1. Only three films in history have won the Best Picture Oscars without having their Director nominated – Wings (1927/28), Grand Hotel (1932) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). I do think that both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty have a better chance than anything since Driving Miss Daisy to make it four – but the odds are still slim.
2. Wings and Grand Hotel were the only two to win Best Picture without a Director or Screenplay nomination, so sorry Les Miserables fans, it is dead in the water for the win.
3. Only 11 Films have won the Best Picture Oscar with no actors nominated – although it should be noted that it has happened twice in the past decade (Return of the King and Slumdog Millionaire). This isn’t a death knell for Life of Pi, but certainly makes it harder – both of those films were legitimate cultural phenoms – Life of Pi is not.
4. No Film since 1980’s Ordinary People has won the Best Picture Award without being nominated for Best Editing (only 9 in total), although that shouldn’t be a factor this year since Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook – your five most likely winners – did get in.
5. Silver Linings Playbook became only the 14th film in history – and the first since Reds in 1981 – to get nominated in all four acting categories. Before supporters of that film get too excited though, only two of the previous 13 (Mrs. Miniver in 1942 and From Here to Eternity in 1953) actually won the Best Picture Oscar.
6. Only 22 – or roughly a quarter – of the Best Picture Winners have gotten the win with fewer than 8 nominations. This bodes well for Lincoln (12), Life of Pi (11) and Silver Linings Playbook (8), less so for Argo (7) and Zero Dark Thirty (5).
7. With the 12 nominations Lincoln received, Steven Spielberg’s films have now received a total of 122 nominations – second only to William Wyler (127). Spielberg’s films have currently won 29 Oscars, second only to Wyler’s 37. Can Lincoln win 8 to tie or 9 to beat Wyler?
8. With the three nominated performances in Lincoln, the total number of acting nominations Spielberg’s films have received is now 12. Zero have won an Oscar, but that should change this year.
9. This is Spielberg’s 7th Best Director nomination – putting him in a tie for third all time with David Lean, Fred Zinneman, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. Billy Wilder was nominated 8 times, and William Wyler 12.
10. If Spielberg wins the Best Director Oscar, he’ll join John Ford (4), Wyler (3) and Frank Capra (3) as the only director to win three or more Directing Oscars.
11. Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Robert DeNiro and Sally Field all have the opportunity to join Katherine Hepburn (4), Jack Nicholson (3), Meryl Streep (3) and Walter Brennan (3) as the only actors to win three or more Oscars. Sally Field would be the only one to go 3 for 3 with nominations to wins.
12. Cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall) received his 10th nomination this year – the most of any active cinematographer. He has never won. Robert Richardson (Django Unchained) received his 8th nomination (second among active cinematographer), but has already won three Oscars.
13. Composer Thomas Newman (Skyfall) received his 10th Best Score nomination this year. He has yet to win an Oscar. John Williams received his 48th Nomination – and has won five times. Of those 48 nominations, 4 were for “Score Adaptations” back when that was a category, 5 for Original Songs, and the other 39 for Original Dramatic or Comedy Score. He is the most nominated living person. Walt Disney himself holds the all time record – 59 nominations, 22 wins and four honorary Oscars.
14. Nominated Sound Mixer Greg P. Russell received his 16th nomination for Skyfall. He is still looking for his first Oscar win.