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Everything about the Academy Awards, past and present

While we wait for the most glamorous night in the film world – this year on 27/28 March – here are some of the stories, outfits and films that have made Academy Award history.

We’ll start with the awards: while Walt Disney has won the largest number of statuettes overall  – 26 – Italy is the winner when it comes to Best Foreign Film, with a total of 14 awards, the most recent being in 2014 with La grande bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino, who this year is going for a repeat with The Hand of God. Flying the flag for Italy, along with Enrico Casarosa in the Best Animated Film category with Luca – inspired by our own Cinque Terre – and Massimo Cantini Parrini, nominated for the costumes of the film Cyrano.

Speaking of films, the three all-time greatest Oscar winners are Ben-Hur (1960), Titanic (1998) and Lord of the Rings – Return of the King (2004).

And who can forget Katharine Hepburn? She’s the only star to win four Best Actress Oscars (1934, 1968, 1969 and 1982), but she has only attended the famous ceremony in 1974 to present an award to producer Lawrence Weingarten, and then once again – symbolically only – in 2004, when Cate Blanchett won an Oscar for playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence has the honour of being the only actor to fall while going to collect an award (for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook). You may say okay, it could be due to the excitement, the heels and the long dress (courtesy of Christian Dior). True, but what a shame poor Jennifer repeated her trip on the red carpet the following year.

An embarrassing scene, but nowhere near as bad as announcing La La Land as winner of Best Film instead of Moonlight, in 2016.

And when it comes to emotions, we all remember Sophia Loren’s “Roberto!” and her moving speech to thank Benigni, winner of Best Leading Actor in Life is Beautiful (1999).

Finally, on the subject of beauty, there are the fabulous Oscar outfits, from the always delightful Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy in 1975, to the extraordinary Billy Porter in his long gown by Christian Siriano in 2019, not forgetting Julia Roberts in Valentino in 2001, Charlize Theron in Gucci in 2004 and Jessica Alba in Versace in 2006.