30 January 2014 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Most of this year's Oscar contenders are based on historical events – and there are academics waiting to pounce on every slip-up and blunder. But there is more to a great movie than getting the facts straight

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Alex von Tunzelmann's Reel History series

It's Oscars time again, and this year many of the big contenders have one thing in common. Two thirds of the contenders for best film are based on historical events. History also picks up four out of five best actor nominations, two out of five best actresses, and three out of five directors. So fierce has the competition among historical films become that it was reported that academic "history assassins" were paid handsomely by marketing consultants to spot errors in other studios' films. These errors would then be filtered out subtly through blogs, undermining rivals' Oscar hopes.

It was rumoured that sniping about the liberties »

- Alex von Tunzelmann

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