The Oscars are just around the corner and it has us asking the important questions such as:
“Why have I never heard of any of these movies?”
“Did anyone actually see these movies?”
“Seriously, what theaters were they playing in?”
“Was that one a Netflix special?”
“What’s the point of watching this now that Leo has already won?” “And seriously, out of all movies, they gave it to Leo for The Revenant”
I agree, The Revenant was a terrible, unrealistic movie where Leo and Tom Hardy weren’t even attractive. I’m still bitter about it too. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you there.
HOWEVER, I do have answers about everything else Oscar-related. I am here to share my brief knowledge with you so you can finally be the smart friend at your Oscars viewing party in a couple weeks! Buckle up, collegiates! You’re about to learn more about the Oscar’s than the people nominated even know.
#1- What Are The Academy Awards?
The Academy Awards are an annual ceremony dedicated to recognizing talent in film. It is hosted by a group called AMPAS, which stands for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An Academy Award is one of the most prestigious awards someone in the entertainment industry can win. Let’s be honest, movie trailers look much cooler when their actors have “Academy Award Winner” in front of their name.
#2- How Did This Even Start?
Great question! In 1927, a man named Louis B. Mayer wanted to start a group that would “benefit the film industry.” Two years later, a seven person committee nominated people to receive awards in 12 categories, including acting and directing. Supposedly, the whole event only lasted a solid fifteen minutes. It was a time before piano playing kitties could play you off the stage when your acceptance speech was too long.
*Winners of the first Academy Awards, such as Janet Gaynor, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Borzage.
Initially, the Academy was composed of 5 main groups; producers, actors, directors, writers and technicians, but that has since expanded to include groups such as music, visual effects and writers.
And while I know being part of the Academy sounds like the coolest job ever (watch movies and judge people? Sign me up!), unfortunately, it’s invite-only. They won’t even disclose who all of the members are. RIP dreams.
Their whole history is laid out in a nifty timeline if you really feel like going into depth: http://www.oscars.org/academy-story
#3- Who Is Oscar?
Oscar was the name of Douglas Fairbanks’, the first academy president, beloved dog. He passed away just weeks before the first ceremony. As a reaction to the loss of his best friend, Fairbanks named the award “Oscar.” The first draft of the golden man-shaped statue actually had a dog attached to the bottom. However, after Janet Gaynor accepted her award, she enthusiastically spiked the statue and the dog part came rolling off. Then, everyone realized the award actually made more sense without the dog and decided that’s how the award should look from then on.
Apparently no one knows for sure. The Academy official statement says, “While the origins of the moniker aren’t clear, a popular story has it that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian (and eventual executive director) Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar.” So in 1939, they officially adopted the term when they realized everyone preferred saying “Oscar” as opposed to “the Academy Award of Merit.”
Fun fact to drop on your friends: An Oscar is 13 ½ inches tall, weighs about 8 ½ pounds, is made of solid bronze and coated in 24 karat gold. So if you’re an academy award winner who’s down on their luck, at least you know you’ve got options.
#4- How Do These Movies Get Nominated?
As of last year, the Academy was made up of 6,261 voting members. All of those members vote for who they think deserves Best Picture. However, nominations for the rest of the categories are left up to ballots from the Academy’s different branches (i.e. the acting branch nominates “best actress in a leading role”). According to the Academy’s website, they’re chosen for showing “outstanding individual or collective film achievements”
There’s a heck of a lot more rules for eligibility that you can read about here: http://www.oscars.org/oscars/rules-eligibility
Fun Fact: Meryl Streep has been nominated for the most Academy Awards with a total of 19 nominations (15 for lead actress and 4 for supporting actress). If all goes well, she will live forever and keep raking in the noms.
#5- Okay, I’m Hooked- Who’s Nominated This Year?
Well, La La Land has earned 14 nominations this year, which has us all asking the question “Do I like jazz now?”
Here, we’ve got some of the more popular categories so you know what to expect, but check out the full, official list here: http://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2017
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Hell or High Water
Manchester by the Sea
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
La La Land
Florence Foster Jenkins
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Manchester by the Sea
Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
HELL OR HIGH WATER
Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
LA LA LAND
Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
#6- WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL OF THIS INFORMATION?
You tune in on Sunday, February 29th at 7pm! Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting, so you know it’s bound to be a good time. There’s sure to be plenty of political commentary, jokes at the expenses of others, and SO MUCH CRITIQUES of who’s wearing what. It’ll be great.