It’s that time of year again, where the stars come out and shine at Hollywood’s biggest night, the Oscars. Catch up with this year’s nominees for Best Picture and prepare for the biggest night in Hollywood by learning a few fun facts about each of these films. And don’t forget to tune in to the 88th Annual Academy Awards on February 28, hosted by Chris Rock, LIVE on ABC!

Bridge of Spies

After shooting down his U-2 spy plane during the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers. It’s up to the CIA’s newest recruit, American lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), to negotiate his release.
Available On Demand February 2, 2016

This is the fourth time Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks have collaborated. They previously worked on Saving Private Ryan (1998), Catch Me If you Can (2002), and The Terminal (2004).

Mad Max: Fury Road

Set in post-apocalyptic Australia, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) rebels against a tyrannical ruler. A high-speed chase ensues as she, a band of former female captives, and a loner by the name of Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) try to outrun the merciless warlord.

Director George Miller asked his wife, Margaret Sixel, to edit this action-packed movie. She previously edited family-friendly films like Happy Feet and asked her husband why he chose her. He said, “Because if a guy did it, it would look like every other action movie."

The Revenant

After sustaining injuries from a bear attack, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is left for dead by his hunting team and former confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Fueled by vengeance, the legendary frontiersman forges through the uncharted wilderness in the year 1823 to hunt down the man that betrayed him.
Available On Demand April 19, 2016

A confirmed vegetarian, Leonardo DiCaprio insisted on eating actual, raw bison liver as the red gelatinous ‘pancake’ they were going to use did not look realistic. DiCaprio later admitted he would never do that again.

Spotlight

Based on actual events, editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) of The Boston Globe embarks on a story citing abuse in the Catholic Church. In 2001, he assigns a team of journalists –Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy and John Slattery—who later will be known as the “Spotlight,” to investigate this decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse.
Available On Demand February 23, 2016

While discussing the film adaptation of the investigation, Walter V. Robinson told The Boston Globe, "To watch Mark Ruffalo become me on film makes me want to apologize to many people I have interviewed.”

The Martian

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) must use his wits and skill to survive the environment on Mars, after his crew mates mistakenly left the planet without him thinking he died in a strong storm. Back on Earth, a team of scientists scramble to bring him home, while his crew plots a daring rescue mission.

Though it was not addressed in the film, the book details Watney using the quick passage of the moon, Phobos, to navigate through Mars. Mars actually has no magnetic field, making it impossible to use a GPS or compass.

The Big Short

Based on the best-selling non-fiction book, the film follows four opportunists—Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Christian Bale, and Brad Pitt—who make a fortune betting against the declining housing market between 2007 and 2011.
Available On Demand March 15, 2016

Author of the best-selling book Michael Lewis said that Adam McKay was allowed to direct the Big Short only if he promised Paramount he’d direct Anchorman 2.

Room

A woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) finally escape the enclosed room they’ve been held captive in for years. Then, the boy makes a wonderful discovery—the outside world.
Available On Demand February 23, 2016

To prepare to play a woman locked in a confined space for years, Larson isolated herself at her home for a month, staying out of the sun.

Brooklyn

Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) leaves her home in Ireland to start a new life in 1950s Brooklyn. Homesickness soon turns to love, when Ellis falls for a tough plumber (Emory Cohen). But her Irish home beckons her once again, and she’s forced to choose between her new and old home.
Available On Demand March 15, 2016

To capture the scene of 1950s Brooklyn, production was actually set in Montreal. Only two days were shot in Brooklyn in order to capture the brownstone exterior.

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Reprinted from www.pcmag.com with permission. © 2016 Ziff Davis, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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