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Nine’s Oscar Ancestors

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We’ve noted the dozens of nominees and Oscar winners among the cast and crew of Nine. But of course Nine’s Oscar pedigree extends back more than 45 years — through the legacy of Federico Fellini. Fellini was nominated 11 time for screenwriting and directing before finally being awarded an honorary Oscar in 1993, just seven months before his death.

8 1/2 was nominated for 5 Oscars in 1964 — Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and won for Best Costume Design and Best Foreign Language Film. Fellini’s nomination was only the third time in Academy history that a director of a foreign language film had been recognized. The first time was 2 years earlier when Fellini himself was nominated for La Dolce Vita [EDIT] the same year Sophia Loren won Best Actress for Two Women, which makes for a nice poetic bookend.

It might be said that Fellini helped establish the Academy precedent of nominating the director of challenging films that might be a tad too artistic for Best Picture — the disconnect most recently felt by Paul Greengrass and Julian Schnabel.

In 1982, 18 years after Fellini’s 8 1/2, the Broadway production of Nine was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won 5 — Best Musical, Best Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Direction, by Tommy Tune. Nine earned three Best Actress nominations in a 3-way tie, [EDIT] with Karen Akers and Anita Morris nominated as Guido’s wife Luisa and his mistress Carla, and Liliane Montevecchi winning the Tony as his agent Liliane La Fleur — the roles reincarnated 27 years later by Marion Cottilard, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench.