“…and the Oscar goes to…” Who are you rooting for to win the Oscar for best picture, best actor, best supporting actress? You don’t have to wait long to find out—this Sunday, March 2, with coverage beginning at 6 pm CST, the Annual Academy Awards rolls out its red carpet for the 86th time.
But if we look back in time to the 1st Annual Academy Awards, they likely didn’t have a red carpet to roll out. On May 16, 1929, an audience of 270 people witnessed the first Academy Awards at a private dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Guest tickets were available for sale—only $5 each. We might question whether attendees were getting their money’s worth, even at that low price, since the ceremony only lasted 15 minutes, with 15 awards being bestowed.
One of the awards went to Emil Jannings, the first to receive the Best Actor award. Janet Gaynor received the Best Actress award that year. Awards for Best Supporting Actor/Actress were not handed out until 1936. Some additional categories have been added in the years since 1929, such as Best Animated Feature (since 2001), Best Makeup and Hairstyling (since 1981) and Best Costume Design (since 1948). Other categories have been discontinued, like Best Original Musical or Comedy Score, which ran from 1995-1999. Interestingly enough, Best Original Musical has yet to be discontinued, though it has not been awarded (due to insufficient eligibility) since Purple Rain won in 1984.
And those awards are nothing to scoff at. “Oscar” weighs in at 8.5 pounds, and each takes three to four weeks to manufacture. No wonder most grab for the award with both hands! During WWII, the statuettes were made of plaster in support of the American war effort. Since then, however, the structure has remained true to the original design, 92.5% tin, 7.5% copper and plated in gold.
This year, the following films are nominated for Best Picture:
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
Wolf of Wall Street
Many of the actors and actresses up for Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress are receiving nods for their roles in these best pictures of 2013. For example, watch for Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle. Watch for Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in Wolf of Wall Street and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave.
No matter who comes away with an Oscar, this year’s batch of nominees are certainly talented, and we’re looking forward to seeing the high fashion of film’s leading ladies and gentlemen as they accept their awards.