All set for Oscar razzle-dazzle

BEN-HUR, Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, 1959
A scene from 1959’s Ben-Hur, winner of 11 Oscars – a record it shares with Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King.


FILM fans in some 225 countries will tune in for the live broadcast of the 89th Oscars ceremony honouring the world’s best in cinema – to be held in Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre on Sunday night, February 26 (about 3.30am Monday, South African time).

Hosted this year by TV show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, the event will be shown live in South Africa from 3.30am on Monday (February 27) on DStv’s Movies Premium (channel 104) which also will cover the red-carpet arrivals from midnight on Sunday.

There will be a repeat of the Oscars ceremony on M-Net (channel 101) from 7.30pm to 10.30pm on Monday (February 28).

Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, for which she took the Best Actress Oscar. It was her first movie role.

The nominees, announced on January 24 via global live stream from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, are headed by the quirky musical romance, La La Land. With 14 nominations, it ties with 1950’s All About Eve and 1997’s Titanic as the most nominated film in Oscar history.

Arrival and Moonlight have each received eight nominations, while six apiece go to Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight. Fences and Hell or High Water have each received four Oscar nominations.

Justin Timberlake, Sting and John Legend are all scheduled to perform Oscar-nominated songs this year, while Grammy- and Tony-nominated singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles, who had a 2007 hit with Love Song, is to deliver a special “In Memoriam” performance during the ceremony.

Interestingly, reports Wikipedia, at the time of the nominations announcement in January, the combined gross of the nine Best Picture nominees at the North American box offices was $483.8 million, with an average of $53.8 million per film.

When the nominations were announced, Arrival was the highest-grossing film among the Best Picture nominees with $95.7 million in domestic box office receipts. La La Land was the second-highest-grossing film with $90.5 million, followed by Hidden Figures ($85 million), Hacksaw Ridge ($65.5 million), Fences ($48.8 million), Manchester by the Sea ($39 million), Hell or High Water ($27 million), Lion ($16.5 million) and Moonlight ($15.8 million).

……………………….Here are more interesting facts for the trivia-hungry………………………

Only three films have won a record 11 Oscars – Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King (2003).

No men have won a Best Actor Oscar for a debut screen role, but four women have won the Best Actress statuette for their first time on screen – Shirley Booth (Come Back, Little Sheba, 1952); Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, 1964); Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl, 1968). and partially deaf actress Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God, 1986).

Vivien Leigh, winner of an Oscar for Gone With the Wind.

Walt Disney has taken 22 Oscars – the most for an individual – and the woman with the most wins is the late Edith Head. She took eight Oscars for costume design.

Wikipedia reports that the most competitive awards won by a person who is still living is composer Alan Menken (eight Academy Awards).

Katharine Hepburn has won a record four awards for Best Actress; Daniel Day-Lewis leads the Best Actor category with three wins; and John Ford holds the record for directing, with four Oscar wins.

Meryl Streep holds the record as the most nominated actress of all time, having a total of 20, including her nomination this year for her title role in Florence Foster Jenkins. Streep has won two Best Actress Oscars – for Sophie’s Choice (1983) and The Iron Lady (2012) – and one Best Supporting Actress award for Kramer vs Kramer (1980).

Cedric Gibbons, who designed the golden Oscar award, won 11 awards out of a total of 39 nominations for art direction.

™ France is the country with the most nominations for the statuette for foreign language film, and has taken the award a dozen times.

Heath Ledger and Peter Finch are the only actors to be awarded an Academy Award posthumously, for The Dark Knight (2008) and Network (1976), respectively.

The first 3D movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar was Avatar (2009) and the first – and only – animated movie to be nominated for the Best Picture statuette was Beauty and the Beast (1991).

Tatum O’Neal with her father Ryan O’Neal in Paper Moon, from 1973. Tatum, then aged 10, became the youngest winner of an Oscar for acting.

The youngest winner of an acting award was Tatum O’Neal. At age 10 she took the award for best supporting actress, for 1973’s Paper Moon.

The oldest Oscar-winner is Christopher Plummer, who was 82 when he took the best supporting actor Oscar for the 2011 drama, Beginners.

Wikipedia reports that the longest performance to win the award for Best Actress is by Vivien Leigh – for 1939’s Gone With the Wind: two hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds.

The movie with the most Oscars without winning the Best Picture award is Cabaret. It took eight Oscars in 1972. By contrast, Grand Hotel (1932) took the Best Picture Oscar – the only award for which it was nominated.

Most awards by a black actor? Denzel Washington has two – Best Actor for Training Day (2001) and Best Supporting Actor for Glory (1989).

The longest Oscar speech was that given by Greer Garson at the 15th awards ceremony. After she was named as best actress for 1942 for Mrs Miniver, her speech ran for nearly six minutes. Hence the limit of 45 seconds now – and tune-prompting if you go over that limit.

Comedian and actor Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the Oscars. He hosted the ceremony 19 times between 1940 and 1978.


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