The eyes of the world focus on Hollywood tonight as the 80th annual Academy Awards ceremonies will be held. What the world will see is that this year’s list of nominated actors and films aren’t nearly as recognizable as the years in which movies like box office titans “Titanic” or “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” got nominated.
Here’s how far away from the mainstream this year’s nominees have strayed: Of the five movies up for the best picture Oscar, only “Juno” has passed the $100 million mark at the box office. Nevertheless, there’s no reason to be caught empty-handed if Oscar talk pops up. With a little help from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, here are 80 facts, in honor of the awards’ 80th anniversary, about this year’s nominees and the Oscars in general.
1. Sydney Pollack’s nomination as producer of “Michael Clayton” is his sixth. He won best picture and directing Oscars for “Out of Africa.”
2. This is the first nomination in the best director category for five of the six nominees. Only Joel Coen, who worked with Ethan Coen on “No Country for Old Men,” has been nominated in this category before.
3. This is George Clooney’s fourth Oscar nomination. The “Michael Clayton” star only earned two Emmy nominations when he was on “ER.”
4. An Oscar weighs 8.5 pounds.
5. Viggo Mortensen, who played Nikolai in “Eastern Promises,” is a first-time nominee.
6. Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” is the only nominee in the best supporting actor category to have won an Oscar.
7. Cate Blanchett’s best actress nod for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” is for a role she played before in “Elizabeth.” She was nominated for an Oscar for that film also. She did not win.
8. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was the host to the most Oscars, 25.
9. Ruby Dee, 83, is a first-time nominee for her work in “American Gangster.”
10. Four of the five best supporting actress nominees have never been nominated before.
11. There are 5,829 Motion Picture Academy voting members.
12. “Katyn” is the eighth Oscar nod for Poland in the best foreign film category.
13. Kazakhstan is a first-time nominee in the foreign film division with “Mongol.”
14. This is the 43rd broadcast of the Oscars on ABC.
15. “Russia” is the fifth Academy Award nomination for Russia.
16. The nomination of “Surf’s Up ” in the best animated feature film category is the second straight year a film featuring penguins has been honored. “Happy Feet” was nominated and won last year.
17. Johnny Depp, nominated for best actor for “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” made his film debut in “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
18. If Cate Blanchett wins the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” it would be her second Oscar for playing a real person. She previously won for her work as Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator.”
19. Best actor nominees Johnny Depp and George Clooney both were born in Kentucky.
20. George Clooney’s cousin is Miguel Ferrer.
21. Best actor nominee Daniel Day-Lewis was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” in 1990 by People magazine.
22. There were 306 films eligible for nominations this year.
23. Best actor nominee Tommy Lee Jones roomed with future Vice President Al Gore at Harvard.
24. Tommy Lee Jones once appeared on “Charlie’s Angels.”
25. Best actor nominee Viggo Mortensen made his film debut with a small role in the 1985 film “Witness.”
26. Philip Seymour Hoffman has earned two Tony nominations.
27. Casey Affleck, nominated for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” is the brother of Ben Affleck.
28. Best supporting actor nominee Javier Bardem played rugby for the Spanish National Team.
29. Philip Seymour Hoffman, nominated as supporting actor for “Charlie Wilson’s War,” was on an episode of “Law & Order” in 1991.
30. Viggo Mortensen starred in the best picture winner “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
31. This is the first Oscar nomination for 83-year-old Hal Holbrook.
32. There have been 2,658 Oscars handed out since the first Academy Awards.
33. Hal Holbrook was only 29 when he started touring in his one-man show about Mark Twain.
34. The previous Oscar nomination for Tom Wilkinson (supporting actor for “Michael Clayton”) was for his work in the 2001 film “In the Bedroom.”
35. Best actress nominee Laura Linney (“The Savages”) appeared in the television miniseries “Tales of the City” and “More Tales of the City.”
36. As a teen, Johnny Depp played in a band that opened for a few big bands.
37. Cate Blanchett and fellow nominee Johnny Depp were both in the 2000 film “The Man Who Cried.”
38. Laura Linney won an Emmy for a guest-starring role on “Frasier.”
39. Double nominee Cate Blanchett will next be seen in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
40. George Clooney starred with fellow Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett in “The Good German.”
41. Best actress nominee Julie Christie and Johnny Depp starred in the 2004 release “Finding Neverland.”
42. It has been 42 years between Julie Christie’s first Oscar nomination (“Darling”) and her most recent.
43. “Juno” director Jason Reitman directed an episode of the NBC series “The Office.”
44. Best actress nominee Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) is a member of Greenpeace.
45. Three of the nominees for Original Song are from the movie “Enchanted.”
46. Laura Linney starred in the 1995 action film “Congo.”
47. Tom Wilkinson is English.
48. Viggo Mortensen and Cate Blanchett were both in all three of the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
49. 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement”) is the youngest nominee in the acting categories.
50. Best supporting actress nominee Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”) played the White Witch in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
51. Julie Christie was born in India.
52. Rick Baker has picked up his 11th Oscar nomination for his makeup work on “Norbit.” He’s won six times.
53. Marion Cotillard is the daughter of actor Jean-Claude Cotillard.
54. This is Jon Stewart’s second stint as the host of the Oscars. He first hosted two years ago.
55. Bob Hope hosted the most Oscars: 19.
56. A total of 63 countries submitted entries for the foreign language category.
57. Amy Ryan has appeared on the television series “Home Improvement,” “ER,” “Chicago Hope” and “The Wire.”
58. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Ryan starred together in “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead.”
59. Out of 3,000 requests for press credentials, about 700 will be issued.
60. More than 100 photographers will be on the red carpet.
61. Hal Holbrook has won three Emmy Awards.
62. An Oscar is 13 ½ inches tall.
63. Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his performance in the 1989 film “My Left Foot.”
64. The longest-running Oscar telecast was in 2002: 4 hours, 23 minutes.
65. The shortest Oscar telecast was in 1959: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
66. Brad Lewis is a producer of the best animated feature film nominee “Ratatouille.”
67. This is the seventh time the Kodak Theatre has hosted the Oscars.
68. The red carpet is about 33 feet wide and 500 feet long.
69. Daniel Day-Lewis is the son-in-law of playwright Arthur Miller.
70. Acceptance speeches are supposed to be 45 seconds long.
71. This is Roy Christopher’s 18th time as designer of the Academy Awards telecasts.
72. Best supporting actress Ellen Page (“Juno”) played Kitty Pryde in “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
73. This will be the earliest telecast date of the Oscars in the past 20 years.
74. There have been 146 honorary Oscars presented.
75. Best supporting actress nominee Amy Ryan was nominated for a Tony Award as best actress for “Uncle Vanya” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
76. “Beaufort” is Israel’s seventh Academy Award nomination in the foreign film category.
77. About 250 seat fillers will be used during the telecast.
78. Amy Ryan’s first TV job was on the daytime drama “As the World Turns.”
79. “Persepolis” is the only black-and-white production nominated for a feature Oscar.
80. Casey Affleck’s first film role was in the 1995 release “To Die For.”
"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.READ the article