Short guide to Oscar night

In order to follow, on Sunday, this 93e Oscars ceremony marked by the pandemic, here are some little-known, fascinating or astonishing facts and figures.

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Mank, by David Fincher, is the most nominated film this year with 10 mentions. The 131-minute feature film (the longest in the Best Picture category) is streamed through Netflix. The filmmaker has put in images the screenplay of his late father, Jack Fincher. What’s more, Mank becomes the seventh black-and-white film to be cited for Best Costume Design since 1967, when the Academy Awards (AMPAS) stopped separating color films from black-and-white films. In addition, Netflix broke its own record with a total of 35 nominations.


This year, 70 women obtained 76 nominations in the 24 categories, a record for AMPAS. Chloé Zhao becomes, for her Nomadland, the first woman to receive four citations in the same year, while Emerald Fennell (A young woman full of promises) joins Sofia Coppola and Fran Walsh with her three mentions. On the other hand, only two women appear in the category of the best achievement. Recall that Kathryn Bigelow (Minesweeper) has so far been the only director out of the five nominated in previous years to win the statuette.


Chadwick Boseman, now known worldwide for playing Black Panther in the eponymous 2018 Marvel, is the seventh actor to be posthumously named. If he wins the statuette for My Rainey’s Black Bottom, he will become – with Peter Finch and Heath Ledger – the third actor awarded after his death. Chadwick Boseman is also the 20e actor of Avengers: Endgame to get an Oscar nomination!


A total of nine writers (Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern and Nina Pedrad) are mentioned in the category of best screenplay adapted for Borat, new filmed mission: prodigious baksheesh delivery to America’s regime for the benefit of once glorious Kazakhstan nation (yes, that’s the full title!). This is a new record, the previous one being held by Toy story and its seven screenwriters, in 1996.


In the four categories rewarding the acting of actors and actresses, 11 nominated for the first time. They are Riz Ahmed (also the first Muslim actor), Maria Bakalova, Chadwick Boseman, Andra Day, Vanessa Kirby, Leslie Odom, Jr., Paul Raci, Amanda Seyfried, Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun (also the first actor of Asian origin) as well as Yuh-Jung Youn.


At 83, Anthony Hopkins is the oldest comedian named for best actor. Cited for The father by Florian Zeller – for whom he won the British BAFTA – he is also the only actor to have been nominated last year (in support for The Two Popes). Despite six nominations, he only won the Oscar once … for Thesilenceofthelambs in 1992.


In 2009, AMPAS changed the rules for best film so that a maximum of 10 feature films could be nominated. This year, eight productions are competing in the most prestigious of categories. A sign of the times, two films were not screened in theaters (Nomadland and Minari) and one (Judas and the Black Messiah) has been jointly released.


The category of best animated film turns 12 this year. And Pixar Creative Director Pete Docter earns his fourth nomination for Soul, the record in this category.


Filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg is nominated for Best Director for Breathalyzer (sound 12e feature film, also named as best international film), without the feature being cited as best film. This is the third time this has happened after The Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski and Foxcatcher by Bennett Miller.


Glenn Close, nominated as Best Supporting Actress for Hillbilly Elegy, this is not his first quote. The actress premiered in 1983 for The world according to Garp and the previous one in 2019 for The Wife. But she never won the statuette!


Sometimes a soundtrack composer is nominated for his work in two separate productions. This year, the duo formed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are cited for Soul as well as Mank. The last time this happened? It was in 2015, when Alexandre Desplat was nominated for The Grand Budapest Hotel (and had been Oscar winner) as well as “The Imitation Game”.


With Nomadland, Frances McDormand became the first woman to receive nominations for Best Actress and Best Picture. She is, in fact, the producer of the feature film.


Only three feature films garnered nominations in the categories of best film, best director, best screenplay (original or adapted) and one of the categories for acting. It is Minari, Nomadland and A young woman full of promises.


After Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga and Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. becomes the fourth person (and the first man!) To be named in both a game and musical category (song or soundtrack).


Of the 16 actors and actresses nominated in the acting categories, only five have ever won the precious statuette: Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, Anthony Hopkins, Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman.

The millions of dollars of the Oscars

  • The ABC network is forecasting more than US $ 129 million in advertising revenue for the broadcast of the ceremony.
  • Hollywood studios spend over US $ 100 million on promotional campaigns to promote their productions to AMPAS members.
  • This year’s party will cost around US $ 40 million.
  • The Oscar winner for best picture averages an additional US $ 9 million at the box office after his victory.
  • Academy Award winners for Best Actress and Best Actor see, on average, a 60% increase in their salary after winning.

Source: “Forbes”.

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Short guide to Oscar night

Hank Gilbert