Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Academy Award® aka Oscar®

For more than 80 years it has been one of the world's most iconic trophies. Official name: Academy Award® of Merit. Significance of the design: A knight holding a crusader's sword perpendicular to a base of a five spoked film reel which acknowledges the five original branches of the academy; producers, writers, directors, actors and technicians.

Designed by: The chief art director at Metro Goldwyn-Mayer, Cedric Gibbons. Originally sculpted by: George Stanley of Los Angeles. The statuette's Height: 13 and 1/2 inches tall. Weight: 8 and 1/2 pounds. Comprised of britannia metal [a pewter-like alloy], also copper, nickel silver, and finished in 24-karat gold.

First presented in 1929, it has been awarded more than 2800 times. The trophy is mass manufactured by: R. S. Owens & Company in Chicago Illinois.

There are almost as many people claiming credit as there are stories as to how the statuette got the nickname of Oscar. A biography of one time Academy President and Academy award winning actress Bette Davis purports that Ms Davis gave the statue the nickname in honor of her first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson.

Walt Disney who holds the record for Academy Award nominations [59] and wins [22] upon receiving his first Academy Award in 1932, thanked the Academy for his "Oscar".

However the date [1931] makes Academy Librarian Margaret Herrick [who would later become Executive Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] seem the most likely to be the true giver of the nickname. Ms Herrick remarked that the statue resembled her cousin Oscar Pierce.

Oscar® Photo by sookietex at GrandCentralTerminal NYC 2012 Renowned Hollywood columnist Sidney Sklosky was present at the time when Ms Herrick made the remark and was the first journalist to refer in print to the statue by the name Oscar: "Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette 'Oscar'" The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially nicknamed the statuette Oscar in 1939.

The 84th Academy Awards

Best Cinematography

The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Jeff Cronenweth

Hugo – Robert Richardson [winner]

The Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki

War Horse – Janusz Kamiński
Best Art Direction

The Artist – Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan

Hugo – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo [winner]

Midnight in Paris – Anne Seibel and Hélène Dubreuil

War Horse – Rick Carter and Lee Sandales

Best Costume Design

Anonymous – Lisy Christl

The Artist – Mark Bridges [winner]

Hugo – Sandy Powell

Jane Eyre – Michael O'Connor

W.E. – Arianne Phillips
Best Film Editing

The Artist – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius

The Descendants – Kevin Tent

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter [winner]

Hugo – Thelma Schoonmaker

Moneyball – Christopher Tellefsen

Best Supporting Actress

Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy Miller

Jessica Chastain – The Help as Celia Foote

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan Price

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert Page

Octavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson [winner]
Best Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn as Laurence Olivier

Jonah Hill – Moneyball as Peter Brand

Nick Nolte – Warrior as Paddy Conlon

Christopher Plummer – Beginners as Hal Fields [winner]

Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as The Renter
Best Sound Editing

Drive – Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Ren Klyce

Hugo – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty [winner]

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

War Horse – Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Best Sound Mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – David Parker,
Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Bo Persson

Hugo – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley [winner]

Moneyball – Deb Adair, Ron Bochar,
David Giammarco, and Ed Novick

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Greg P. Russell,
Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Peter J. Devlin

War Horse – Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson,
Tom Johnson, and Stuart Wilson
Best Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again – Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front –
Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory – Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Pina – Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel

Undefeated – TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay, and Richard Middlemas [winner]
Best Animated Feature

A Cat in Paris – Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli

Chico and Rita – Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal

Kung Fu Panda 2 – Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Puss in Boots – Chris Miller

Rango – Gore Verbinski [winner]

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 –
Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler, and John Richardson

Hugo – Rob Legato, Joss Williams,
Ben Grossmann, and Alex Henning [winner]

Real Steel – Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Danny Gordon Taylor,
and Swen Gillberg

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon,
R. Christopher White, and Daniel Barrett

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Scott Farrar, Scott Benza,
Matthew E. Butler, and John Frazier
Best Original Score

The Adventures of Tintin – John Williams

The Artist – Ludovic Bource [winner]

Hugo – Howard Shore

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias

War Horse – John Williams

Best Original Song

"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets
– Bret McKenzie [winner]
"Real in Rio" from Rio – Sérgio Mendes,
Carlinhos Brown, and Siedah Garrett

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon,
and Jim Rash from The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings [winners]

Hugo – John Logan from The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov,
and Beau Willimon from Farragut North by Beau Willimon

Moneyball – Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and
Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin from Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan
from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

Best Original Screenplay

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius

Bridesmaids – Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo

Margin Call – J.C. Chandor

Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen [winner]

A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
Best Live Action Short Film

Pentecost – Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane

Raju – Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren

The Shore – Terry George and Oorlagh George [winner]

Time Freak – Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey

Tuba Atlantic – Hallvar Witzø

Best Documentary Short Subject

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement –
Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin

God Is the Bigger Elvis – Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson

Incident in New Baghdad – James Spione

Saving Face – Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy [winner]

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom – Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Best Animated Short Film

Dimanche – Patrick Doyon

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
–William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg [winner]

La Luna – Enrico Casarosa

A Morning Stroll – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

Wild Life – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
Best Foreign Language Film

Bullhead (Belgium) in Dutch and French – Michaël R. Roskam

Footnote (Israel) in Hebrew – Joseph Cedar

In Darkness (Poland) in Polish – Agnieszka Holland

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada) in French – Philippe Falardeau

A Separation (Iran) in Persian – Asghar Farhadi [winner]

Best Director

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist [winner]

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Alexander Payne – The Descendants

Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Best Actor

Demián Bichir – A Better Life as Carlos Galindo

George Clooney – The Descendants as Matt King

Jean Dujardin – The Artist as George Valentin [winner]

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
as George Smiley

Brad Pitt – Moneyball as Billy Beane
Best Actress

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs as Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis – The Help as Aibileen Clark

Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as Lisbeth Salander

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady as Margaret Thatcher [winner]

Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn as Marilyn Monroe

Best Picture

The Artist – Thomas Langmann, Producer [winner]

The Descendants – Jim Burke, Jim Taylor, and
Alexander Payne, Producers.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Scott Rudin, Producer.

The Help – Brunson Green, Chris Columbus,
and Michael Barnathan, Producers.

Hugo – Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers.

Midnight in Paris – Letty Aronson and
Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers.

Moneyball – Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz,
and Brad Pitt, Producers.

The Tree of Life – Dede Gardner, Sarah Green,
Grant Hill, and Bill Pohlad, Producers.

War Horse – Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers.

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