With the Academy Awards 2016 (Oscars) approaching at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with comedian Chris Rock geared up to host the ceremony for the second time, and with 12 nominations for The Revenant, February 28th will be quite an occasion for viewers across the globe.
Mad Max: Fury Road, meanwhile, the ‘popular choice’, has been nominated in 10 categories, The Martian in seven, and Spotlight, the year’s odds-on favorite to win Best Picture, has six nominations.
Over the years, there have been many famous movies that have been nominated far more than they’ve won, and some who’ve literally won in every category they have been nominated in. More often that not, there’s always one movie whose winning percentage is so low, that you wonder if it was better if they weren’t nominated at all.
Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating statistics with regards to these conversions:
Roman Polanski’s neo-noir mystery thriller starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway was nominated in 11 categories at the 1975 Oscars – including all the main categories (Best Picture, Editing, Actor, Actress, Director and many more). It ended up winning just one – the Best Original Screenplay on a night it started as favorite but ended as the ultimate bridesmaid. That’s what happens when a film gets made in the same year as perhaps the greatest sequel in the history of movies – The Godfather Part 2 (which, incidentally, won more awards – six – than the other two parts combined)
Another consolatory screenplay winner was the Richard Burton and Peter O’ Toole starrer Becket, the film adaptation of the play Becket, or the Honor of God. Again, this Peter Glenville-directed movie was nominated for virtually everything – a total of 12 Academy Awards – and came away with just one solitary win at the 1965 ceremony. My Fair Lady swept most of the same categories.
The film adaptation of Arthur Hailey’s famous novel of the same name only managed to bag a Best Supporting Actress trophy for Helen Hayes out of 10 nominations. It was however one of the biggest hits of the year, grossing over 100 million at the time.
THE HOURS (2002)
Everyone remembers Nicole Kidman winning her first and last Academy Award as Virginia Woolf for this drama, based on the Pulitzer winning novel of the same name. Unfortunately, it was the only award it won out of the nine nominations it received, including Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009)
This insanely entertaining alternate-historical by Quenton Tarantino was a favorite to win Best Screenplay out of the eight nominations, but only managed to bag a first Supporting Actor trophy for Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)
Ditto for David O. Russell’s heartwarming Silver Linings Playbook, which got Jennifer Lawrence her first Best Actress Trophy, despite being nominated for eight categories in a very competitive year for movies.
THE IMITATION GAME (2014)
The Alan Turing biopic starring perennial British favorite Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated in eight categories, but only won the Best Adapted Screenplay trophy – which was one more than it was expected to win on a Gravity-dominated night.
The audacious Dustin Hoffman-starrer directed by Sydney Pollack was nominated in 10 categories, and won just Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Lange. It was the second highest grossing movie of the year behind E.T. – which was consolation enough for a film centered around a difficult man dressing as a woman to land a job.
THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942)
The baseball-themed biopic on legendary baseman Lou Gehrig (who died of a disease to be later named after him) by Sam Wood was nominated in a whooping 11 categories, but won just one: for Best Editing by Daniel Mandell.
AND THE ONES THAT TOOK ‘EM ALL
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING (2003)
The final film installment of Peter Jackson’s legendary fantasy epic was nominated for a shocking 11 categories – AND WON ALL 11. No film with over 10 nominations has ever had a 100% success rate other than this one – and remains the only such success till date. Ben-Hur won an unprecedented 11 out of its 12 nominations in 1960.
The highest nominated film of all time (14 – joint with All About Eve) is also the joint-highest winner in history with 11 awards – and Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t even nominated for his breakout mainstream leading role. Best Picture, Director and a bunch of technical awards went to the sinking ship that night.
Out of a bunch of famous films on 13 nominations – the second highest number – titles like Chicago and Shakespeare In Love find themselves in the esteemed company of Forrest Gump, Gone With The Wind, Mary Poppins, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (which won just three out of its 13). Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln won two out of its 12, including a record-breaking third Lead Actor Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis.