Trivial Matters #18 – 87th Academy Awards (live updates!)

20:12 – So it’s time for the Oscars! This first post comes as I pick up my libation for the show this evening, a fifth of Bulleit ten-years-aged bourbon. I recommend it for all occasions, but particularly for when you need to sit through watching Boyhood win Oscars.

Bulleit: The drink for crushing disappointment.

(If Birdman does, in fact, win, Bulleit is also the drink for surprised celebration!)

I haven’t seen too many of the nominees yet, as I’ve been a) busy watching the classics and b) unwilling to pay New York prices for cinema tickets. Still, stay tuned for my thoughts on this year’s films in approximately 75 weeks!

I have seen Birdman (amazing!), Boyhood (massively overrated), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (pretty great). I’d like to see Birdman win the top prize but I fear Boyhood is such Oscar bait that it will steal the show.

But trivia? That I’ve got! I’ll be popping in and updating with observations, opinions, and oddities as the night progresses!

20:31 – To get through the first of what will likely be two hundred musical interludes, I’ll say that this is Neil Patrick Harris’ first stint as host and he’ll have to do it another 17 times to match the all time champ: Bob Hope.

This could be one of the unbreakable records at the Oscars; second place is Billy Crystal with nine.

20:42 – No surprise here, J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor. I’ve wanted to see him win an Oscar for years! Hopefully this will get him out of the Farmers commercials.

21:11 – First Best Foreign Language Film win for Poland! Yay! And I love that Pawlikowski does not give a toss about the music or the applause or anything.

21:17-21:49 – Okay, I can zone out for a bit and think about things:

  • Now that J.K. Simmons has won Best Supporting Actor, this will not be the third year in which three of the four acting winners are repeats. In fact, I think all four will be first-timers.
  • Selma and The Grand Budapest Hotel are the only Best Picture nominees without acting nominations. If by some fluke one of them wins, it will join only eleven other such winners.
  • This is the second consecutive year in which all five Best Actor nominees came from Best Picture-nominated films. Overall, this is the tenth Academy Awards to feature an acting category completely filled by Best Picture-nominated films (* = category featured a double nominee):
    • 12th (1939) – Best Actress*
    • 13th (1940) – Best Actress
    • 15th (1942) – Best Actor
    • 16th (1943) – Best Actor
    • 37th (1964) – Best Actor*
    • 39th (1966) – Best Actor
      • Notable for being the only such year in the five-nominee era to not have a double nomination.
    • 50th (1977) – Best Actress*
    • 61st (1988) – Best Sup. Actress*
    • 86th (2013) – Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor (the only time two categories have had this distinction)
    • 87th (2014) – Best Actor

22:38-22:50 – Dark, but still…trivia from the “In Memorium” segment:

  • Mike Nichols won Best Director for The Graduate in 1967, the last film to win Best Director and nothing else.
  • Luise Rainer was the first person to win two consecutive acting awards. Not the first to win two consecutive Oscars…that would be Douglas Shearer, the recording engineer and brother of the great Norma Shearer.
  • Richard Attenborough was a lovely man. That’s not trivia but I wanted to say it.
  • When Maximilian Schell died in 2014, it made the 51st Academy Awards (for 1978) the earliest Academy Awards in which all four acting winners are still alive.

23:06 – “Glory” wins Best Original Song, which means if Selma wins Best Pictureas I said above, it almost certainly won’t, but still–it will be the first since The Greatest Show on Earth (25th, 1952) to win just two Academy Awards.

23:31 – Birdman takes Best Original Screenplay. I hope this is the start of a strong end run.

23:41 – Ironic that Ben Affleck would present Best Director, seeing as Argo (85th) is one of only four films to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. The other three are Wings (1st), Grand Hotel (5th), and Driving Miss Daisy (62nd).

23:42 – Oh my, it looks as though the Bulleit will be celebratory after all!

0:05 – Best Picture is Birdman! It becomes the 37th Best Picture winner without any acting Oscars. Incidentally, there was one run of three years in a row where this happened: the 58th-60th (1985-1987), inclusive. (This is, however, the third consecutive year in which the film that won Best Director received no acting awards.)

A Bulleit to celebrate the Academy getting it right! I’m so happy to have been proven wrong in my initial prediction.

This could have been the first time since the 8th-10th Awards to split Best Picture and Best Director three consecutive years, and honestly I thought this would happen. In the event, it was a two year run, the first since the 24th and 25th (1951 and ’52).

0:09 – And that’s the 87th Academy Awards. Like I said, I’ll be watching more of these films and offering my thoughts on them in about a year and a half. See you then! …And, hopefully, in all the weeks between now and then.


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