Oscar rules, Oscar history, Oscar procedures - your questions answered!
Question: Debate about the Oscars: why weren't any of the songs of Sweeney Todd nominated? It's Sondheim, after all! Could there be a reason, like a regulation or something?
Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Peter Mountain/ DreamWorks Pictures
Dreamgirls was on Broadway first and had songs nominated, didn't it? We don't understand.
Love you all at TV Guide, though! Thanks! Lila
None of Stephen Sondheim's songs could be nominated because of rules. In order for a song from Tim Burton's film version of
to have been eligible for an Academy Award, it would have to have been written
for the film.
You're absolutely right,
(2006) was a Broadway musical before it was filmed, but the three - count 'em, three - nominated songs ("Listen," "Love You I Do" and "Patience") were all new. And they all lost.
That's also how
(2002), picked up its best-song nomination: John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote all the songs for the stage production, contributed one new number, "I Move On," to the movie.
Question: How does the Academy Awards voting process work? Is it that once you're nominated for an award you're automatically a member. And once you're a member, can you go to every ceremony, or do you have to be invited?
I don't know why this is so important to me. I'm just curious as to how it all works and if there is a lot of politics involved. Thank you for any insight you can give me. - Sharon
The current membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is about 6,500, a number that stays relatively stable from year to year.
Membership is by invitation only and there's no automatic in: Normally candidates are sponsored by at least two members of the appropriate branch. So an actor needs at least two actors who are already Academy members to propose him or her to the acting branch, a film editor needs a nomination by at least two of his or her colleagues, and so on.
The nomination is then either approved or not by the executive committee on a branch level, and if approved goes to the Board of Governors, which currently has 43 members. They include actors Tom Hanks, Ed Begley Jr. and Henry Winkler, along with a range of behind-the-scenes types.
Non-members who are nominated for and/or win an Oscar are generally, but not always, invited without needing sponsorship. I'd say there's some room for politicking and personalities there.
All Academy members participate in the nominating portion of the balloting process, but only within their own branches: Again, animators nominate animators, cinematographers nominate cinematographers, and so on. Which only makes sense: Who better to notice and single out exceptional work than someone who knows exactly what that work entails?
Once the nominees are chosen, every Academy member gets to vote the entire ballot. All Academy members are invited to attend every ceremony.
Question: Has there ever been a tie for any of the major awards in Oscar history? - John
both received best-actress statuettes in 1968, Streisand for
and Hepburn for
The Lion in Winter
were both named best actor at the 1931/1932 ceremony for, respectively,
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Technically speaking, March received one vote more than Beery, but the rules at the time called it a tie if the difference was three votes or fewer.
Question: Has anyone ever won both best actor/actress and best supporting actor/actress in the same year? - Paul
No, but a number of actresses have been nominated for both in the same year:
in 1938 for
(she won supporting for
in 1942 for
The Pride of the Yankees
(she won supporting for
in 1982 for
(once again, a win in the supporting category for
in 1988 for
Gorillas in the Mist
in 1993, Hunter for
(she won best actress for
) and Thompson for
The Remains of the Day
In the Name of the Father
in 2002 for
Far from Heaven
(no win) and, of course,
this year for
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
I'm Not There
The only actors ever nominated in both the best and best supporting categories in the same year are
in 1992 for
Scent of a Woman
Glengarry Glen Ross
(he won best actor for
in 2004 for
(he also won best actor, for
And though you
is the only actor (or actress) ever to have been nominated for the same role - Father Fitzgibbon - in both the leading and supporting categories. That was in 1944, and the film was the
Going My Way
. Fitzgerald won best supporting and lost best actor to Crosby.
The Academy subsequently fine-tuned the rules for tabulating nominations in the leading and supporting categories, so the situation never recurred.
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