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Ok, here’s the fun stuff, the part of the Oscars I really live for; the facts, figures, statistics, history, and records made or broken today with the announcement of the 2017 Oscar nominations. Some are historically important (if also depressing sometimes), some aim to push the Oscar envelope wide open for the future. Some are just nuts, some fortify longstanding traditions. We already know that La La Land tied All About Eve and Titanic for the most Oscar nominations of all time (14) but what else was there? The leaps and bounds made by black people both in front of and behind the camera in terms of Oscar nominations was substantial today. Let’s hope that is a move forward (for all) and not a temporary course correction.
Let’s start with a nomination count of all films that earned two or more mentions this morning.
La La Land – 14
Arrival – 8
Moonlight – 8
Hacksaw Ridge – 6
Lion – 6
Manchester by the Sea – 6
Fences – 4
Hell or High Water – 4
Hidden Figures – 3
Jackie – 3
Deepwater Horizon – 2
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – 2
Florence Foster Jenkins – 2
Kubo and the Two Strings – 2
A Man Called Ove – 2
Passengers – 2
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 2
La La Land is the first live-action musical in Oscar history to be nominated in both Sound categories.
Kubo and the Two Strings is the first animated film since The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the first since the creation of the Animated Feature category, to get a VFX nomination.
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) extends her own nomination record from 19 to 20.
Viola Davis (Fences) is now the most-nominated black woman in Oscar history, in any category, with three.
At eight, Denzel Washington (Fences) is the most nominated black actor in Oscar history.
Isabelle Huppert (Elle) is the first trifecta winner (LAFCA/NYFCC/NSFC) to be Oscar-nominated for a foreign language film role.
Amy Adams (Arrival), a 5-time Oscar nominee, is this year’s Critics Choice-Golden Globe-Screen Actors Guild-BAFTA nominee who is snubbed at the Oscars.
Mica Levi (Jackie) is the first woman nominated for Original Score since 2000.
With Tanna, Australia becomes the first country of Oceania nominated for Foreign Language Film.
Ruth Negga (Loving) is the first black European (Irish) and African (born in Ethiopia) actor nominated in lead.
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) now has the longest gap between a Directing win (1995’s Braveheart) and a follow-up nomination, 21 years.
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) is only the second black person to be nominated for both Directing and Writing, after John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood).
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) is the first Golden Globe supporting actor winner to miss an Oscar nomination since Richard Benjamin (The Sunshine Boys) in 1976. Interestingly enough, just like The Sunshine Boys, his co-star was nominated instead (Michael Shannon).
First time this millennium that no film in the top 8 categories has grossed more than $100m at the US box office at the time of the nominations.
At 11 years, 3 months and 22 days, August Wilson has the longest period between death and a posthumous nomination for the adaptation of his play Fences in adapted screenplay.
Bradford Young (Arrival) is first African-American in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Cinematography.
Joi McMillon (Moonlight) is the first black female to be nominated for an Oscar for Film Editing.
This is the first time three black actresses were nominated in a single category (Supporting Actress) in the same year; Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures). Note: in 2007, three non-white actresses were nominated in this category (Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls; Rinko Kikuchi, Babel; Adriana Barraza, Babel – Hudson won).
Fire at Sea is the first Italian-language film nominated for Documentary Feature.
Raoul Peck, director of I Am Not Your Negro, is the first Haitian-born filmmaker to be nominated for an Oscar.
If there are any inaccuracies (or additions you’d like to suggest) don’t hesitate to hit up the comments section below.