Origin of the prizes
The first antecedent of the Oscars was recorded on May 11, 1927 with the birth of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the city of Los Angelesof course, the cradle of an industry that was trying to make a leap in quality.
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To satisfy this desire, a group of personalities from the world of cinema agreed, after several meetings, to organize awards to recognize the qualities of local productions. And so it was that on May 16, 1929, the first Oscars were held, at a private lunch for no more than 300 people at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
12 categories were awarded with wings as the best movie. All the winners were announced several months in advance, as do the Nobel Prize winners or the Princess of Asturias, for example.
The event immediately generated excitement and for the second edition, there was live coverage from the radio press and the first significant change was made, for the sake of anticipation: not reveal the winners until the night of the ceremony.
The iconic statuette
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The design of the award was part of the preparations for that first gala in 1929. Cedric Gibbons, artistic director of Metro Goldwyn Mayer and the artist george stanley he carved it in bronze. Currently the award is made with a mixture of metals such as copper, tin and antimony, bathed in 24-karat gold. His figure is that of a knight carrying a sword on a film reel. Curiously, the statuette did not have an official name during the first ceremonies.
It was generically called the “Academy Award” until during the 1930s it became known as the Oscar Award. Administrative staff of the Academy, the filmmakers and actors guild and even journalists adopted the name that was not made official by the Academy until 1939, both for the statue and for the ceremony.
As if taken from a good thriller, the origin of the name of the most popular awards in the world is today a mystery. Or at least there are no certainties. The most accepted version is Margaret Herrick, librarian of the Academy in the 30s of the last century, who once, after carefully observing the statuette, sarcastically said that the figure reminded her of her “Uncle Oscar”, a funny comment that was going around the ears of the guild and little little by little it settled in in the cinematographic jargon of Hollywood. There are those who are encouraged to refute the story, but no one solves the mystery.
Winning and losing movies
Three films share the record for the most Oscars: Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). They all won 11 awards.
See also: Oscar nominees in the main categories
Instead The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985), hold the negative record for the most nominations without any award. Both received 11 nominations and went home empty-handed.
Other recent movies like Gangs of New York (2002), True Grit (2010), American Hustle (2013) or The Irishman (2019)touched the mark with 10 nominations and zero golden statuette.
Another “Everest” in the history of the Oscar is winning the five major awards at the ceremony: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay (original or adapted, as the case may be). So far they have achieved three titles: It Happened One Night (1933), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
The person who stood on the podium the most times to receive Oscars was waltdisney, who accumulated 22 awards. Mr. Disney also holds the mark for the most awards to one person at one ceremony, with four at the 1953 edition (Best Animated Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Documentary Short Film and Best Documentary Feature Film), a haul equaled by the korean director Bong Joon-ho in 2019 thanks to his masterpiece Parasite (Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Film).
In the specific case of actors, Katharine Hepburn She added four awards as best actress for her performance in 1933, 1967, 1968 and 1981. Frances McDormand and Daniel Day Lewis They follow with three each.
An almost infallible maxim in the world of cinema is the one that says that no second part is good. And what about a third installment. The Oscars have supported almost 100% this kind of Unwritten Law, with only two exceptions, for now: The Godfather II (1974) by Francis Ford Coppola and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) by Peter Jacksonwhich managed to impose themselves as the best films of the year.
The Twitter Oscar
Tonight a new change will be introduced in the dynamics of the Oscars, with a prize awarded entirely by the public through online voting, with the social network Twitter as the main channel.
It is not a new category, the Academy clarified, but rather a recognition of the public that follows the awards and a measure to adapt the biggest festival of cinema to the times. You can vote for any movie (nominated or not) on Twitter using the hastagh #OscarsFanFavorite or on the awards page www.oscars.org.
The 94th edition of the Oscars will begin with the traditional parade on the red carpet at the end of the afternoon and the ceremony from 7:00 pm As a favorite part of the Netflix western The Power of the Dog from director Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst.
It has 12 nominations and several relevant awards for best film such as the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice Awards and the Bafta, among others.
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Oscar Awards: Stories, mysteries and the records in more than nine decades of the Oscar awards