By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
January 26, 2011
— Jeff Bridges, who won the lead actor Oscar last year for "Crazy Heart," is up in the same category for his performance as Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit." Only two actors have won Academy Awards in the lead actor category two years in a row — Spencer Tracy won for 1937's "Captains Courageous" and 1938's "Boy's Town," and Tom Hanks earned Oscars for 1993's "Philadelphia" and 1994's "Forrest Gump"
— Two lead performer nominees — Jesse Eisenberg, 27, ("The Social Network") and Jennifer Lawrence, 20, ("Winter's Bone") — would be the youngest ever to win in their categories. Adrien Brody holds the record for youngest lead actor for his win for 2002's "The Pianist" at age 29; Marlee Matlin was 21 when she won lead actress for 1986's "Children of a Lesser God."
— Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of the western "True Grit" earned 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture. The original 1969 version of the film received only two nominations — lead actor for John Wayne, who won the award, and best song.
— Speaking of westerns, only three films in the genre have won the best picture Oscar: 1930-31's "Cimarron," 1990's "Dances With Wolves" and 1992's "Unforgiven."
— If Colin Firth wins for lead actor for his role as King George VI in "The King's Speech," he will be the first actor to win playing a king of England since Charles Laughton in 1932-33's "The Private Life of Henry VIII."
— Before "Black Swan," only two films set in the world of ballet had been nominated for the best film Oscar — 1948's "The Red Shoes" and 1977's "The Turning Point."
— Scott Rudin, with "The Social Network" and "True Grit," becomes the first producer since 1974 to have two films in the best picture race. Francis Ford Coppola and Fred Roos did it with "The Godfather 2" and "The Conversation."
— Besides 14-year-old supporting actress nominee Hailee Steinfeld, several of this year's acting nominees began their careers as child or teenage actors, including Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Michelle Williams, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Eisenberg, Nicole Kidman, Helena Bonham Carter and Bridges.
—Composer Randy Newman picks up his 20th Oscar nomination for his original song, "We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3." He won the original song Oscar for "If I Didn't Have You" from 2001's "Monsters, Inc."
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