Saturday, 25 February 2012 00:10
HOLLYWOOD: Here are some interesting and offbeat facts about the Oscars, past and present:
- Meryl Streep this year extends her lead as the most-nominated performer in Oscar history with her 17th nomination, for her role as former British premier Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady."
- Billy Crystal will host this year's Oscars show for the ninth time after actor Eddie Murphy pulled out at the last minute amid a row over anti-gay remarks by a producer, who also quit. Bob Hope hosted the Academy Awards the most times, 11 by himself and seven with co-hosts.
- Musician John Williams now has a total of 47 nominations, including two this year. He ranks second only to Walt Disney as the most-nominated individual in Oscar history. Among living people, Woody Allen, who has been nominated 23 times including twice this year, is second only to Williams.
- Iran's "A Separation" is the first screenplay written in Farsi to receive an Oscars writing nomination.
- The Kodak Theatre, home to the Oscars for the last decade, is no longer called that, after the iconic photo company went bankrupt and pulled out of a sponsorship deal barely a week before this year's show. The Academy this week began referring to the venue as the Hollywood and Highland Center, the shopping and entertainment complex which includes the former Kodak Theatre. It is not known when the Kodak sign will come down.
- German Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders's "Pina", which showcases the work of the late German choreographer Pina Bausch, is the first 3D film nominated in the documentary feature category.
- "The Artist" is the 10th predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for cinematography since 1967, when the separate black-and-white category was eliminated. Previously nominated: "In Cold Blood" (1967), "The Last Picture Show" (1971), "Lenny" (1974), "Raging Bull" (1981), "Zelig" (1983), "Schindler's List" (1993), "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001), "Good Night, and Good Luck" (2005), and "The White Ribbon" (2009).
- George Clooney is for the second time nominated in two different categories for two different films in the same year. This year it's as best actor in "The Descendants" and for adapted screenplay in "The Ides of March"; in 2005 he won best supporting actor for "Syriana" and was nominated for original screenplay for "Good Night, and Good Luck."
- Woody Allen, with his best director and screenplay nominations for "Midnight in Paris," passes Billy Wilder by becoming a seven-time double nominee for directing and writing on the same film.
- For the first time in Oscars history, nine films were nominated for Best Picture. Over the last two years the number in that category has been increased from five to 10, in theory to increase the range of films which could be shortlisted, but the rules were changed after last year to a complicated formula which results in between five and 10 being chosen.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012