Dead Poets Society, Lost in Translation, Juno) or Actor (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Scent of a Woman).  Beasts is nominated for neither – the last film to be nominated for Adapted and Actress was The Emigrants in 1972, which won didn’t win any.  That used to be the trend – prior to Kiss, the last five times a film had been nominated like this, going back to 1933, it had won no Oscars.
  • The Master is nominated for three acting Oscars, but no other awards.  It’s only the 11th film to earn 3 or more acting noms without a Picture, Director or Screenplay nomination, the first since Iris in 2001, only the second since 1981 and only the third since 1965.  It is only the 6th film in history to earn 3 or more acting nominations and no other nominations (I say or more because Othello did it with 4 acting noms in 1965).
  • The 8 nominations for Les Miserables are the most for a film without Director or Screenplay since The Dark Knight in 2008, but for a Best Picture nominee without Director or Screenplay they are the most since Moulin Rogue in 2001.
  • Amour has become the first film nominated for Picture and Foreign Film since 2000.  It is the only film in Oscar history aside from Life is Beautiful to be nominated for Picture, Director, Foreign Film and an acting award.
  • The Best Picture tally expanded in 2009.  In 2009 there were 5 Best Picture nominees released before October, in 2010 there were 4, in 2011 there were 4.  This year there was 1 – Beasts of the Southern Wild.
  • After starring in 7 Best Picture nominees from 1974 to 1990 (including 2 winners), this is the first Best Picture nominee Robert DeNiro has been in in 22 years.  However, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio have now been in 6 each since then.
  • We again have at least one Best Picture nominee left out of the Screenplay race.  In fact, Les Miserables, which was expected to contend for the win for BP also lost out on Best Director leaving its chances of winning almost nil.  But, we also, for the first time in the expanded Best Picture race, have all 5 films nominated for Best Director earning a Screenplay nomination.
  • After getting passed over for their brilliant Tangled in 2010 and not getting any nominations last year, Disney has three different horses in this year’s Best Animated Film race – Brave (through Pixar), Wreck-It-Ralph and Frankenweenie.
  • After it didn’t happen from 2006 to 2010 at all, this is the second year in a row in which the Best Animated Film nominees aren’t nominated for any other Oscars.
  • It’s the third time that Steven Spielberg has had a film with the most nominations.  In 1985, when he tied, The Color Purple won no Oscars.  In 1993, Schindler’s List won Picture and Director among its 7 Oscars.
  • For the first time since the mid-60’s, we have a fifth year in a row with a film nominated for the big 5 tech awards (Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction).  That comes after a 7 year gap of no films.
  • But, for the first time since 1998, we have two films nominated for the big 5 tech – Lincoln and Life of Pi.  In fact, this makes three of the last four times we had multiple films nominated for all 5 that Spielberg was involved (1987, 1998, 2012 – 1997 was the other).
  • This is the sixth time Spielberg has had a film nominated for all 5 (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln).
  • John Williams is nominated for the 47th time.  This is the 17th time he’s been nominated as Steven Spielberg’s composer.  Williams had the most points for a composer in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.  With this nomination, his third in the last two years, he takes the lead in this decade as well.  But his 1125 points are still behind Alfred Newman’s 1270 (Newman lead in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s), but Newman also composed in an era where there was no limit on the number of nominees in many years.  No other post-Studio Era composer has more than 450 points.
  • With nominees from Denmark and Norway, it’s the first time since 1991 (and only the fourth time ever) that we have two nominees from Scandanavia.  With nominees from Chile and Canada, it’s the first time we’ve ever had nominees from North and South America in the same year.  It’s also the first time we have ever had three consecutive years with no nominee from France or Italy.
  • With only 33 feature films nominated we have 8 fewer than last year and the lowest number since 2008.
  • Paramount has no Best Picture nominee for the first time since 2005.
  • After a year in which only one BP nominee broke $85 million at the box office, we already have 5 films over that mark.
  • With his 10th nomination, Roger Deakins (Skyfall) moves into a tie for 11th place all-time in Cinematography with 250 points.  But he’s still behind Robert Richardson, whose nomination for Django Unchained moves him up to 275 points and a tie for 9th place all-time.  But this is only Richardson’s 8th nomination, as he has won three times.  Interestingly, Richardson and Deakins have never faced off before.
  • With Deakins (10th nom), Richardson (8th), Janusz Kaminski (6th), Claudio Miranda (2nd) and Seamus McGarvey (2nd) nominated for Best Cinematography, this is the first time the category has no first-time nominees since 1976.
  • With his nomination for Lincoln, Michael Kahn breaks his tie as the all-time champ for Best Editing (with Thelma Schoonmaker).  This is his 8th nomination and he has 3 wins – all of them working with Spielberg except his nomination for Fatal Attraction.  Schoonmaker has 3 wins and 7 nominations – all of them but one working with Scorsese.
  • Just like last year with Sandy Powell, don’t expect Colleen Atwood to win Best Costume Design for Snow White and the Huntsman.  The two of them have been nominated together six times and all six times one or the other has won.  Powell has been nominated in a year without Atwood three times.  This is Atwood’s fourth nomination without Powell.  Neither has yet won when not facing off against the other.  But this nomination does tie them at 195 points each – the most for anyone who wasn’t nominated pre-1967 (when there were twice as many nominees) and the 6th most overall.
  • Greg P. Russell is nominated for Best Sound for the 16th time (this time for Skyfall).  He’s catching up with Kevin O’Connell – the grand winner of 20 nominations and no wins.  But between them on the all-time list is Andy Nelson, again nominated this year (for Lincoln) – this is his 17th nomination, but unlike Russell and O’Connell he has an Oscar (for Saving Private Ryan).

final note:  I got the poster from here.