oscar winners

5 Times the Oscars Made History

The Oscars are the most important and coveted awards in cinematic history and eagerly watched by millions all over the world. But as you wait for this year’s nominees to be announced and wonder if your favorite actors have made the cut, we bring you a list of five pivotal moments when the Academy Awards indeed made history — by honouring those marginalized or neglected, alerting the audience to social inequality and recognizing genuine talent that had been shunned erstwhile.

1.  When Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Best Director Award at the Oscars in 2010.  

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Despite it being the 21st century, gender inequality is still rampant in Hollywood, especially when it comes to women filmmakers. Which is why Kathryn Bigelow literally made history by being the first-ever woman to win the much-coveted Best Director Award for her low-budget war thriller “The Hurt Locker,” about a bomb disposal team — winning over her former husband and industry favorite James Cameron’s 3D extravaganza “Avatar.”  She dedicated her win to the servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan and added, “May they come home safe.”

2. When Marlon Brando refused the Best Actor Award at the Oscars in 1973. 

Marlon Brando created a huge controversy when he refused the Award for the Best Actor for his role as Vito Corleone in the mafia film “The Godfather.” Not only did he boycott the ceremony, he sent actress Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. She waved away the Oscar and read out a letter saying that Brando  “very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry –” Given the way America has maltreated and ostracized and even culturally appropriated the Native American community, Brando’s refusal was a powerful and ground-breaking move to raise awareness.

3. When Charlie Chaplin Received His 12 Minute Standing Ovation at the Oscars in 1972.

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Chaplin is a worldwide icon and a pioneer in the field of silent comedy, but after he was labelled a communist he was not allowed to return to the United States for 20 years. Thus his Honorary Oscar Win was important not only because Hollywood finally realized his great contribution to the industry, but also because his presence at the award ceremony marked his first return to the United States. He received a 12-minute standing ovation from the audience, which is still the longest standing ovation in Oscar history.

4. When Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress Award at the Oscars in 2002.

Halle Berry created history by becoming the first black woman to win the prestigious Best Actress Award for her role in “Monster’s Ball.”  She was so full of tears that she was unable to speak for a minute and when she finally did, she acknowledged the importance of the moment and said, “This moment is for all the nameless, faceless women of color who now have a chance because this door tonight has been opened.” The night was made even more special when fellow African-American actor Denzel Washington also took home the Best Actor Award for the film “Training Day.”

5. When Patricia Arquette won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Oscars in 2015.

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When Patricia Arquette won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the Richard Linklater film “Boyhood,” she used the opportunity to champion women’s rights across the country. In her acceptance speech, she said, To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

So which are your favorite Oscar history-making moments from the list? Did we miss anything? And what are your expectations for this year’s Academy Awards? Let us know in the comments below!

 

What Are Best Picture Winning Producers Working on Now?

In the field of producing, the highest honor Hollywood can bestow is the Academy Award for Best Picture. When the final Oscar of the night is given out, it isn’t to the director or the writer of the nominated film—it’s to the primary producers. With the added prestige of the golden statue, producers have a little more clout when it comes to their future projects. Here’s what some of the most recent Best Picture winning producers are currently working on.

1. 12 Years a Slave

Last year’s Best Picture winner was the gripping true-life drama 12 Years a Slave. Director Steve McQueen co-produced the film, and is following up his win with Codes of Conduct—an HBO pilot he’s also writing—starring an unknown actor as a young black man making his way through Manhattan’s wealthy elite.

Brad Pitt, whose Plan B Entertainment produced the film, also picked up an Oscar for his effort, and is currently working on a Lewis & Clark miniseries, as well as a sequel to World War Z. His newest film as a producer, the Martin Luther King, Jr. drama Selma, comes out this Christmas.

2. Argo

Argo picked up Best Picture Oscars for George Clooney and Grant Heslov, who have been producing together since their first film, Good Night, and Good Luck. Their production company, Smokehouse Pictures, has two films currently in the pipeline—Our Brand is Crisis, a David Gordon Green directed adaptation of a documentary about political campaigns in South America starring Sandra Bullock, and Money Monster, a thriller with Clooney attached as the lead and Jodie Foster as its director.

Director Ben Affleck also produced the film, and is working on Live By Night, a prohibition era organized crime drama he plans to write, direct, and star in as well. He also took a break from producing to film Batman v. Superman as the titular Dark Knight.

3. The Artist

Thomas Langmann was the sole winning producer of the black and white silent Best Picture, The Artist. His next production is One Wild Moment, a French remake of a 1970s drama, starring Vincent Cassel.

4. The King’s Speech

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, producing partners of The King’s Speech, are hoping to strike gold again with famous characters from the past. Their next films will be a new version of Macbeth with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the Shakespearean couple, and Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as an elderly, retired Sherlock Holmes. They’re also hedging their bets with a real life legend, producing Life, a period film starring Dale DeHaan as James Dean.

5. The Hurt Locker

Mark Boal was famously banned from the ceremony where he won his Best Picture Oscar for breaking campaigning rules. His next project is a film adaptation of the wildly popular adventure video game, Uncharted.

Nicolas Chartier, one of The Hurt Locker’s other winners, is producing A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut. Co-producer Greg Shapiro’s next project is Child 44, an adaptation of the best-selling crime novel with an all-star cast and blockbuster potential.

6. Slumdog Millionaire

Christian Colson is hoping to following up his Best Picture win with another prestige picture—a biopic of Steve Jobs. His chances are good, considering Slumdog director Danny Boyle is helming the film with a script by Aaron Sorkin and with Michael Fassbender currently set to star as the Apple founder.

7. No Country for Old Men

Superproducer Scott Rudin picked up an Oscar for No Country for Old Men and has two huge projects very loosely in the works. One is Sinatra, Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating Frank Sinatra biopic. The other is a film adaptation of smash hit musical The Book of Mormon.

No Country’s directors, the Coen Brothers, are producing their next film—Hail, Caesar!—which in itself sounds like a parody of a Coen Brothers movie: a period film about the studio system in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

8. The Departed

Graham King, who won his award for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, is going in an entirely different route with his next project. The Fifth Wave, his current production, is an epic alien invasion science fiction film starring Chloe Grace Moretz. He’s also got a potential reboot of video game adaptation Tomb Raider in the works.

9. Crash

Crash co-producer Cathy Schulman has another potential hit currently in production. Dark Places is a thriller adapted from a novel by Gillian Flynn, who made waves this year with her screenplay adaptation of another of her novels—Gone Girl.

10. Million Dollar Baby

Albert S. Ruddy won his Best Picture Oscar over a decade ago, but he is still a busy producer. His current project is The Vatican Tapes, an exorcist horror film, and American Pastoral, a drama with a stellar cast including Dakota Fanning, Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connolly.

Million Dollar Baby’s director, Clint Eastwood, also picked up an award for producing. The latest film with Eastwood as a producer is the hotly anticipated American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper. We won’t have to wait long for this memoir of a Navy SEAL—American Sniper comes out this Christmas.