To finish out the Quick 10 Oscar posts this week, we have a few facts about some of the Best Picture winners and nominees over the years. I usually try to see most of the nominees, but I'm a little embarrassed to say I have only seen two of the 10 this year. If you're like me and need to hide the fact that you are grossly uninformed about the movies currently up for the big award, maybe you can cover by wowing people with your knowledge of past nominees:
1. You might already be aware that Disney/Pixar's Up is nominated for Best Picture this year. But you may not know that it's only the second animated film to ever be nominated and the first entirely computer-animated film to be nominated. The other animated Best Picture nominee? Another Disney production - Beauty and the Beast. (By the way, did you know the main character in Up, Mr. Frederickson, is based in part on Spencer Tracy?)
2. Only two trilogies have ever been nominated for Best Picture Oscars "“ as in, all three installments made the cut. Lord of the Rings, of course, and The Godfather. Star Wars didn't make the cut (to the outrage of fans everywhere, I'm sure).
3. Star Wars fans can take heart, though "“ the original was the first Sci-Fi movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture. It didn't win, though - Annie Hall did.
4. Titanic is tied with All About Eve for the most nominations for a single film in the history of the Academy Awards "“ 14. And it took home 11 of those 14, which puts it in a three-way-tie for the highest number of Oscars won by a single film. The other two are Ben-Hur and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. LOTR won ALL of the Oscars it was nominated for, however, and the other two did not.
5. Midnight Cowboy is the first and only X-rated film to win Best Picture. It was later edited to achieve an R rating, though. A Clockwork Orange was also X-rated and was nominated just two years later, but it didn't win (it was also later toned down to receive an R rating).
6. The Exorcist is the first horror film to be nominated for a Best Picture award, but it wasn't until Silence of the Lambs came along 18 years later that a horror film actually won the coveted Oscar.
7. Speaking of Silence of the Lambs, it's one of just three movies to win the Oscar Grand Slam "“ that would be winning in the top five categories of Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Writing. The other two are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and It Happened One Night.
8. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is the first and only martial arts movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
9. Would you believe Precious is the first film directed by an African-American to be nominated for Best Picture? Although John Singleton was nominated for Best Director for Boyz n the Hood, the film wasn't nominated for Best Picture.
10. The longest film to win a Best Picture award is Gone with the Wind at three hours and 54 minutes long. The shortest film to win is Marty at one hour and 31 minutes long, but the shortest film ever nominated was only an hour and six minutes long. Starring Mae West and Cary Grant, it was called She Done Him Wrong, and received the Oscar nod at the 1933 awards.
What movie gets your vote for Best Picture this year?