The spotlight shines on fascinating facts

This year's Oscar noms attach to event's history

HOLLYWOOD — Oscar nomination lists always provide plenty of fascinating details, and this year’s is no exception. Among the notable Oscar developments:

  • “Life Is Beautiful” is only the second film to compete as both best pic and foreign-language pic in the same year, after the 1969 “Z.” It also becomes the most-nominated foreign-lingo pic ever, beating “Das Boot” and “Fanny & Alexander,” with six each.

  • Meryl Streep received a bid for best actress for Universal’s “One True Thing” — her 11th nom, tying Jack Nicholson, with the two of them trailing only Katharine Hepburn (with 12) for the most acting noms. Streep, who has won twice, previously was tied with Laurence Olivier and Bette Davis at 10.

  • Benigni is a triple contender, not only for helming but as best actor and co-scripter of “Beautiful.” In that feat, he joins the small group of Orson Welles, Warren Beatty and Woody Allen.

Randy Newman also nabbed a triple crown, for his scores of “A Bug’s Life” and “Pleasantville” and his song from “Babe: Pig in the City” — a rare accomplishment of three noms for three pics.

Double nominees include Steven Spielberg (director and producer, “Saving Private Ryan”); Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line” directing and screenplay adaptation, from James Jones’ novel); Marc Norman (producer and co-scripter of “Shakespeare”); Sandy Powell, costume design for both “Shakespeare” and “Velvet Goldmine”; and Hans Zimmer, for his scores of “The Prince of Egypt” and “Red Line.”

  • Judi Dench (with only eight minutes onscreen as Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare”) and Cate Blanchett (“Elizabeth”) are the second pair of actresses to be nominated in the same year for playing the same role. (Last year, Gloria Stuart and Kate Winslet played the same fictional character in “Titanic.”)

  • John Williams has a 37th nomination, for the score of “Ryan.” Though he’s still behind Alfred Newman’s 45, he is the most-nominated living person.

  • Warren Beatty has his fourth scripting bid, for “Bulworth” (written with Jeremy Pikser). This is Beatty’s 14th nom overall, including two as director and four apiece as actor and producer.
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