This year's Academy Awards broke a few records and introduced novelties. Some of them were probably expected and others not so much. Most notably it had never happened before a movie produced by a country different from the United States or the United Kingdom to win the Oscar in the Best Picture category. Well, it happened this year. There were also other interesting developments like the cease of Pixar's domination in the Best Animated Feature Film category. And a few personal achievements contributed to make 2012 Academy Awards a curious event. Here are some of the particular achievements and trivia.
French/Belgian movie The Artist won the Oscar in the Best Motion Picture of the Year category. For the first time, the winning film had not been produced by the US or the UK. Consequently, The Artist became the first French movie to win Best Picture. It also became the film produced by a non-English speaking country winning the most Oscars (5) in a single year. In addition to Best Picture, The Artist also won the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Costume Design and Best Music Written for Motion Pictures. Finally, the film had received 10 Oscar nominations which equalled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's record for a foreign movie. Some could say that all these achievements are actually due to the fact that The Artist is a silent movie thus it is not exactly a foreign language film, which makes it more accessible to the American public. On the other hand it has enough non-appealing to the general audience features (silence included).
Something to be expected was Meryl Streep's 17th Oscar nomination. An Academy favorite almost since the dawn of her acting career, she had been nominated for an Academy Award roughly every two years. And not so surprisingly, in addition to breaking her own record for the most acting nominations, Meryl Streep also won the 2012 Oscar in the Best Actress category for The Iron Lady. Now only Katherine Hepburn has more awards than Streep.
Similar to Meryl Streep, Woody Allen broke his own record for the most Oscar nominations in the category of Best Writing (Original Screenplay) with his beautiful film Midnight in Paris. He made them 15. Woody Allen also won the award for the third time, which made him the person with the most Academy Awards in the category.
Canadian actor Christopher Plummer won his first Oscar in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for the movie Beginners (2010). As a result, he became the oldest actor to win in this category and the oldest person (82) to win an Oscar in the entire history of the Academy Awards.
After Pixar's heavy domination in the last decade it was about time for something new in the field of animated films. Pixar movies have been regularly nominated throughout the decade and they won six Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature Film since 2004 including 4 consecutive Oscars for Toy Story 3 (2010), Up (2009), WALL·E (2008), Ratatouille (2007) in the past 4 years. This year they did not win (Industrial Light & Magic's Rango did). Actually, Pixar hadn't even been nominated. Let's hope it will motivate them to make a better animated film in 2012.