For movie dorks such as myself, Oscar night is like the Dungeouns & Dragons of film. So as we gear up for this year’s winners and losers (Daniel Day-Lewis will draw blood!) let us reflect on some of my favorite past winners for Best Motion Picture. As an added treat I’ve included a fun fact with each film. Queue up your DVDs, ya’ll!
This week on I, Queue Genius, some of my favorite film fun picks and their film fun facts!
2005, Dir. Paul Haggis
Film Fun Fact: Executive Producers for Crash included Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) and the Federation for Law Enforcement Officers of the Klu Klux Klan (FLEOKKK).
2. American Beauty
1999, Dir. Sam Mendes
Film Fun Fact: Upon casting Mena Suvari as Angela Hayes, the precocious high school cheerleader, director Sam Mendes considered changing the title of Alan Ball’s script to American Kinda Ugly.
3. The English Patient
1996, Dir. Anthony Minghella
Film Fun Fact: Ralph Fiennes was suffering from a mean case of body lice, aka crabs, while shooting.
4. Forrest Gump
1994, Dir. Robert Zemeckis
Film Fun Fact: The widespread popularity of the film prompted Congress to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, in hopes that good things would come from helpless people.
5. Schindler’s List
1993, Dir. Steven Spielberg
Film Fun Fact: Schindler’s List was the last major motion picture Musical Comedy to win the prestigious Best Film Oscar.
6. The Silence of the Lambs
1991, Dir. Jonathan Demme
Film Fun Fact: The release of Silence of the Lambs caused a meteoric rise in lamb sales at American supermarkets; also, trannies were finally mainstreamed.
7. The Last Emperor
1987, Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
Film Fun Fact: There were lots of Chinese people in it.
1984, Dir. Milos Forman
Film Fun Fact: Forman’s powerful biopic of a man who would change history was based on Peter Shaffer’s epic play, Sofia Coppolla Hipstered the Shit Out of Marie Antoinnette.
1982, Dir. Richard Attenborough
Film Fun Fact: Fifteen-year-old Christian Bale played Ghandi so convincingly, that the government of India invited him to be Master of Ceremonies at Ghandi’s 80th birthday celebration.
10. The Deer Hunter
1978, Dir. Michael Cimino
Fun Fact: Deer didn’t actually exist in the United States during the Vietnam War as they had been temporarily decimated by the Commie Viet Cong.
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1975, Dir. Milos Forman
Film Fun Fact: To prepare for the unforgiving role of a mentally unstable patient at a lonely hospital, Jack Nicholson just played himself.
12. Annie Hall
1977, Dir. Woody Allen
Film Fun Fact: Woody Allen’s first choice to play the character that would make Diane Keaton a household name was himself, which he quickly abandoned upon realizing that though he could certainly direct himself, he couldn’t possibly seduce, have sex with and get pregnant with himself.
13. Midnight Cowboy
1969, Dir. John Schlesinger
Film Fun Fact: Jon Voight’s prosthetic artist, responsible for making his penis seem larger-than-life in this gritty film about a gigolo and his sidekick was named Angela Jolie.
14. The Sound of Music
1965, Dir. Robert Wise
Film Fun Fact: The Sound of Music would mark the last film of Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood career when he suffered a broken leg during the filming of the Edelweiss dance sequence. Julie Andrews took over the role of the famed singing nun.
15. West Side Story
1961, Dir. Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
Film Fun Fact: Over 600 gallons of Banana Boat Sun Tanning Lotion with SPF 4 were used to make the Sharks look more Puerto Rican to American audiences.
16. All About Eve
1950, Dir. Joseph Mankiewicz
Film Fun Fact: All About Eve introduced American atheists to Creationism. And it all went downhill from there!
That’s it folks, go forth into the sunset and bet some cold hard cash-money on this year’s nominees. Next week on I, Queue Genius: Some Sexy Lies on Videotape.
The 80th Annual Academy Awards
February 24, 2008 – 8 PM ET