By Hannah Soo Park
Forget about all the snubs and surprises. Now that the official list of Academy Award nominations is finally upon us, it’s time to test your knowledge about our notable contenders. Whether you’re in a heated predictions debate or simply trying to be the know-it-all at your buddy’s viewing party, we’ve got the facts and figures to engage, impress or simply satisfy your inner-Oscar geek.
Who are the newbies and who’s been nominated before?
What do Christoph Waltz, Tommy Lee Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Alan Arkin all have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re all nominated for Best Supporting Actor (duh), they’ve also all won in that particular category before. By the way, thank you, Emma Stone, for the “He’s already won before” deadpan.
Out of the entire list of nominees, four are first-timers: Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis.
Aside from the people who have won before, Amy Adams is the eighth person to get at least four best supporting actress nominations. Our fingers are crossed, Amy!
If you weren’t so distracted by host Seth MacFarlane’s snarky asides, then maybe you, too, also picked out that he got a nod for co-writing his original song “Everybody Needs A Friend.” The last (but not the only other) host who was also nominated for an award was James Franco (“127 Hours”) in 2010.
Which nominee could break Oscar records?
Oh, you noticed all of the “Lincoln”’s, too? While 12 nominations isn’t the most a movie has ever received, Steven Spielberg’s biopic still has a chance to snag a spot in the record books. if Spielberg’s biopic ends up winning each category for which it’s up for consideration, then it would shatter the highest sweep record currently held by “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.” Yup, it’s the Lincoln-Hobbit showdown you’ve all been waiting for.
At 85-years-old, Emmaneulle Riva of “Amour” is officially the oldest nominee in the history of the Best Actress slot. And on the way other end of the age spectrum is Quvenzhane Wallis, who, at just nine years old, is now the youngest actress to be nominated in the category.
Alan Arkin’s Best Supporting Actor nomination for “Argo” makes him the male actor with the longest time span (of 46 years!) between his first and last nomination. So getting older really does pay off—at least when it comes to breaking Oscar records.
Which genre could be making a comeback for the history books?
Oscar’s soft spot for song-and-dance numbers dates all the way back to 1929, when “The Broadway Melody” became the first musical (and second movie ever) to win Best Picture. Ever since, only nine more films of its kind were able to follow suit. So if “Les Miserables” wins the final award of the night, it would not only be the first time a musical wins the category since 2002’s “Chicago,” but also just the 11th in the entire 85-ceremony history of the awards.
And while we’re on the topic of musicals, we should also mention that if Hugh Jackman wins Best Actor for live-singing his way through “Les Mis,” it would be another long-time-coming instance—the last time it happened was back in 1964, when Rex Harrison took the award for “My Fair Lady.”
Genres and actors aren’t the only ones who are allowed to make comebacks. Don’t you know that movie presidents can, too? As much as we’re prone to think that Daniel Day-Lewis’ Abraham Lincoln is the first to impress the Academy (and all of us, really), he’s actually already been beaten to the punch. Raymond Massey, in fact, was nominated first for playing the negotiator of all negotiators in 1940’s “Abe Lincoln in Illinois.”
Will “Lincoln” win the Oscar war, or will “Les Miserables” rule the night? Stick with MTV News to find out, as we’ve got everything you need to know about the 2013 Oscars! Stick with us as we bring you non-stop coverage until the big night on February 24, when the 85th annual Academy Awards goes live from Los Angeles.