Monday, January 26, 2015

"Birdman," Batman and Oscar by the Numbers

3 The number of Birdman stars who have appeared in superhero films. Michael Keaton was Batman twice; Edward Norton was The Incredible Hulk once; and Emma Stone appears in the current The Amazing Spider-Man series.

2 The number of actors who have gone from Batman to Oscar winner. If Michael Keaton nabs Best Actor, he will become the third former Batman to win an acting Oscar, following George Clooney and Christian Bale. The next Batman, Ben Affleck, already got his Oscar win (for co-writing Good Will Hunting and producing Argo) out of the way. Incidentally, Clooney also won an Oscar for producing Argo.

4 The number of other Batman-franchise headliners -- Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway -- who have gone on to win Oscars for non-Batman related roles. Tommy Lee Jones won his two years before Batman Forever.

1 The number of actors who have been nominated for a Batman role. That would also make Heath Ledger, Oscar's Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight, the lone Batman player to actually win for a Batman movie.

8 The number of actors to be nominated for films directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. They are 21 Grams' Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro, Babel's Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikcuchi, Biutiful's Javier Bardem, and Birdman's Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

3 The number of Iñárritu stars who have won Oscars after appearing in one of his films. They are Babel's Cate Blanchett (Best Actress for Blue Jasmine) and Brad Pitt (Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave), and 21 Grams' Melissa Leo (Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter).

4 The number of Iñárritu stars who won Oscars before appearing in one of his films. They are Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor for No Country for Old Men) and Benicio Del Toro (Best Supporting Actor for Traffic).

16 The number of years between Edward Norton's third Oscar nomination (Best Actor for American History X) and his third one (Best Supporting Actor for Birdman). Looks like Michael Keaton's isn't the only comeback here.

2 The number of 2015 Best Picture nominees in which Norton appears. He is also in the principal cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is tied with Birdman for most nominations (9).

1 The number of other actors who appear in more than one Best Picture nominee. Tom Wilkinson appears in both The Grand Budapest Hotel and Selma.

0 The number of black actors in the principal cast of Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel. (The only black person I can recall even seeing in Birdman was the theater worker who tried to stop Riggin Thomson from entering the lobby in his underwear.) What? Did you not expect me to keep score?

5 The number of previous nominations for actors who appeared in Birdman. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts were nominated twice before, and Amy Ryan is a one-time nominee. In comparison, the cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel has 17 acting nods among them and three winners (F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody and Tilda Swinton).

19 The number of years between Edward Norton and Emma Stone, who share a steamy kissing scene in Birdman.

15 Number of years between Michael Keaton and Amy Ryan, who plays his ex-wife in Birdman.

30 Number of years between Keaton and Andrea Riseborough, who plays his girlfriend in Birdman.

2 Number of foreign actors who play Americans in Birdman. They are Australia's Naomi Watts and England's Riseborough.

7 The number of Oscar nominees who will appear in the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. They are Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons and Diane Lane. So much for superhero franchises not being respectable. Now with a film about the former star of one becoming a serious Best Picture contender, we may all live to see them become Oscar bait, too.
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