79th Academy Awards: Wikis

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79th Academy Awards
79aa poster domestic.jpg
Date Sunday, February 25, 2007
Site Kodak Theatre
Hollywood, California
Preshow Chris Connelly
Lisa Ling
André Leon Talley
Allyson Waterman
Host Ellen DeGeneres
Producer Laura Ziskin
Director Louis J. Horvitz
Highlights
Best Picture The Departed
Most awards The Departed (4)
Most nominations Dreamgirls (8)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 51 minutes
Viewership 39.92 million
23.65 (Nielsen ratings)
 < 78th Academy Awards 80th > 

The 79th Academy Awards ceremony (also known as the Oscars), honored the best films of 2006 and took place on February 25, 2007 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC. Ellen DeGeneres hosted the ceremony for the first time.[1] The producer was Laura Ziskin.[2] The announcers were Don LaFontaine and Gina Tuttle.

The nominees were announced on January 23 at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) by Academy president Sid Ganis and actress Salma Hayek, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters. Bolstered by three nominations for Best Song, the musical Dreamgirls received eight nominations, becoming the first film ever to receive the most nominations in a particular Academy Awards ceremony without being nominated for Best Picture. Babel received the second highest number of nominations with seven.

The Departed was the evening's biggest winner taking home four awards including Best Picture, and a long awaited Best Director award for Martin Scorsese. For Scorsese, this was his first victory after losing five nominations in the Best Director category for Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, and The Aviator, and losing in screenwriting categores for Goodfellas, and The Age of Innocence.

For the second consecutive year, both acting awards for leading roles went to performers portraying real people.

On February 10, 2007, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Maggie Gyllenhaal.[3]

Contents

Major awards

Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Animated Feature Best Foreign Language Film

Other awards

Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
Best Original Score Best Original Song
Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Makeup Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Special honors

Academy Honorary Award
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Films with multiple nominations

Eight
Seven
Six
Five
Four
Three
Two

Films with multiple wins

4 awards
3 awards
2 awards

Presenters and performers

Voting trends

For the second year in a row, no film received more than eight nominations, with the selections scattered among numerous films. Continuing a trend of the previous two years in the major nominations, Academy voters favored films which had struggled at the U.S. box office, although the Best Picture nominees performed slightly better than those of the previous year due to the presence of one sizable hit. The Departed had the best showing through January 21 with $121.7 million, placing the film 17th among the year's releases. However, the next best showing among the five nominees was that of Little Miss Sunshine, which placed 50th with $59.6 million. The Queen ($35.6 million), Babel ($23.7 million) and Letters from Iwo Jima ($2.4 million) completed the Best Picture field, but did not place among the year's top 80 box office hits.

Among the rest of the top 50 releases of 2006 in U.S. box office through the weekend before the nominations, only The Pursuit of Happyness (12th), Borat (15th), The Devil Wears Prada (16th) and Dreamgirls (28th) received nominations for directing, acting or writing, with only Dreamgirls gaining more than one nomination in those areas. The top sixteen films in box office received a total of only thirteen nominations, with four going to the year's top hit, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and two others in the category of Animated Feature. Six of the ten nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress went to films which had grossed less than $8 million each.

For the second consecutive year, four of the Best Picture nominees were rated R (under 17 requires accompanying adult). Of the 88 nominations awarded to non-documentary feature films (apart from the Foreign Film category), a majority of 56 went to R-rated films (up from 43 one year earlier), 28 to films rated PG-13, two to PG-rated films (down from 16 the year before, and both for Animated Feature) and two to a G-rated film (the final nominee for Animated Feature). In a precise duplication of the previous year, R-rated films captured 32 of the 40 nominations for Best Picture, directing, screenwriting and acting. Non-R-rated films received exactly half of the nominations (24 of 48) in the remaining categories, primarily those in "below the line" areas (the editing, original score and sound editing categories accounted for 13 of the 24 nominations for R-rated films, while the categories for costume design, song, visual effects and animated feature accounted for 14 of the 24 nominations for non-R-rated films).

Peter O'Toole – who received his first nomination for Best Actor 44 years earlier – set a record for most years between a first and most recent nomination in that category, breaking Henry Fonda's record of 41 years (Katharine Hepburn received Best Actress nominations 48 years apart). Kevin O'Connell increased his number of nominations to 19 in the Best Sound Mixing category. He is still without a win.

For the second year in a row, no film received more than four awards, and the awards for Best Picture and the four acting categories again went to five different films. Forest Whitaker won for his performance as Idi Amin, and Helen Mirren won for her role as Queen Elizabeth II, making it the sixth time – and second consecutive year – that both lead acting awards went to performers playing real people; it was also the sixth time in eight years that the Best Actress award has gone to someone playing a real person. No individual person won more than one award.

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Ethnic diversity, Mexican and British presence

With five blacks, two Hispanics and an Asian, it was the most ethnically diverse lineup ever among the 20 acting nominees. After decades in which the Oscars were a virtual whites-only club, with minority actors only occasionally breaking into the field, the awards have featured a much broader mix of nominees in the last few years.

A record number of 10 Mexicans received a total of 12 Academy Award nominations. Cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and production designer Eugenio Caballero ended up winning, for their work in Pan's Labyrinth:

Numerous nominees were British; however, only one (Helen Mirren) ended up winning.

Notable events

  • About one-third of the way through the ceremonies, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth) appeared with Best Actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond) to congratulate the organizers for using environmentally-friendly practices in producing the show. DiCaprio asked Gore (whose potential candidacy for the presidency had drawn wide speculation) if there was anything he wanted to announce.
I guess with a billion people watching, it's as good a time as any. So my fellow Americans, I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now to formally announce my intentions ...,
Gore announced, his voice then trailing away as the orchestra cut him off. After accepting Best Documentary along with Davis Guggenheim, he finished his earlier "incomplete" speech that global warming is a moral issue.[4]
  • Sacha Baron Cohen was set to present an Academy Award. However, after learning that he could not present the award as his journalist character Borat Sagdiyev, Baron Cohen opted out.[5] This may explain Jerry Seinfeld's surprise appearance. However, Baron Cohen did attend the ceremony as himself, opting only to take the stage if he and his team of writers won the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay (lost to William Monahan for The Departed).
  • Jack Black and Will Ferrell opened with a musical number (composed by Marc Shaiman) where both actors sing about the lack of Oscar recognition for comedians and improvise by roasting on nominated actors:
    • Black to Leonardo DiCaprio: "HEY, LEO! You think you can date supermodels and win awards? I'm gonna elbow you in the larynx!"
    • Ferrell to Ryan Gosling: "Ryan Gosling... you're all hip and now. Well, I'm gonna break your hip... RIGHT NOW!"
    • Black to Peter O'Toole: "Hey Peter O'Toole... you're all legendary and English. I don't care; I'm gonna beat you to down with my Nickelodeon Award!"
    • Ferrell to Mark Wahlberg: "MARK WAHLBERG! WHERE ARE YOU? I won't mess with you. You're actually kinda badass. Once again, I hope we're cool. You are very talented."
    • Black to Helen Mirren: "And Helen Mirren? You are just hots. What party are you going to?"

Eventually, John C. Reilly rose from his seat and told the two that instead of fighting, they should star in both comedic and dramatic roles, much like he did ("I chose to be in both Boogie and Talladega Nights"). Black and Ferrell realized that if they took Reilly's advice, an "Helen Mirren and an Oscar will be coming home with me". When Reilly appeared, Ferrell nearly called him "Jack Black", stopping just before he finished the name.

  • Intro by Errol Morris, in which nominees and other prominent Hollywood figures poke fun at themselves. Morris produced a similar montage at the 74th Academy Awards (also produced by Laura Ziskin) with the subject being the importance of film.
  • The group Pilobolus formed a number of shapes in silhouette behind a white screen. First they formed the shape of an Oscar statuette, then logos for films such as Happy Feet, The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Sunshine, and Snakes On a Plane, where the "snakes" played around with DeGeneres. She stated that the members of the group backstage were naked, which may have been true as that is one of the trademarks of the dance group. The one time they appeared in front of the screen to be introduced, they were wearing loose wraps.
  • Ellen was talking to audience members in between award presentations. She first talked with Martin Scorsese who was offered a faux script by Ellen that was a cross between Scorsese's Goodfellas and Big Momma's House (one of Ellen's favorite comedies) called Goodmommas and Scorsese joked along saying he was interested. She then spoke with Clint Eastwood who joked that he was jealous that she gave her faux script to Scorsese and not to him. Ellen then asked if he would be in a picture with her for her MySpace page (which can actually be seen there). She first gave her camera to Dina Ruiz, Eastwood's wife who was sitting next to him, but then saw Steven Spielberg and instead wanted him to take the picture. After Spielberg took the first picture, Ellen asked him to take another because it wasn't centered.
  • During the foreign language films montage, two different sequences (from No Man's Land and Tsotsi) featuring characters doing a rude finger gesture were censored in the telecast.
  • After five previous nominations, with no wins, Martin Scorsese finally won the Academy Award for Best Director. He jokingly retorted, "Could you double-check the envelope, please?"[6]
  • Scorsese's win was preceded by a short interlude by his fellow directors and friends Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Spielberg and Coppola, having won Oscars for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg) and The Godfather Part II (Coppola), remarked it is better to receive Oscars than to present them. A stunned Lucas, in a humorous protest, complained "Hey guys, I've never won an Academy Award!" Both Coppola and Spielberg stared in silence for a few moments, until Spielberg jokingly asked, "So why are you here?" Lucas pointed out that he was nominated for Star Wars and American Graffiti, and stated that it's just as great to even get nominated, to which Coppola and Spielberg both said in unison "No, it's not!".
  • Jennifer Hudson's win was for her debut film performance. Many industry veterans said it triggered memories of Barbra Streisand winning an Oscar for her debut film, also a musical.

Mistakes

As sometimes happens with live (no-retake) shows, a few problems occurred.

  • A mistake was made early in on the show when the awards were presented for Best Adapted Screenplay to The Departed where the voice-over announcer (Gina Tuttle) incorrectly referred to it being based on a Japanese film (presumably it was incorrect in the text she was given to read). In fact, it was based on a Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs. However, Martin Scorsese correctly referred to the Hong Kong film in his acceptance speech for his win for Best Director. Yet, Scorsese mis-pronounced Infernal Affairs director Andrew Lau's last name as "Law".
  • While discussing the international diversity present in the nominated films' subjects, actors, directors and production teams, Ellen DeGeneres implied that Best Actress nominee Penélope Cruz was from Mexico, like Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo Arriaga, but later apologized and acknowledged that Cruz is from Spain, not Mexico.
  • Clint Eastwood struggled with reading his introduction to Ennio Morricone. Just as the presentation was cutting to a collection of film clips of Morricone's work, Eastwood was heard to say, "I should have worn my glasses." Although the translation of Morricone's speech was available to Eastwood on the teleprompter, Eastwood took severe liberties with it.
  • In the introduction of the nominees for Best Director, Stephen Frears's last name was mispronounced by George Lucas as "Fears."
  • During Scorsese's speech after winning Best Director, the usual on-screen graphic that displays the winner's film and category was not shown.
  • Instead of reading who the winner was in the category of Best Animated Short, Jaden Smith prematurely began to read the cue for the next award, for Live Action Short, before co-presenter Abigail Breslin cut him off. Smith then ad-libbed a little joke about his mistake.
  • Jack Black referred to Peter O'Toole as 'English'. Although O'Toole speaks with an English accent, he is actually Irish. The mistake was in Marc Shaiman's original lyrics for the song, and may have been intentional.

Ratings

The ceremony attracted 39.92 million viewers with 23.65% of households watching, slightly higher than the last year's ceremony. Among the key audience of adults aged 18 to 49, the Oscars notched a 14.0 rating, essentially flat with the previous year.[7]

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At least two advertisers produced special commercials for the Oscar show

See also

References

External links

Official websites
News resources
Analysis
Other resources

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