You’ve stocked up on snacks, placed your bets and prepared a few choice quips about your favourite nominees. Now, how to make the most of the other two-and-a-half hours?
Impress and entertain all your movie-loving friends—from the casual viewers to the jaded critics—with these scintillating Oscar tidbits. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you got them from us.)
1. Why are Academy Awards also called The Oscars? Academy librarian Margaret Herrick thought the statuettes looked like her Uncle Oscar.
2. What are the rules of the Oscar red carpet? Nominees keep left, guests keep right.
3. Want to grab a free drink at the Oscars? Order it before the show starts or you’ll have to pay premium prices.
4. From 1940 to 1978, Bob Hope hosted the Oscars 18 times. With nine shows under his belt, Billy Crystal is a distant second.
5. When Steven Spielberg does drama, Best Picture nods follow. The Post is the 11th Spielberg-directed nominee.
6. In the early days of The Oscars, the results were given to newspapers in advance. When they were leaked early in 1940, this system changed.
7. In 1989, the phrase “And the winner is…” was changed to “And the Oscar goes to…” Of course, the other nominees still feel like losers.
8. How does the Academy offer engraved statuettes on Oscar night? They prepare nameplates for every nominee in advance.
9. Oscar seat-fillers make $125 for the night.
10. How do you know you’re looking at an Oscar VIP? Every nominee gets two seats, but a select few get more.
11. Why did costume designer Edith Head spend so much time trying on Oscar gowns? She was nominated 35 times.
12. Three films share the record for most Oscar wins by a single film: Ben-Hur, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Each film has 11 Oscar wins.
13. Sure, 11 nominations is impressive—unless you lose every single one. Just ask record losers The Turning Point and The Color Purple.
14. When it comes to landing another Oscar nod, patience is sometimes required. Sylvester Stallone waited 39 years between noms.
15. Only three films have ever walked away with all five major Oscars: It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Silence of the Lambs. This year, none of the nominated films are eligible.
16. Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews started their movie careers with a bang: Both won Oscars for their first movie role.
17. Who is the greatest Oscar good-luck charm of all time? All five films starring John Cazale (The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter) were nominated for Best Picture.
18. Brad Pitt has the same number of Oscar nods for acting and producing.
19. 2016 was a blockbuster year for the Oscars: Of the eight Best Picture nominees, three cracked $350-million worldwide: The Revenant, The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road.
20. “Writing’s on the Wall” became the second Oscar-winning Bond theme in 2016. The first? Adele‘s “Skyfall.”
21. 12 of this year’s 20 acting nominees have been previously nominated. The eight newcomers are Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor, Margot Robbie for Best Actress, Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor, and Mary J. Blige, Allison Janney, Lesley Manville and Laurie Metcalf for Best Supporting Actress.
22. What do actors see in Alejandro G. Iñárritu? He has directed 10 of them to Oscar nods in his last five films.
23. Of the 20 acting nominees, six are previous winners: Octavia Spencer, Christopher Plumber, Meryl Streep, Francis McDormond, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day Lewis.
24. Five of this year’s acting nominees are from the United Kingdom. On a per capita basis, the UK beats the US handily.
25.The first Academy Awards, which took place in 1929, didn’t contain a lot of surprises. Winners were announced three months before the actual ceremony. So much for your Oscar pool.
26. Who has the most consecutive Oscar wins? Move over Tom Hanks, Walt Disney won Academy Awards eight years in a row.
27. Four of this year’s acting nominees are in their 20s. The youngest, Timothée Chalamet, is 22.
28. How do we know the Academy has a thing for Italy? The country has won the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar 14 times.
29. Quality guaranteed: Steve Golin produced two of 2016’s Best Picture nominees: Spotlight and The Revenant.
30. Who was the most animated Oscar host of all time? 1958 co-host Donald Duck.
31. What do you do with an Oscar you win for a movie about toys? If you’re Pixar’s John Lasseter, you dress it up in Barbie clothes.
32. Costume designer Sandy Powell landed nods for both of her 2015 films: Carol and Cinderella. To date, she has 12 nominations and three wins.
33. Already an Emmy and Tony winner, Bryan Cranston, nominated for Best Actor for his role in Trumbo, was one award away from an EGOT at the 2016 Oscars.
34. Blade Runner 2049 cinematographer Roger Deakins has been nominated for 14 Oscars. How many has he won? None.
35. Between 2013 and 2015 Emmanuel Lubezki won three straight Oscars for Best Cinematography; for Gravity, Birdman and The Revenant.
36. In 1958, the novelist behind The Bridge on the River Kwai, instead of the film’s blacklisted screenwriters, was given an Oscar.
37. Many acting nominees have been nominated for writing, but only one has received Oscars for both: Emma Thompson. She won Best Actress for Howards End and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility.
38. Four of the 2016 acting nominees (Christian Bale, Kate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara) joined forces one year later for Terrence Malick’s Song to Song.
39. Did Matt Damon narrowly miss a double nomination? Maybe: He briefly considered playing Mark Ruffalo‘s Oscar-nominated role in Spotlight the same year he was nominated for The Martian.
40. Get Out, with a budget of under $5,000,000, has the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of all the Best Picture nominees; 99% fresh!
41. The 2017 Oscar broadcast lasted a whopping 229 minutes. That’s 3.8 hours or 13740 seconds. Not even close to the longest (see #76).
42. In 1944, Barry Fitzgerald‘s performance in Going My Way made such an impression that it was nominated in two different categories: Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
43. Domnhall Gleeson appeared in four of 2016’s Oscar-nominated films. Can you name them?
44. 50 years before Tom Hanks starred in Bridge of Spies, Gregory Peck considered the same role.
45. What separates Gary Oldman from his fellow nominees? He’s the only one playing a real person.
46. The Academy doesn’t have much patience for sequels. In fact, Mad Max: Fury Road is the only part four ever nominated for Best Picture.
47. Fox Searchlight, distributor of The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, has more nominations than any other studio this year, leading the way with a whopping 20.
48. Remember watching the Oscars when you were 10? At that age, Paper Moon‘s Tatum O’Neal was busy becoming the youngest winner of all time.
49. At 23, Saoirse Ronan is this year’s youngest female acting nominee. Believe it or not, she’s already been nominated twice before (for Atonement in 2008 and Brooklyn in 2016).
50. Why did Paramount let comedy director Adam McKay make The Big Short? He promised to make Anchorman 2 first.
51. Want to show your kids a Best Picture winner? Oliver! is the only G-rated option.
52. Only two people (Spencer Tracy, Tom Hanks) have won consecutive Best Actor Oscars.
53. Some Oscar speeches are nearly as long as the winning performances. In 1977, Network‘s Beatrice Straight won for less than six minutes of screen time.
54. No Oscar recipient has been closer to the podium for the announcement than Norma Shearer. She presented the award to herself.
55. You’ve seen long Oscar speeches, but have you seen the longest? It took Miniver’s Greer Garson seven minutes to express her gratitude.
56. Liza Minnelli‘s parents set a good example: Both had already won Oscars by the time Minnelli won hers.
57. How many thank-yous does it take to give one of the most grateful Oscar speeches of all time? Gwyneth Paltrow did it with 23.
58. What does Leonardo DiCaprio look for in a filmmaker? Oscars. He has now worked with eight Best Director winners.
59. Timothée Chalamet is young, but that’s nothing compared to Kramer vs. Kramer‘s Justin Henry. He landed his nod at eight.
60. Oscar dominance is not just for Best Picture winners. Cabaret won eight awards but missed out on the big one.
61. Honoured for his performance as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in World, Christopher Plummer, at age 88, is the oldest acting nominee ever.
62. His score for Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned John Williams his 51st Oscar nomination. He’s only won five times.
63. Charlotte Rampling had been acting for 50 years before she earned her first Oscar nom (she didn’t win).
64. Leonardo DiCaprio’s busy schedule forced Alejandro G. Iñárritu to shoot Birdman before The Revenant.
65. Can’t imagine an actor refusing his Oscar? A short-lived trend in the ’70s, this happened twice in three years when George C. Scott (Patton) and Marlon Brando (The Godfather) both refused their awards.
66. In 1999, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench received nominations for playing the same character in the same year. Only Dench won.
67. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads the Oscars with 13 nominations–including a nod for Best Picture– more than any other movie this year.
68. Oscars are extremely elusive, even after you win them. Rumour has it that Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie both lost theirs.
69. Tom Hanks’ heartfelt Philadelphia speech inspired screenwriter Paul Rudnick to write In & Out.
70. Jimmy Kimmel took home $15,000 for hosting last year’s Academy Awards. Seems a little low, but not bad for a few hours’ work.
71. How did effects artists fake Bale’s glass eye in The Big Short? They didn’t. That’s just something he can do.
72. 2011’s The Artist was the first silent film to win Best Picture since Wings took the prize at the very first Academy Awards.
73. Think Hollywood’s more edgy than it used to be? The 1970 Best Picture winner, Midnight Cowboy, was rated X.
74. The Best Picture race tends to be dominated by long films, but 1955 winner Marty clocked in at a record low of 90 minutes.
75. The average length of this year’s Best Picture nominees is 116 minutes. At 94 minutes, Ladybird is the shortest.
76. The Oscars are known for running long, but 2002 set the record: At 263 minutes, it was longer than the longest Best Picture winner of all time.
77. Hollywood loves a true story; three of this year’s Best Picture nominees are based on real events.
78. Think Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar run is impressive? Bette Davis and Greer Garson landed Best Actress nods five years in a row.
79. What happens when an Oscar nominee plays an Oscar winner? She wins an Oscar. Just ask Cate Blanchett.
80. In the last six years, three Michael Lewis adaptations have earned Best Picture nods. The last two were both produced by Brad Pitt.
81. Titanic was the last film to win Best Picture without a writing nod. The Post, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and Phantom Thread are in the same boat this year.
82. When the Academy couldn’t decide between Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn, 1969’s Best Actress race ended in a tie.
83. How do you get two nominations for one role? If you’re Paul Newman, Al Pacino or Sylvester Stallone, you play it more than once.
84. Nominee Meryl Streep has been nominated in five different decades. Denzel Washinton and Daniel Day Lewis have both been nominated in four.
85. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has the highest IMDb rating of this year’s Best Picture nominees with 8.3. Lady Bird and Get Out are tied for first on Rotten Tomatoes with 99%.
86. Looking for the official Oscar after-party? If you’re at the Dolby Theatre for the ceremony, you’re already there.
87. Some roles are bigger than they seem. In 1974, Tatum O’Neal won a Supporting Actress Oscar for 67 minutes of screen time.
88. Best Picture may be the most elusive Oscar. For Jaws and Traffic, it was their only defeat.
89. Winning is good for you. A study from the University of Toronto found that nominees who took home a statue lived an average of four years longer than their non-winning counterparts, while winners of multiple Oscars can expect to live six years longer.
90. Foreign language films have been nominated for Best Picture ten times. The first was Grand Illusion in 1938. The most recent was Amour in 2012.
The 90th annual telecast of the Academy Awards airs live on Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CTV.