1 Behind-The-Scenes Fact For Each Oscar-Nominated Film

The star of Drive My Car didn’t know how to drive.

The Oscars are this weekend, and there are 53 films total nominated for an Academy Award.

Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

Here is each film, what it’s nominated for, and one behind-the-scenes fact or detail about it!


BELFAST — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Ciarán Hinds), Best Sound, Best Director, Best Original Song (“Down to Joy”), and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench)

Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

The director, Kenneth Branagh, also directed the first Thor film. So, he took the opportunity to put a Thor reference into the film, with the main character reading a comic.


CODA — Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur)

Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

All three deaf characters in CODA are played by deaf actors. Emilia Jones, who played their hearing child, could have just learned the signs for her lines, but instead she spent nine months learning ASL so she could communicate with her castmates and understand their improvisation.

Apple TV+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

The four became close, even hanging out on weekends and creating a family group chat. Another fun fact — Jones also had to learn to sing for the part.


DON’T LOOK UP — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Original Screenplay

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

On the set, Jennifer Lawrence and her costars would refer to Meryl Streep as the “GOAT” — aka “greatest of all time.” Meryl thought they were calling her a goat because she was old.


DRIVE MY CAR — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Adapted Screenplay

Bitters End / Courtesy Everett Collection

Star Tôko Miura was cast not from an audition, but from sitting down with filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi in a coffee shop and simply speaking about another film. While she wasn’t right for the film they were discussing, Hamaguchi thought she’d be perfect for another of his films, Drive My Car. Except, while otherwise perfectly embodying the chauffeur character, Miura couldn’t drive.

Janus Films / courtesy Everett Collection

Miura was told she could have the part if she could learn to drive manually in a 1980s car. She signed up for an intensive full-time driving school, and accomplished the task in weeks.


DUNE — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Adapted Screenplay

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Stellan Skarsgård, who played the Baron, only shot about 8–10 days for the film. Each of those days, he had to spend eight hours getting his makeup done.


KING RICHARD — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Will Smith), Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis), Best Film Editing, Best Original Song (“Be Alive”), and Best Original Screenplay

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

To make the film as accurate as possible, Venus and Serena’s sister Isha Price was on set every day. Isha, Venus, and Serena all signed on to executive produce just before shooting wrapped. But Richard Williams, who the film is really about, still hasn’t seen it.

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Although Serena reportedly told Will Smith, who’s up for an Oscar for portraying her father, “It’s not beyond Daddy to have watched it and don’t tell us.” Another fun fact — Smith said the thing that helped him get into character the most was putting on the short shorts that Richard used to wear. “Yeah, it sounds like a joke, but when I put those short shorts on, I really felt into Richard Williams. I understood, oh, wait a second, he thinks he’s fly. And I realize, oh, he has an image in his mind of what the tennis parent mogul looks like,” Smith said.


LICORICE PIZZA — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay

MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection

Alana Haim, who played Alana, actually once babysat Cooper Hoffman, who played Gary, before they were cast together in the film.

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection


NIGHTMARE ALLEY — Nominated for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design

Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Despite there being no boxing scenes in the film, early on, director Guillermo del Toro insisted that star Bradley Cooper take up boxing. Cooper says it “fundamentally altered the way I moved and approached every interaction,” with del Toro saying that if he hadn’t attended the trainings, “We’ll feel that you have a latte, a cellphone, and Wi-Fi nearby.”

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collectio


THE POWER OF THE DOG — Best Picture, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee), Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Adapted Screenplay

Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

To prepare for the role, star Benedict Cumberbatch read up on Lewis and Clark, met with a dream analyst to “better meld with his character,” and actually worked on a cattle ranch in Montana. He also stayed in character while filming.

Kirsty Griffin / Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

In his last scene, the lights came up and the cast and crew were holding champagne and playing “Hallelujah.” “They were toasting Phil, saying goodbye to him and hello to me,” Cumberbatch said. “I suddenly became Benedict, and I was embarrassed about it all.”


WEST SIDE STORY — Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Sound

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Director Steven Spielberg loved West Side Story as a kid and used to listen to the album on vinyl. During rehearsals, he even jumped up and sang (“off-key,” he admitted) and danced with the cast.

Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection


BEING THE RICARDOS — Nominated for Best Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), and Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)

Amazon Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

The film ends with Desi defending his wife Lucille — who had been accused of being a communist — with a monologue before their studio audience. This actually happened in real life — he invited the press, and the speech actually helped save Ball’s reputation.


TICK, TICK…BOOM! — Nominated for Best Actor (Andrew Garfield) and Best Film Editing

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Andrew Garfield did a year of piano and voice lessons to star in the film. His first musical performance for the film was “Why,” which he insisted on singing live because it was “the emotional crux moment for Jon.” Director Lin-Manuel Miranda cried when he sang.

Macall Polay / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Another fun fact — Garfiield got a perm to look closer to the real-life Jonathan Larson.


THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH — Nominated for Best Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Cinematography, and Best Production Design

A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection

Frances McDormand, who played Lady Macbeth in the film, had actually first played the role at age 14 onstage. “It hooked me,” she said, adding that she’s “kind of been working on her ever since.” She’d reprise the role multiple times in her career, including for this film, which she produced alongside husband Joel Coen and his brother, Ethan.

Alison Rosa / A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection


THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE — Nominated for Best Actress (Jessica Chastain) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Chastain had to spend four to seven hours in makeup every day to portray Tammy, with prosthetics and wigs used to represent Tammy at different points in her life. The real-life Tammy Faye mostly bought drugstore products, so the makeup artists did the same — even reusing lashes as Tammy had done. They even found the exact mascara she used on eBay — they couldn’t use it as it had expired, but it helped them find a similar version.

Daniel McFadden / Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection


THE LOST DAUGHTER — Nominated for Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Jessie Buckley), and Best Adapted Screenplay

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

In order to get the rights to the book the film was based on, Maggie Gyllenhaal wrote to the author, who is anonymous. Gyllenhaal told her why she wanted to adapt the story, and mentioned she was interested in directing. The author wrote back, telling her she could have the rights, but only if Gyllenhaal did decide to direct. Gyllenhaal called this a “vote of confidence” that she really needed at the time to become a first-time director.

Yannis Drakoulidis / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection


PARALLEL MOTHERS — Nominated for Best Actress (Penélope Cruz) and Best Original Score

Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Pedro Almodóvar, a longtime collaborator of star Cruz, says they rehearsed the film start to finish three times like it was a play. He said that it was difficult for Cruz to connect with the character, despite the fact that he’d written the part for her, because Cruz’s style of motherhood is so different from her character’s.

Iglesias Mas / Sony Pictures Classics /Courtesy Everett Collection

Cruz cried for much of the first rehearsal, and Almodóvar had to stop her, emphasizing that character’s guilt and shame kept her from crying. 


SPENCER — Nominated for Best Actress (Kristen Stewart)

Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

The scene where Diana eats the pearls from her necklace didn’t actually happen — and they, of course, did not use real pearls in the scene. The “pearls” were actually just chocolate.


The sound had been cut from the scene as it apparently sounded like someone eating M&M’s, but Stewart insisted they add some sort of crunching sound back in to create an audible crack that would elicit a stronger reaction from viewers.


ENCANTO — Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original Score, and Best Song (“Dos Oruguitas”)

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

For Stephanie Beatriz’s audition to play Mirabel, she sang a song also written by Lin-Manuel Miranda — Moana’s “You’re Welcome.”

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Co-director Byron Howard said, “It was so good and so funny that one of our animators actually animated Mirabel to it, and it was one of the things that set the tone for who that character is.” 


FLEE — Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Feature Documentary, and Best International Feature Film

Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection

Flee made Oscars history when it became the first film nominated for best documentary, animated film, and international film. But that’s not the film’s only first — in the film, Amin Nawabi (a pseudonym) tells the true story of his life for the first time, with only identifying details changed to protect his identity.

Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection


LUCA — Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

Disney + /Courtesy Everett Collection

Because Luca was made during the pandemic, the actors recorded their lines from their own homes — mostly from inside their closets.

Disney + / Courtesy Everett Collection


THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES — Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Mike Rianda based the family in the film on his own family — even the dog, Monchi, who was based on Rianda’s sister’s pug, Monchichi.

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Also, Monchi was actually voiced by a dog — celeb pup Doug the Pug.


RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON — Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Writer Qui Nguyen brought in martial arts films and stage weapons to help the animators with the fight scenes. Nguyen is a martial artist himself, and said it was really important to him to make the scenes realistic.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection


CRUELLA — Nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

Jenny Beavan served as the costume designer for the fashion-based film. She studied vintage Vogue issues and the works of designers like John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior, and Alexander McQueen. While she’s worked with Emma Thompson before, Thompson found the elaborate costumes difficult to deal with — she even needed help to use the bathroom when she was in costume.

Laurie Sparham / Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection


CYRANO — Nominated for Best Costume Design

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

Writer Erica Schmidt originally conceived of the movie as a stage play — and it wasn’t supposed to be a musical. However, she reached out to Matt Berninger, leader of the band The National, for some music. He reached out to his band’s composers, Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and Erica fell in love with what they created, turning the story into a musical.

David M. Benett / Getty Images


ASCENSION — Nominated for Best Feature Documentary

MTV Documentary Films /Courtesy Everett Collection

While the film is about China, filmmaker Jessica Kingdon has emphasized multiple times that she hopes Westerners will see their own society reflected in the film. “I’m hoping for Western audiences to watch it,” she said, after initially thinking the audience would be more niche. “And instead of looking at it and saying, ‘Oh, China’s so strange and so different,’ to think about how it could reflect back on their own lives.”

MTV Documentary Films /Courtesy Everett Collection

“For American viewers who just stumble on it, I really hope they see themselves in the film rather than as something that doesn’t include them or affect them,” she said. “I hope they feel, in a visceral sense, this interdependence of the global supply chain and question their own nation’s superiority.”


ATTICA — Nominated for Best Feature Documentary

Showtime Networks /Courtesy Everett Collection

Co-director Traci A. Curry says they made the film — which is about the Attica prison riot — during the height of the George Floyd protests, while she was witnessing protestors and police clash outside her window. “I think we all saw the way that people in prisons were treated at the peak of the pandemic,” she said. “We all saw the former president attack protesters outside of the White House and then use that attack as a political opportunity. Those parallels were so resonant for me, and it crystallized for me that this is a story about what happens when people challenge the state’s abuse of its power.”

John Lamparski / Getty Images



Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

First-time director Questlove started with 40 hours of footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that was the subject of the documentary. In order to decide what to keep, he says he played it on every TV and computer monitor in his house for four months. He’d also watch it on his phone any time he had a spare moment, and even had it running when he slept.

Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection


WRITING WITH FIRE — Nominated for Best Feature Documentary

Music Box Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the film is full of danger and fraught situations, as well as inspiring ones, filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh said the most impactful scene to them was when Suneeta had friendly banter with her father in her own home.

Music Box Films

“That moment was special for us: where we discovered the beautiful relationship she shares with her parents, especially her father,” they said. “Her father is a true feminist, someone who sacrificed everything to ensure Suneeta can grow up to be a strong-minded, autonomous young woman who can think for herself, express her feelings, and chase her convictions, making her an extraordinary human being, something that you see shine through the film.”


AUDIBLE — Nominated for Best Short Subject Documentary

Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

Director Matt Ogens tried to get funding for the film for 12 years — but kept being told there wasn’t an audience. He kept checking in with students at the school where he wanted to film the documentary, the Maryland School for the Deaf, saying, “It was always personal, but the more doors that were shut, it became a mission. I thought ‘Look how resilient these students are. I’m not going to give up on them.’” He was inspired to focus on the school because his aunt, an ASL interpreter, had worked there. Also, his childhood best friend had been deaf.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images


LEAD ME HOME — Nominated for Best Short Subject Documentary

Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection

The documentary follows unhoused people in major cities over the span of three years. Because many viewers wanted to know how the people followed in the film are doing now, the film’s Instagram now posts updates about them. Many of the people from the film are now housed, and some are even working to end homelessness themselves.


THE QUEEN OF BASKETBALL — Nominated for Best Short Subject Documentary

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The film is about Lusia Harris, the first and only woman ever officially drafted by an NBA team (the New Orleans Jazz — she did not end up joining the team). Basketball superstar Shaq asked to be an executive producer on the film after seeing it, saying it made him cry.

Manny Hernandez / Getty Images

“I said to myself, ‘I got to do whatever it takes to bring this story to the world…’ I want to see Lusia on the Oscars, the red carpet, want to see this woman get her shot. I want her to have that moment where she gets to talk to an even bigger audience, to be able to inspire the future generations,” he said.


THREE SONGS FOR BENAZIR — Nominated for Best Short Subject Documentary

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Director Gulistan Mirzaei is believed to be the first Afghan nominated for an Oscar in any category. He chose to document a love story because, “Stories about this country are usually about war, violence, guns, the military, or it’s about foreigners trying to help Afghanistan. And those films are usually made by people who are not from Afghanistan.”

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“I wanted to tell a love story and something people had never seen from my country before. I wanted to tell the story from my own voice, through my own lens,” he continued.


WHEN WE WERE BULLIES — Nominated for Best Short Subject Documentary

The film examines an act of bullying director Jay Rosenblatt was involved in 50 years ago. In the film, he tracks down classmates who were also involved, but does not interview the bullying victim, as he felt that might just bully him further and that the story was really more about the bystander effect and what makes people bully. In fact, he has not heard from the victim at all, and even suggested the victim — named Richard — doesn’t know about the Oscar-nominated film at all.

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“I just hope that his anonymity and privacy is respected — I’d rather him never hear about this,” he said.


THE HAND OF GOD — Nominated for Best International Feature Film

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Writer, director, and producer Paolo Sorrentino called the film, which was based on his childhood in Naples in the ’80s, a “coming-of-age story split into two parts. The first is a story of joy and happiness. The second is a long goodbye to youth.” To reflect this, cinematographer Daria D’Antonio used a colorful palette in the first half, and had those colors fade and become more saturated by the end.

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Sorrentino had wanted to write the film for years, but didn’t feel ready until a few years ago. “I finally found the right distance from facts and feelings,” he said.


LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM — Nominated for Best International Feature Film

Doma /Courtesy Everett Collection

The film is only remote country Bhutan’s second-ever Oscar entry. The first was The Cup, way back in 1999. According to Lunana director Pawo Choyning Dorji, the director of The Cup, Khyentse Norbu, is “the person who first introduced [him] to filmmaking.”

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THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD — Nominated for Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay

Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

The film was actually originally meant to be a rom-com. Director Joachim Trier joked that all Scandinavian films are influenced by famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, known for his existential films. He said that what they ended up with was more of a “coming of age movie for grownups.”

Neon / Courtesy Everett Collection

He says that the shift in tone from lighter to heavier coincided with main character Julie’s character arc from “her more chameleon-like playfulness in the early parts of the film and then her realization of the limitations of time and relationships.”


COMING 2 AMERICA — Nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Amazon / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lead makeup artist Vera Steimberg grew up watching the first movie, which made her extremely excited to work on this one. Carla Farmer, one of the lead hairstylists on the film (who did the hair for the women in the film), was excited to create hairstyles inspired by the Afro-punk movement to make the styles more modern than the ones in the first film.

Quantrell D. Colbert / Amazon / Courtesy Everett Collection

Farmer emphasized that the new female characters were “of a different generation than Eddie’s and Shari Headley’s [who plays Lisa] characters,” who were more European in their style. “I was able to play off the culture of today, where the kids and the youth are unapologetically supportive of their hair textures and their heritage, so it was really fun to portray that through their hair,” Farmer went on.


HOUSE OF GUCCI — Nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling

MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

Makeup artist Göran Lundström came up with the prosthetics to turn Jared Leto into Paolo Gucci in just three weeks. He did such a good job that when Al Pacino arrived on set in Italy, he didn’t recognize Leto — he thought he was just being followed around by a random old Italian man.

Fabio Lovino / MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection


NO TIME TO DIE — Nominated for Best Original Song (“No Time to Die”), Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects

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Billie Eilish and Finneas actually had always wanted to write a Bond song. “It was one of our, like, biggest goals, and like, dreams,” Billie told Variety. Finneas said he saw it as something they could maybe achieve in 10 years, and said he had no idea it would happen that quickly.


FOUR GOOD DAYS — Nominated for Best Original Song (“Somehow You Do”)

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This is songwriter Diane Warren’s 13th Oscar nomination — she has not yet won. Warren based the song on the film and the hope found within it, but also said the song was colored by the pandemic.

Jc Olivera / Getty Images

“I wrote the song for the movie, but the pandemic had just started too, so I think some of that kind of bled into it a bit, so there was another layer. I saw there were so many people going through so much at that time. Basically everybody. And that song took on another layer, really, with that. That no matter what struggles you’re going through, whatever it is…[because] there’s a lot of depression, too, you know?” she told Below the Line.


AFFAIRS OF THE ART — Nominated for Best Animated Short Film

The Animation Showcase /Courtesy Everett Collection

The film was entirely hand-drawn, mostly by director Joanna Quinn. From inception to the final edit, the 16-minute film took “six years of actual production and many years of refining the script to the completed storyboard and animatic” to make.

The Animation Showcase /Courtesy Everett Collection


BESTIA — Nominated for Best Animated Short Film

Trebol 3 Producciones / MALEZA Estudio / Miyu Distribution

Director-animator Hugo Covarrubias and producer Tevo Díaz are huge fans of director Guillermo del Toro. They met him at a recent Oscars luncheon, and according to Diaz, del Toro told them that their short was his favorite of the Oscar-nominated animated shorts.

Trebol 3 Producciones / MALEZA Estudio / Miyu Distribution

Another fun fact about its reach — Chilean President Gabriel Boric tweeted about it before he took office.


BOXBALLET — Nominated for Best Animated Short Film

Melnitsa Animation Studios /Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Anton Dyakov was inspired by his days as an art teacher for children. He noted boys would always draw boxers and girls would draw ballerinas, and he joked then that if you made a movie about both boxers and ballerinas, both boys and girls would like it. While admitting that the idea was a bit antiquated now and that “today’s kids have different heroes,” Dyakov said the characters he’d come up with then “kind of stuck to me and they started living their own lives. And then this movie happened.”

Melnitsa Animation Studios /Courtesy Everett Collection


ROBIN ROBIN — Nominated for Best Animated Short Film

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Creators and directors Dan Ojari and Mikey Please pitched the stop-motion film to Aardman (known for Wallace and Gromit as well as Chicken Run) at the Annecy Film Festival in 2018. The two ran into Sara Cox — who became their executive producer — in the canteen and did an impromptu pitch where they sang to her right there in the canteen.

Dave Alex Riddett / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection


THE WINDSHIELD WIPER — Nominated for Best Animated Short Film

The Animation Showcase / Courtesy Everett Collection

Writer, director, and designer Alberto Mielgo — who also did early production design work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — got the idea for this film from simply sitting in a cafe in Madrid and overhearing conversations. It was a work of passion that started with no real starting budget or timeline, and took six years to make.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images


ALA KACHUU – TAKE AND RUN — Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film

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The director, Maria Brendle, based the film on the real experiences of women who were kidnapped in order to be married off. She spent years interviewing women who had been through the experience.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images


THE DRESS — Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film

The film was made mostly by students and graduates of the Warsaw Film School. The writer and director, Tadeusz Łysiak, is still a student there, and is in his 20s.


THE LONG GOODBYE — Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film

Somesuch / Courtesy Everett Collection

The film was largely improvised. Instead of using a script, scenes (basically just how to get from A to B in the scene) were laid out in an an Excel document. It was shot in only a day and a half.

Somesuch / Courtesy Everett Collection


ON MY MIND — Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film

Benzona Film / Courtesy Everett Collection

The idea for the film came from writer-director Martin Strange-Hansen’s own experience with his daughter, who died in 2001. His daughter was in the hospital, and he knew they were having a serious conversation with her doctor the next day, and that he needed to get a good night’s sleep. So he went to a bar and got a double whiskey so he could sleep, just like the character in the film.

Benzona Film / Courtesy Everett Collection

He didn’t sing karaoke, like the film’s main character does (though the karaoke aspect was also inspired by something that really happened to Strange-Hansen), but he did overhear two men talking about wrapping rope around the world. He said he thought, “You can be so close in proximity to a fellow man, but you never actually know what’s going on in his or her life at this moment.”


PLEASE HOLD — Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film

Scavenger Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

First-time writer-director KD Dávila came up with the idea when she heard about a Latino man mistakenly arrested who got released after the judge realized he simply had the same name as the man they were looking for. However, the man had already spent weeks in jail and lost his car and job.

Scavenger Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

“This idea came pretty fully formed of, ‘What if we took that and combined it with the universal experience of being stuck on the phone with customer service?’ Like an automated phone tree where you’re in a Kafka-esque hell,” she said of the film’s sci-fi elements.


FREE GUY — Nominated for Best Visual Effects

20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

Taika Waititi, whose character Antwan was supposed to reflect the toxic “bro culture of gaming,” improvised most of his lines in the film. Close to 80% of these improvisations didn’t make it in.

20th Century Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection


SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS — Nominated for Best Visual Effects

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

There are multiple nods to classic kung-fu movies and masters in the film, especially during the bus scene. At one point, Shang-Chi uses his jacket as a weapon, which is a nod to Jackie Chan using the same move in Rumble in the Bronx. Shang-Chi also poses like Bruce Lee in The Big Boss at one point.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection


And finally, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME — Nominated for Best Visual Effects

Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

Willem Dafoe only agreed to return to the role of the Green Goblin in the film if he did action scenes and his own stunts. Dafoe is 66. His performance in the film, which was full of action, was pretty universally loved.

Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

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