History is all about trivia. When people think of Oscar history and Oscar trivia they often assume that the really great achievements come from winning awards, but this year, there are a lot of amazing achievments just in the nominees. Here's a look at some of the interesting minutae of this years contenders.
Roman Polanski recieved an Oscar nomination for Best Director for The Pianist. He was convicted in 1978 of statutory rape of a 13 year old girl and fled to France before sentencing. The L.A. District Attorney's office says they will not allow him to attend the ceremony. Should he set foot on American soil, he'll be arrested immediately.
Very few people have ever made history by not existing, but that's exactly what Donald Kaufman, fictional twin brother of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, did by sharing his brother nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film Adaptation. The film is an attempt to adapt Susan Orlean's novel The Orchid Thief. The movie is actually about Charlie KAufman trying to adapt Orlean's book into a film (what a paradox!) Anyway, for the movie, Kaufman created several fictitious events and characters, including a twin brother. Then, to further blur the line between life and art, he credited the screenplay to himself and his "brother" Donald Kaufman. Whether or not the nomination will stand is up to the Academy. According to the Official Academy Awards Rule Book (75th Edition, Rule Two, Section 5), "Eligibility for all awards shall first be determined by credits as they appear on the screen and/or as certified to the Academy by the producing companies, but final determination in any event shall be made by the Academy. The Academy shall not be bound by any contract or agreement relating to the sharing or giving of credit and reserves the right to make its own determination of credit for purposes of award consideration." My biggest question is, if Adaptation wins Best Screenplay, will the Academy furnish two statuettes?
Salma Hayek, who was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in the movie Frida, became the first Latina woman ever nominated in this category. Hayek was born in 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, of a Lebanese father and Mexican mother.
John C. Reilly is only the second person in history to have appeared in three Best Picture nominees in the same year, having appeared this year in Chicago, Gangs Of New York and The Hours. The only previous person to achieve this feat is Thomas Mitchell who, in 1939, appeared in Best Picture nominees Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
For 18 years, Katharine Hepburn held the record for most acting nominations, after earning her twelfth nomination and fourth Oscar for On Golden Pond in 1981. In 1999, Meryl Streep tied Hepburn for most nominations when she earned her twelfth for Music Of The Heart. Streep still trailed Hepburn however, having actually won only 2 Oscars. Now, Streep has broken Hepburn's record by earning her 13th acting nomination for Adaptation.
Jack Nicholson is now the first man to earn 12 oscar nominations for acting, after earning a Best Actor nomination for About Schmidt. Nicholson has previously won 3 acting Oscars (1 supporting, 2 leading.) Katharine Hepburn held the record for most acting nominations, 12, until 1999 when Meryl Streep tied her. As noted above, this year Streep beat Hepburns record. This leaves Hepburn and Nicholson tied for second place. If Nicholson wins, he will be tied with Hepburn for most acting Oscars, with 4.
Eminem made Oscar history! Who ever thought they'd hear those words? But it's true, Eminem's song "Lose Yourself" became the first Rap song ever nominated for the Best Song Oscar.
This year, Julianne Moore became only the ninth person in history to earn two acting nominations in a single year. Moore was nominated for her leading role in Far From Heaven as well as her supporting role in The Hours. (PREVIOUS DOUBLE NODS: Fay Bainter was nominated for Best Actress for White Banners and Supporting Actress for Jezebel in 1938. She won for Jezebel. Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for the same role, that of Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way (1942). The rules were later changed so this could not happen. He won in the Supporting category. Teresa Wright was nominated for Actress in Pride Of The Yankees and Supporting Actress in Mrs. Miniver in 1942, she won the Supporting Actress Oscar. Jessica Lange was nominated for Actress in Frances and Supporting Actress in Tootsie in 1982, she won for Tootsie. Sigourney Weaver was nominated for Actress for Gorillas in the Mist and Supporting Actress for Working Girl. She was the first person nominated for twon acting Oscars in a year to win neither. Al Pacino was nominated for Best Actor for Scent Of A Woman and Supporting Actor for Glengarry Glen Ross in 1992. He won for Scent Of A Woman. Holly Hunter was nominated for Actress in The Piano and Supporting Actress in The Firm in 1993, she won for the former. Emma Thompson was nominated for Actress in The Reasons Of The Day and Supporting Actress in Name Of The Father in 1993. She failed to win either award.)
Composer John Williams adds another nomination to his resume, with his nomination for Best Score for the film Catch Me If You Can. This achievement marked Williams's 42nd Oscar Nomination (he has won 5 Oscars). Williams is ranked third place for most nominations all-time, trailing only Alfred Newman (45 nominations, 9 Oscars), and the all-time champ Walt Disney (50 nominations, 26 Oscars).