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Oscars 2005: Picture


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What's the history of films with most noms vs. winners of best picture. How many times has the most freq nominated film LOST best picture?

(looking in Peter's direction) IT's so obvious that I don't say it enough. But PTC, your encyclopediatic brain is an enormous asset. Thanks for your contributions here.

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DanBuck wrote:

: What's the history of films with most noms vs. winners of best picture. How many

: times has the most freq nominated film LOST best picture?

Two examples spring to mind. In 2001, The Fellowship of the Ring had 13 nominations (just 1 shy of a tie for the all-time record) but the Best Picture award went to A Beautiful Mind; and in 1991, Bugsy had 10 nominations in 9 categories but the Best Picture award went to Silence of the Lambs, which was nominated for 7 and won 5. (And not only did Silence of the Lambs win, but it became only the third film to ever win Picture, Director, Actor, Actress AND Screenplay -- the other two films being 1934's It Happened One Night and 1975's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.)

2001 can at least be explained away on the basis of "the Academy wanted to wait and see how the entire trilogy would turn out". I'm not sure what 1991's excuse was (apart from the fact that Silence of the Lambs was just a much more memorable movie...).

I remember prognosticators had a tough time figuring out who would win in 1989, because Driving Miss Daisy had the most nominations, but it was NOT nominated for Best Director -- and usually Picture and Director go hand-in-hand.

: Thanks for your contributions here.

Gawrsh, I'm blushing.

I'm tempted to go hunt down the stats for the past few years, though ...

Okay. Thanks to this handy summary, I can say that most recent Best Picture winners have had at least 10 nominations, and have thus been almost certainly the nominees with the most nominations, period. (Has it ever happened before that TWO films got more than 10 nominations in the same year? oh wait, yes, in 1998, Shakespeare in Love had 13 noms and Saving Private Ryan had 11...; and in 1981, Reds had 12 nominations and On Golden Pond had 10...).

Well, never mind that. I am going to assume that any Best Picture winner with 10 nominations or more had the most nominations that year, and -- limiting myself to the awards that were handed out since my birth in late 1970 -- I am only going to track down the number of nominations for all Best Picture candidates in those years where the winner had 9 or less.

Red indicates the winner had LESS nominations than at least one other film. (And FWIW, in at least two years -- 1980 and 1977 -- I believe the winner had the least nominations of all, or was tied for the least.) Purple indicates the winner was TIED for the most nominations with at least one other film.

2003 - winner: The Return of the King (nom 11, won 11)

2002 - winner: Chicago (nom 13, won 6)

2001 - winner: A Beautiful Mind (nom 8, won 4); most noms: The Fellowship of the Ring (nom 13, won 4)

2000 - winner: Gladiator (nom 12, won 5)

1999 - winner: American Beauty (nom 8, won 5)

1998 - winner: Shakespeare in Love (nom 13, won 7)

1997 - winner: Titanic (nom 14, won 11)

1996 - winner: The English Patient (nom 12, won 9)

1995 - winner: Braveheart (nom 10, won 5)

1994 - winner: Forrest Gump (nom 13, won 6)

1993 - winner: Schindler's List (nom 12, won 7)

1992 - winner: Unforgiven (nom 9, won 4); tied with: Howards End (nom 9, won 3)

1991 - winner: Silence of the Lambs (nom 7, won 5); most noms: Bugsy (nom 10, won 2)

1990 - winner: Dances with Wolves (nom 12, won 7)

1989 - winner: Driving Miss Daisy (nom 9, won 4)

1988 - winner: Rain Man (nom 8, won 4)

1987 - winner: The Last Emperor (nom 9, won 9)

1986 - winner: Platoon (nom 8, won 4); tied with: A Room with a View (nom 8, won 3)

1985 - winner: Out of Africa (nom 11, won 7); tied with: The Color Purple (nom 11, won 0)

1984 - winner: Amadeus (nom 11, won 8): tied with: A Passage to India (nom 11, won 2)

1983 - winner: Terms of Endearment (nom 11, won 5)

1982 - winner: Gandhi (nom 11, won 8)

1981 - winner: Chariots of Fire (nom 7, won 4); most noms: Reds (nom 12, won 3)

1980 - winner: Ordinary People (nom 6, won 4); most noms: Raging Bull (nom 8, won 2) and The Elephant Man (nom 8, won 0)

1979 - winner: Kramer Vs. Kramer (nom 9, won 5); tied with: All That Jazz (nom 9, won 4)

1978 - winner: The Deer Hunter (nom 9, won 5); most noms: The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (nom 9, won 1)

1977 - winner: Annie Hall (nom 5, won 4); most noms: Julia (nom 11, won 3) and The Turning Point (nom 11, won 0) and Star Wars (nom 10, won 6 + 1 special award)

1976 - winner: Rocky (nom 10, won 3); tied with: Network (nom 10, won 4)

1975 - winner: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (nom 9, won 5)

1974 - winner: The Godfather Part II (nom 11, won 6); tied with: Chinatown (nom 11, won 1)

1973 - winner: The Sting (nom 9, won 7); most noms: The Exorcist (nom 10, won 2)

1972 - winner: The Godfather (nom 10, won 3); tied with: Cabaret (nom 10, won 8)

1971 - winner: The French Connection (nom 8, won 5); tied with: Fiddler on the Roof (nom 8, won 3) and The Last Picture Show (nom 8, won 2)

1970 - winner: Patton (nom 10, won 7); tied with: Airport (nom 10, won 1)

Okay, I DID look up all the Best Picture nominees in two years where the winner had 10 nominations -- in 1972 and 1976 specifically -- but that was because it seemed so unusual that a film with 10 nominations should win Best Picture and only two other awards! I figured there had to be some OTHER multiply-nominated film in those years -- and I was right!

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Great list, Peter! There's a cute pattern that's emerged from 1997 where in alternate years the Best Picture winner has also picked up Best Director, and then it hasn't (Titanic got both, then Ryan nicked it for Spielberg from Shakespeare, then American Beauy got both...) It's kinda funny because this year, certainly more than for the last couple, early predictors have been expecting the same split again.

Phil.

"We live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be." - Angel

"We don't do perms!" - Trevor and Simon

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What I find particularly striking is that the expectation that the film with the most nominations will win may actually be a recent thing. I don't know about the years before my birth, but the 1970s seem to have been an incredibly unpredictable decade, in this regard, and then suddenly everything stabilized. There is an entire decade between Chariots of Fire beating the odds in 1981 and then Silence of the Lambs doing it again in 1991, and then another entire decade passes before A Beautiful Mind pulls off that trick in 2001.

And in the past two decades, it has apparently only happened TWICE that two films were tied for the most nominations, thus giving even the appearance of a close contest that might nullify the most-nominations-equals-best-picture rule. Whereas between 1970 and 1980, there were only TWO years in which there WASN'T a tie for most nominations (said years being 1973 and 1975 -- and even in 1973, the film with the most nominations didn't win!).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Just a note to say I've updated the list above, i.e. I've checked ALL the Best Picture nominees for ALL the years, and have discovered that there were two years in the 1980s when two films had 11 nominations apiece. In fact, there was a three-year run, between 1984 and 1986, wherein two films were tied for most nominations every year -- thus providing SOME suspense, one would hope.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Somehow, I knew that Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman would all win Oscars for their roles in the film "Million Dollar Baby", and that "Million Dollar Baby" would win the award for the Best Picture, also.

To digress a little bit: West Side Story won ten Academy Awards, including the Best Picture, back in 1961, all of which were well deserved and well earned! Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, who won awards for the Best Supporting Actress and Actor, were fabulous in this great classic film, and their awards were also well-earned.

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