The 86th annual Academy Awards air on Sunday, March 2, 2014 on ABC. To get set for Hollywood’s biggest and grandest night of the year, here’s a complete A-Z guide to the 2014 Oscars. It includes a look at this year's nominees, as well as fascinating Oscar traditions, a bit of history, and record breakers. It all adds up to one of the most prestigious TV events of 2014.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: This elite organization of industry giants votes to decide who wins an Oscar. It’s compromised of more than 6,000 artists and professionals who bring the magic of movies to life. Members of the Academy are the cream of the crop, and include actors Will Smith and Salma Hayek, writers Sofia Coppola and Quentin Tarantino, and musicians Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, in addition to thousands of others.
Best Picture Nominees: The 2014 Academy Award Best Picture nominees are: “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Gravity,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In 2013, “Argo” won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Cinematography: Karl Strauss and Charles Rosher were the first nominees in 1927 for their work on “Sunrise.” From 1939 to 1967 (with the single exception of 1957), there were separate awards for color and black and white cinematography. Since then, the only black and white film to win was "Schindler's List" (1993). In 2013, “Life of Pi” took home the Oscar for Best Cinematography. The nominees in 2014 include “The Grandmaster,” “Gravity,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Nebraska,” and “Prisoners.”
Directors: The Best Director Oscar is the second most anticipated Academy Award of the evening. This year’s nominee list includes David O. Russell for “American Hustle,” Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity,” Alexander Payne for “Nebraska,” Steve McQueen for “12 Years a Slave,” and Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In 2013, Ang Lee won the Best Director Oscar for “Life of Pi.” William Wyler holds the record for the most Best Director nominations with 12.
Eighty-Sixth Annual Academy Awards: Far from the eagerly anticipated and globally televised event it is today, the first Academy Awards ceremony took place out of the public eye during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Two hundred and seventy people attended the May 16, 1929 dinner in the hotel’s Blossom Room. Guest tickets were priced at just $5. The first presentation was the only one to escape a media audience. By the second year, enthusiasm for the Awards grew and a Los Angeles radio station produced a live one-hour broadcast of the event. The ceremony has been broadcast ever since. Starting with the 16th Oscar ceremony, which was held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, the event has always been held at a theater. In 1953, the first televised Oscar ceremony enabled millions throughout the United States and Canada to watch the Academy Awards. Broadcasting in color began in 1966, affording home viewers a chance to fully experience the dazzling allure of the event. Since 1969, the Oscar show has been broadcast internationally and now reaches movie fans in over 200 countries.
Four Seasons Hotel: The elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills is a magnet for stars during Oscar weekend. The Oscar Weekend Package goes for $4,000 and includes two nights in a luxurious suite, spa treatments and dinner at the award-winning Gardens restaurant. It’s a hot spot to “see and been seen” during Oscar weekend.
Girl Power: The Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories are always highly competitive. In 2013, Jennifer Lawrence took home the Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook” and Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserables.” Streep has been nominated for an Oscar an astonishing 17 times. She won the Academy Award in 1980 for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” in 1983 for “Sophie’s Choice,” and in 2012 for “Iron Lady.” In 2013, the nominees for Best Actress are Amy Adams for “American Hustle,” Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine,” Sandra Bullock for “Gravity,” Judi Dench for “Philomena,” and Meryl Streep for “August: Osage County.” The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmine,” Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle,” Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave,” Julia Roberts for “August: Osage County,” and June Squibb for “Nebraska.”
Honorary Awards: The first Oscars of the season have already been awarded. The Academy's Board of Governors voted in September to present honorary Academy Awards to Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and Peiro Tosi, a renowned costume designer from Italy. In addition, Angelina Jolie was chosen as the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
International TV Audience: With more than 40 million viewers in the United States and hundreds of millions across the globe, the Academy Awards is one of the most popular TV events in the world. According to Deadline.com, ratings for the 2013 Academy Awards, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, were up 11% over those from 2012. Look for another jump when Ellen DeGeneres returns as host. The funny lady also hosted the 79th Annual Academy Awards in 2007.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars.” Kimmel’s 9th annual post Oscars TV event will air on Sunday, March 2 on ABC. This year’s "JKL: After The Oscars" special includes appearances by Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Christoph Waltz, Ben Kingsley, Mandy Patinkin, Abbie Cornish, Barkhad Abdi, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Seth Rogen, Morgan Freeman, Andy Garcia, Adam Driver, Queen Latifah, Gary Oldman, Anjelica Huston and more.
Kodak Theatre: Since its opening on November 9, 2001, the prestigious Kodak Theatre has been the home of the Academy Awards. In 2002, the Oscars were held at the theater, the first permanent home of the Awards. It has a seating capacity for up to 3,400 people and its stage is one of the largest in the United States. Kodak paid $75 million to have its name associated with the theater. In early 2012, Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection and ended its naming rights deal. The theater's name was temporarily changed to The Hollywood and Highland Centre and then was renamed the Dolby Theatre, after Dolby Laboratories signed a 20-year naming rights deal.
Live Red Carpet Shows. Some of the best Oscar fun comes from watching the celebrities walk the red carpet prior to entering the Academy Awards. On TV Guide Network, Nancy O’Dell and Rob Marciano from “Entertainment Tonight” are set to interview the stars on the red carpet from 5-7 p.m. EST. Over on E!, Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic will cover the pre-Oscars red carpet action from 5:30-8:30 p.m. On ABC, Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer from “Good Morning America,” plus Jess Cagle and Tyson Beckford will cover the red carpet for ABC from 7-8:30 p.m. EST.
The Men: Two of the most coveted Academy Awards are Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. The Best Actor nominees in 2014 are Christian Bale for “American Hustle,” Bruce Dern for “Nebraska,” Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave,” and Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club.” The Best Supporting Actor nominees are Barkhad Abdi for “Captain Phillips,” Bradley Cooper for “American Hustle,” Michael Fassbender for “12 Years a Slave,” Jonah Hill for “The Wolf of all Street,” and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club.” Walt Disney has won more Oscars than any other man. Through the years, he won 22 competitive Oscars and 4 honorary ones. He also won the most Oscars in one year: 4.
Nominees: The motion pictures with the most Academy Award nominations in 2014 are “American Hustle” (10), “Gravity” (10), “12 Years a Slave” (9), “Captain Phillips” (6), “Dallas Buyers Club” (6), “Nebraska” (6), “Her” (5), “The Wolf of Wall Street” (5), “Philomena” (4), “Blue Jasmine” (3), and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (3). The record for most nominations in a single year for a single film go to "All About Eve" and "Titanic," which both received 14 nominations. The three films that won the most awards in a single year are "Ben-Hur," "Titanic," and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." They each won 11 Oscars.
Oscars.com: For anything and everything related to the 2014 Academy Awards, Oscar.com, powered by ABC, is a complete digital road map that provides users with exclusive insider access to the Oscars – before, during and after the 2014 Academy Awards. The site is now live with “Ellen Replies to #Oscars Tweets,” “Inside the Oscars,” a gallery of candid shots from the 2013 Governor’s Ball, an Oscar timeline, the latest buzz and so much more. On Oscar Sunday, the site will highlight the Emmy-winning Oscar Backstage Pass, which will be streamed online and to mobile devices this year. Presented by Samsung Galaxy®, Oscar Backstage Pass gives fans unprecedented access to the show through multiple live camera feeds placed throughout the show venue and streamed online and on mobile devices.
Presenters and Swag Bags: Stars clamor to be an Oscar presenter to snag one of the best goodie bags ever. They’re full of elite products with a value as high as $30,000 and include an array of electronic gadgets, gourmet treats, getaways, specialty beauty gifts, jewelry and much more. This year’s presenter list includes a host of Hollywood heavyweights like Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, Jim Carrey, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Viola Davis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert De Niro, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg, Anne Hathaway, Goldie Hawn, Chris Hemsworth, Kate Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew MaConaughey, Bill Murray, Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Gabourey Sidibe, Will Smith, Kevin Spacey, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Kerry Washington and more.
Queen of the Night - Ellen DeGeneres: Television icon and Emmy Award-winner, Ellen DeGeneres, will serve as host of the 2014 Oscars. She also hosted back in 2007. Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson told the press, “She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re a huge fan of hers. It’s a perfect match.” “It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group. “She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday.” To see a preview trailer of Ellen at the 2014 Oscars, be sure to watch the video above. In the past decade, the following stars have stepped up to host the Academy Awards: Seth MacFarlane (2013), Billy Crystal (2012), James Franco and Anne Hathaway (2011), Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin (2010), Hugh Jackman (2009), Jon Stewart (2008), Ellen DeGeneres (2007), Jon Stewart (2006), Chris Rock (2005), Billy Crystal (2004), and Steve Martin (2003).
Razzie Awards: The 34th Golden Raspberry Awards (also known as The Razzies) honors the worst films of the year. Nominations were revealed on Jan. 15 and the “winners” will be announced on March 1, 2014. Worst Picture nominees include “After Earth,” “Grown Ups 2,” “The Lone Ranger,” “A Madea Christmas,” and “Movie 43.” Johnny Depp, Ashton Kutcher, Adam Sandler, Jaden Smith, and Sylvester Stallone received noms for Worst Actor. Worst Actress accolades went to nominees Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, Lindsay Lohan, Tyler Perry, and Naomi Watts.
Snubs: Every year, it seems like the Academy overlooks noteworthy performances and contenders. This year is certainly no exception. Oprah Winfrey and “The Butler” received no love, nor did Robert Redford for “All Is Lost.” “Captain Phillips” received six nominations, but Tom Hanks was ignored in the Best Actor category. This is perhaps the biggest and most shocking snub of 2014. Emma Thompson was delightful in her leading role in “Saving Mr. Banks,” but was not nominated. Although Cate Blanchett received a nom for best actress, Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” was snubbed in the Best Picture category.
Traditions After the Awards: After the Best Picture award is presented, it’s time to party. The stars head out to hit at least one of the big Oscar parties in Hollywood. The studios usually host the grandest parties, but there are a slew of other popular post-Oscar events. Immediately following the Awards, most stars stop by the Governor’s Ball. After getting their picture taken, they quickly depart for the highbrow "Vanity Fair" soiree, an Oscar tradition since 1994. From there, it’s on to the studio and private parties, where the stars celebrate into the wee hours.
Upsets and Underdogs: While film critics may feel certain that they know who will win the Oscar, an underdog or two usually manages to snatch a statuette away from the favorite. Three years ago, little-seen indie film "The Hurt Locker" upset James Cameron’s blockbuster "Avatar" for Best Picture. This year’s frontrunners (“12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity” and “American Hustle”) may be hard to beat, but nothing is ever 100% guaranteed when it comes to the Academy Awards. Just ask James Cameron. One of the biggest upsets ever was when “Shakespeare in Love” defeated blockbuster “Saving Private Ryan” for Best Picture in 1999.
Visual Effects: Outstanding special effects can make a movie truly memorable. This year’s Oscar nominees for Best Visual Effects are “”Gravity,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Iron Man 3,” “The Lone Ranger,” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
Writing: The 2014 Best Writing Oscars are broken into two categories: Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay. The nominees for Best Writing: Adapted Screenplay are “Before Midnight,” “Captain Phillips,” “Philomena,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The nominees for Best Writing: Original Screenplay are “”American Hustle,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Her,” and “Nebraska.”
Youngest Person to Ever Receive an Oscar: The youngest actress to win a standard Oscar was Tatum O'Neal, who was just 10 years old when she won the Best Supporting Actress award for "Paper Moon" in 1974. The oldest, Jessica Tandy, won her Best Actress Oscar at age 80 for "Driving Miss Daisy." Henry Fonda was 76 when he won an Oscar in 1981 for “On Golden Pond.”
Zzzzzz… Greer Garison gave the longest Oscar acceptance speech in 1946. Clocked at 5-1/2 minutes, it holds the record. The 74th Annual Academy Awards Show in 2002 was the longest Oscar broadcast ever. It was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and ran 4 hours and 17 minutes. It also pulled in the lowest ratings ever and was the Awards’ first high definition broadcast.
The 86th Annual Academy Awards airs at 8:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 2 on ABC. For a complete list of this year’s nominees, go to www.oscars.com. For a look at this year’s Oscar nominees and to see how the crew prepares for the big event, be sure to check out the slide show.
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