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Movies & TV, Arts

Canada's greatest contributions to the Oscars

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James Howells Feb 24, 2017 7:15 am 904

Th Oscars have a Canadian flavour this year with the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling among the biggest red carpet attractions.

But Canada is greater than sum of its Ryans.

We’ve given much to the film industry since the first Canadian feature length movie Evangeline entertained the typhoid-ridden residents of North America in 1913. With this year’s Academy Eh-wards dropping on Sunday we explore Canada’s six greatest Oscar winners.

Mary Pickford – Best Actress 1929

Mary Pickford (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

America’s Sweetheart was born on Toronto in 1892. Since The Lumier Brothers forgot to invite their sister to film a train in 1895, the industry has been dominated by dudes. Mary Pickford though, was a trailblazer, winning Best Actress for her turn in 1929’s Coquette and in doing so become the first Canadian to be nominated for, and to win, an Academy Award. Pioneer.

James Cameron – Best Director 1997

James Cameron (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Big movies, huge ego, massive vegan. Ontario’s Jim Cameron is certainly Canada’s most successful movie director in terms of box-office results and pop culture impact. Before he was making awkward blue-alien sex films he made killer movies about killer aliens, killer cyborgs, and killer cruise liners. The man’s a monster. The Academy rewarded Cameron for years of on-screen bloodshed in 1997 with wins for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing for Titanic.

Christopher Plummer – Best Supporting Actor 2011

Christopher Plummer (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Toronto’s Christopher Plummer is the sexiest man Canada has ever produced. He can fix my pipes any time. In 2011 Plummer finally won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Beginners. This was clearly, in part, a public apology from The Academy for overlooking sexy Plummer’s turn as Captain Von Trapp in 1965’s The Sound of Music.

Pub fact: Plummer is the great-grandson of third Canadian prime minister John Abbott.

Jack L. Warner – Best Picture 1964

Jack Warner (left – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

London Ontario gave birth to a Warner Brother. That’s pretty cool. Jack Warner may have only lived in Canada for a couple of years from birth, but we’ll take that. In 1923 Jack would start-up, cash-in, and bro-down a small family film studio called Warner Bros. Jack had co-received five Academy Award nominations in the Best Picture category between 1929 and 1958 before finally scooping a small gold man in 1964 for My Fair Lady.

Howard Shore – Best Music Score 2001 and 2003

Howard Shore (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Toronto’s Howard Shore wrote a score so fantastically beautiful and powerful that it not only made you care about Dwarves, Elves, and Cave Trolls, but it also, somehow, made you care for Orlando Bloom. That truly is magic. For making a man with all the charisma of a dinner plate in a blonde wig and pointy ears seem charming, Howard Shore won two Academy Awards in 2001 and 2003 for Best Score on The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of The King.

Douglas Shearer – Best Sound Mixing 1929, 1935, 1936, 1940, and 1951

Douglas Shearer (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

The Boss. The King of Canada at The Oscars. Between 1929 and 1951, sound mixer Grand Wizard Shearer picked up 15 Academy nominations. That’s almost one nomination a year for the man from Westmount, Quebec. In fact, between 1934 and 1945 he actually was nominated every single year, back-to-back. That’s a lot of tux rentals. From 15 nominations the Lord and Saviour of Sound Mixing scooped five wins. Praise him.


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James Howells

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