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Oscars 2013: The Records That May Fall

 
 
 
 
 
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One thing we can say about winter - despite its frigid temperatures and long nights - is that the season sure knows how to throw a party.

First, New Year's. Then the Super Bowl, followed by the Grammys, plus the BAFTAs. And now, this weekend hits us with perhaps the most glamorous soiree of them all: the Academy Awards.

Known colloquially, of course, as the Oscars, this year's awards will be handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood on Sunday for the 85th edition of cinema's premier event.

We'll all naturally be pulling for our personal favorite film or actor, and even hoping for some iconic moments like this one: 

But combining movies and history like the Oscars do also means a lot of trivia. And where there is trivia, there are always records. Here's what to keep an eye on as you follow the action Sunday.

Age is Just a Number

The great thing about acting is that you can witness an unforgettable performance from people of almost any age. Such proof is offered by this year's nominees, namely Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhane Wallis.

Riva, the 85-year-old Frenchwoman, is already the oldest-ever nominee for Actress in a Leading Role, meaning she would become the oldest-such winner should she triumph for her performance in "Amour."

Wallis, meanwhile, checks in at the opposite end of the spectrum, as the youngest-ever lead actress nominee at just 9 years old for her precocious work in "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

These two will certainly find it tough sledding against the stiff competition of Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, and Naomi Watts, but they do give us a 40-percent chance of seeing a historically aged winner in this category.

Newmans' Night?

Like many industries, filmmaking is no different in that it offers plenty of family dynasties the chance to ply their craft across generations. And, if a family is good at the job, it can rack up its fair share of acclaim.

The most nominated Oscar family is the composing Newman clan, aiming to add another victory alongside their record 87 nominations. Alfred Newman, his sons David and Thomas, brothers Lionel and Emil, and nephew Randy, have combined to earn the record nominations total entirely in music composition.

This year's featured Newman is Thomas, for his Original Score in the James Bond thriller "Skyfall." Should Thomas win his first-ever Oscar, it would take the Newman family's statue total to 13, two shy of Douglas (14) and sister Norma (1) Shearer's 15 awards across acting, sound recording, and special effects.

A Family Affair

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Just like the Newmans, the Coppolas know a thing or two about taking home gold. The most famous Coppola is patriarch Francis Ford (above, left, with son Roman and daughter Sofia), most notably the director of  "The Godfather" trilogy.

But what many may not know is that actor Nicholas Cage is also a Coppola, and Francis Ford's nephew, having changed his name for the screen.

Together and with Francis Ford's father, Carmine, and daughter, Sophia, the Coppola family tree boasts the most family members to win an Oscar at four, and looks to add to it on Sunday. Francis Ford's son, Roman Coppola, is nominated in Original Screenplay for co-writing "Moonrise Kingdom." So, if you don't want to take sides against the family, make sure to root for another Coppola win.

Lincoln's Chance at History

Lastly, the film "Lincoln" basically came from an Oscar recipe book: one part legendary director (Steven Spielberg), one part critically acclaimed lead (Daniel Day-Lewis), mixed with an iconic historical period and garnished with one of the most famous world leaders of all time as the subject.

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So it surprised no one when "Lincoln" earned 12 nominations, just two off the all-time record. Now, prognosticators see it as a very long shot with the likes of "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" around, but should the film sweep its nominations, "Lincoln" would break the records for most awards won by a single film and the highest sweep of nominations. The current records both stand at 11 (victories: "Ben-Hur," "Titanic," "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King;" sweep: "LOTR" once again.)

"Life of Pi" also received 11 nominations, but is viewed as an outsider for many of the categories in which it will contend.

So make the predictions, get the popcorn ready, and pull for your favorites. By Monday morning, we may have just witnessed another record-setting Hollywood evening.

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