If there’s a pattern to be seen at the mother of all award shows, it’s when the Academy loves a particular film, the Academy, really LOVES the film. At every single ceremony, there will always be one or more frontrunners that score big in nominations, chalking up double digit nods in every possible category, from the technical front to costume design, (remember a little film called Titanic?). There are also films which have broken the record for sweeping all five major awards, or actors who have scored back-to-back wins all thanks to their brilliant performances.
As we wait in bated breath to know if The King’s Speech, currently leading with 12 nominations, will be joining the ranks on Monday at the 83rd Academy Awards, we salute these record-holders and take a closer look at the precedence set by them.
Most Number of Nominations – 14 [Titanic and All About Eve]
A film about a sinking ship and another about the lives of Broadway stars were two remarkable films that enraptured the Academy voters, enough for them to chalk up a mind-blowing 14 nominations.
Other recent films which came close include Shakespeare in Love, Forrest Gump, Chicago, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all with 13 nominations.
Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King
Most Number of Wins – 11 [Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King]
A notable three-way tie by which the last installment of the Lord of The Rings trilogy stood out by coming in with a 100% winning streak, scoring wins in all the categories they were nominated for.
Most Number of Acting Awards by an Actor – 4 [Katharine Hepburn]
The most versatile actress of all time, Hepburn won the Best Actress statuette four times out of a possible 12 that she was nominated for. Her roles in Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner, The Lion in The Winter and On Golden Pond had all proved to be worthy of the golden man.
Most Nominated Actor – 16 nominations [Meryl Streep]
The Streep currently holds the record for the most number of nominations at 16 nods with her most recent film being Julie & Julia in 2010. She has brought home the award twice, the first for Best Supporting Actress in Kramer vs. Kramer and the second being the Best Actress trophy for her role in Sophie’s Choice. Her closest rivals include Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson with an impressive 12 nominations each.
Silence of The Lambs
Complete sweep of the big five – 3 [It Happened One Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Silence of The Lambs]
A complete sweep of all five major Oscars (for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor and Actress) has only occurred three times in the history of the Awards. However, the most recent films to come close by winning four of the top five awards were Forrest Gump (which had no Best Actress nomination) and American Beauty (which failed to take the Best Actress award).
Back-to-Back Best Actor awards – 2 [Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks]
A rare feat accomplished by only two of the greatest actors of all time. Tracy won for his roles in Captains Courageous and Boys Town, and Hanks walked away with the honour for his roles in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.
The Hurt Locker
First woman to win Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow [The Hurt Locker]
The ex-wife of James Cameron has always been overshadowed by his success, especially with the blazing trail that Titanic has left behind. But when a little war flick named The Hurt Locker burst onto the silver screen and led to her win, she became the first woman to earn the title of Best Director and was in the list of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people of the year.
Posthumous acting awards/nominations – James Dean, Heath Ledger and Peter Finch.
The suave broody star James Dean leads with the most number of posthumous nominations for acting in his turns in East of Eden and The Giant. Heath Ledger and fellow Australian Peter Finch were both nominated for the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor prizes respectively and both won for their roles after their death.