With the 2010 Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, we’re happy to announce that Wolfram|Alpha is now able to answer questions about every Oscar nomination and award since the first ceremony in 1929. You might be surprised by some of the things you see in the earliest lists: yes, acting awards were bestowed for multiple performances in a given year; the Academy made a distinction between movies that were merely “unique and artistic” and those that were truly “outstanding”; and like the current Golden Globes (we’ll tackle them soon), separate awards were given for dramatic and comedic films.
You can dive into this data in practically any way you want. Curious about a particular film? Try “Academy Award nominations for Forrest Gump“. Or maybe you’re curious about the past performance of a perennial front-row Oscar celebrity?
Ask about a specific award, like “best actor oscars“, and you’ll get a historical list of all winners for that category. But ask about “best actor in 2004“, and Wolfram|Alpha will serve up a detailed cross-section of data relevant to that award—the winner, other nominees, and other Oscar nominations and awards for both the winner and the film he appeared in.
You may also notice that now when you simply ask Wolfram|Alpha about a person (“Matt Damon“) or a film (“Citizen Kane“), Wolfram|Alpha will also show Academy Award wins for that person or picture—and because we have basic biographical information about many Oscar winners, Wolfram|Alpha can compute how old each award winner or nominee was in a given year.
There are dozens of sources for Academy Awards information online, but we think Wolfram|Alpha provides the easiest, most direct way to find information about the Oscars. Let us know if you compute any surprising facts about your favorite actor, actress, screenwriter, or director (or costume designer, sound editor, or black-and-white cinematographer, and more)!