No matter what, it's the best soundtrack of the year.

No matter what, it’s the best soundtrack of the year.

For the last several years, I have been putting together a piece on Oscar trivia on the morning of the Oscar nominations and I will do so again this year.  In fact, my initial piece, in 2010, is the reason for the biggest day in this blog’s history – because it had a picture of Kathryn Bigelow, and on the night of the Oscar ceremony a month later, it got swept up in Google searches for her once she won and a blog which normally gets around 1000 hits a day suddenly had 8000 hits in the space of about 12 hours.  My previous pieces of Oscar trivia can be found here (2010), here (2011), here (2012) and here (2013).  I also did a piece on DGA trivia last year and the year before.

So, with a couple of days left before the Oscar nominations, I’ll throw up some trivia I have noticed about this year’s awards groups already.

  • How much do the guilds like Inside Llewyn Davis?  It was thought to be death on it for the Oscars that it got snubbed by both the PGA and the WGA, especially since the Writers Guild traditionally like the Coens.  After all, from 2007-10 they were nominated four straight times, something done only by Woody Allen (77-80 and 83-87), Neil Simon (75-78) and the writing team of Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich (48-51).  Yet, Llewyn was passed over.  And at that point, it had no guild nominations at all.  Since then, it has been nominated by the Editors (ACE), Cinematographers (ASC), Sound Mixers (CAS) and Art Directors (ADG).  Before this year only 23 other films had been nominated by all four groups and all of them except Dark Knight and Skyfall were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.  However, all of them except Skyfall were also nominated for the DGA, all of them except Gladiator, Skyfall and Les Miserables were nominated by the WGA and all of them by the PGA, no exceptions.
  • To put it another way, every film nominated for all four of those guilds has earned at least 7 total guilds noms and almost always at least 10.  Llewyn has just those 4.  So, it either has no guild support (no PGA, no DGA, no WGA) or tremendous guild support.  I can’t quite tell which.Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine
  • How dominant is Cate Blanchett so far?  Pretty damn dominant.  Only 5 times has an actress won five of the six major critics groups (and all five also won the Globe).  Helen Mirren in 2006 went on to win the SAG, BFCA, BAFTA and Oscar.  Emma Thompson in 1992 and Holly Hunter in 1993 went on to win the BAFTA and Oscar (SAG and BFCA didn’t exist back then).  Meryl Streep in 1982 won the Oscar but lost at the BAFTAs.  But Michelle Pfeiffer in 1989 lost at the BAFTAs and the Oscars, so it’s not a guarantee for the great Cate yet.
  • The Matthew McConaughy win throws things into chaos for Best Actor.  The last time the winner of Best Actor – Drama at the Globes had won none of the six major critics awards was when Leonardo DiCaprio won for The Aviator in 2004.  But the last time neither Best Actor winner at the Globes had won one of the 6 major critics awards was in 1998.  And that was the year that Roberto Benigni came from nowhere, with no critics wins and not even a nomination at the Globes to win the SAG, BAFTA and Oscar.
  • American Hustle was the first film in six years to get nominated for the big 5 Golden Globes (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress).  It was the first film in 11 years and only the fourth film ever to get nominated for the big 7 (add in supporting).  Like the last film to do it (Chicago), it won Picture – Comedy and Actress – Comedy.
  • The Screenplay award was regularly established at the Golden Globes in 1965.  In the first 35 years of the award, only three times (1968, 1988, 1991) did the big four awards (Picture – Drama, Picture – Comedy, Director, Screenplay) go to four separate films.  But, in the last 14 years, it has happened six times, including in 2011 and again this year.
  • Likewise, from 1964 to 2000, only four films won Best Director at the Golden Globes without winning any other awards.  Gravity makes the fourth film since 2000 to do it, joining Gosford Park, The Departed and Hugo.
  • 12 Years a Slave was tied for the most Globe nominations and won Best Picture – Drama but didn’t win any other awards.  It’s not unprecedented.  Bugsy (8 noms in 1991) and Babel (7 noms in 2006) had the most nominations in their respective years and won Best Picture – Drama but no other awards.  Knowing that history, before it got to Best Actor I told Veronica that Ejiofor might lose and 12 Years still might win.
  • I put “Ordinary Love” as the extra song on my Top 100 U2 post last month.  I predicted its Globe nom and that it might get passed aside by the Oscars.  It’s true the previous time U2 won at the Globes earned them their only Oscar nomination (they have three other Globe nominations and Bono has an additional two without the band).  But consider this: in the last 10 years, 3 times the Globe winner for Best Song has gone on to win the Oscar.  In the other 7 years it wasn’t even nominated.  The last Globe winner for Best Song to get nominated at the Oscars and not win?  You guessed it.  U2 for “The Hands That Built America”.  It would have been appropriate if “Please Mr. Kennedy” had won – after all, it’s already been declared ineligible.
  • In a surprise, The Great Beauty won Best Foreign Film at the Globes.  This is a big deal, because it means the Globes might agree with the Oscars (Blue is the Warmest Color and The Wind Rises weren’t submitted and The Past, surprisingly, didn’t make the semi-finalist list).  From 2002 to 2009, the Globes and Oscars agreed on Best Foreign Film only once.  If The Great Beauty wins the Oscar it will the first time in history that the Globes and Oscars have agreed on Best Foreign Film for four straight years.
  • Martin Scorsese earned his ninth DGA nomination this year.  He is in second place all-time for nominations and points (450), only behind Spielberg.  The other four nominees have a combined five nominations.
  • That’s a big difference from last year where the five DGA nominees already had a combined 7 wins!
  • After two straight years of only one first time nominee at the DGA (both of whom would win), we have 3 newcomers.
  • Marty also tied Spielberg for the most Broadcast Film Critics nominations (5).  They each have two wins, so they’re tied for points as well.
  • American Hustle became only the fourth film ever nominated for the big 7 at the BAFTAs and the first since American Beauty in 1999.