I don’t know about you but when it comes to the Oscar nominations, one of the best parts is digging into the history and finding the precedents, the firsts and everything in between that will give us trivia for years to come and help bolster future predictions.
The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards gave us a wealth of data for Oscargams all day long so let’s dive in and feel free to comment with corrections or additions of ones you think are relevant.
Viola Davis is now the most nominated black actress, with four, two in lead and two in supporting. She was previously tied with Octavia Spencer. Davis is also the first Black actress ever to have earned more than one Best Actress Oscar nomination.
With Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) both nominated, this is the first time since 1972 that two Black women are nominated in Best Actress in the same year. The last time was Cicely Tyson (Sounder) and Diana Ross (Lady Sings the Blues). Ironically, both Day and Ross played legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday.
Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) are the first Black persons of any gender nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is just the third film to feature Black nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress, after 1972’s Sounder and 1994’s What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Judas and the Black Messiah‘s all-Black producing team of Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler mark the first time that has happened in Oscar history.
Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) is the first Black British actor to receive more than one nomination.
LaKeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) is only the second nominated actor with zero main critics and guild mentions after Marina de Tavira and the first ever to be campaigned in lead only to be nominated in supporting (usually it happens in the reverse like Kate Winslet and Keisha Castle Hughes).
First time in history three Black actors (Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr. and LaKeith Stanfield) compete in the same category (supporting actor).
Christina Oh (Minari) is the first Asian-American woman to receive a Best Picture nomination.
Steven Yeun (Minari) is first ever Asian-American nominated in Best Actor.
Youn Yuh-Jung (Minari) is the first Korean nominee in an acting category and the third east Asian supporting actress nominee, joining Miyoshi Umeki (who won for Sayonara) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel).
With nine actors of color, this sets the record for most diverse set of acting nominees in history. The screenplay categories saw a record number of people of color nominated, seven: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Shaka King, Keith Lucas and Kenny Lucas (Judas and the Black Messiah).
Frances McDormand (Nomadland) is the first woman to be nominated for acting and Best Picture in the same year for the same film. With nominations in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s and now 20’s, Frances McDormand joins Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine to have nominations across five decades.
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) is the first woman to be nominated for her feature film directing debut.
This is the first year in 93 years of the Academy Awards that two women are nominated in Best Director in the same year: Emerald Fennell and Chloé Zhao.
Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal)
- The first actor of Pakistani descent nominated.
- The first Muslim actor nominated for Best Actor.
- The first Best Actor-nominated performance primarily in American Sign Language since Alan Arkin in 1968’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
- The first woman of color nominated for Best Director.
- The first Chinese woman nominated for Best Director.
- The first female director also nominated for Editing.
- The first woman to earn four Oscar nominations in a single year.
Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
- The first person to get back to back acting nominations in their 80’s
- The oldest lead actor nominee of all time
- The third person to receive 2+ acting nominations in his 80’s (Jessica Tandy, Christopher Plummer)
Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy)
- The 5th person to get 4 or more nominations in both the lead and supporting category (Geraldine Page, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino).
- The 4th person to have received 8 acting Oscar nominations without a win (Geraldine Page, Al Pacino, Peter O’Toole).
- Tied for as the most nominated actor of all time (Geraldine Page, Denzel Washington, Jack Lemmon, Peter O’Toole, Marlon Brando) with eight.
- The third actor ever to be nominated for Razzie and Oscar nominations for the same role (James Coco in 1981’s Only When I Laugh and Amy Irving in 1983’s Yentl).
The biggest snubs statistically were: Jared Leto for The Little Things (SAG and GG), Helena Zengel for News of the World (SAG and GG), Bill Murray for On the Rocks (BFCA and GG) and Chadwick Boseman for Da 5 Bloods (BFCA and SAG).
Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) is the first supporting actress Golden Globe winner to miss out on an Oscar nomination since Katharine Ross in 1976.
The nominees for Best Actress – Drama at the Golden Globes have matched 5/5 with Oscar’s Best Actress two years in a row.
Since they submitted it with the long title, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan has beaten Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes for longest official title for an Oscar-nominated film. If Maria Bakalova or any of the writers win they have to print that entire title on their Oscar.
Maria Bakalova (Borat) is the first Slavic-born actress (Bulgarian) nominated at the Oscars since Russian Lila Kedrova in 1964 (supporting) and Polish Ida Kaminska (leading) in 1966.
First Cow is the first NYFCC Best Film winner in its 86-year history to earn zero Oscar nominations.
Soul is the first animated film to get a Sound nomination in ten years (Toy Story 3) and a Score nomination in 10 years (How to Train Your Dragon).
For the first time ever, two Pixar films nominated in the same year for Animated Feature, Onward and Soul.
The Mole Agent is the first Chilean movie nominated outside International Film category.
Another Round is the third non-English language film to receive a nomination in only Director and no other non-Foreign Language Film/International Feature Film category, after Woman in the Dunes and Fellini Satyricon.
Bad Boys for Life is only the fourth film in 44 years to be the highest grossing release of its year and get shut out at the Oscars, after Three Men and a Baby, Spider-Man 3, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
With Leslie Odom Jr.’s two nominations, this is the fourth year in a row where someone has been nominated in both Acting and Original Song categories. Prior to Mary J. Blige in 2017, this had never happened before.
The White Tiger‘s sole nomination in Adapted Screenplay keeps the ‘sole screenplay nomination’ streak going for the 20th year in a row.
2001: Ghost World, The Royal Tenenbaums
2002: About a Boy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y tu mamá también
2003: American Splendor, Dirty Pretty Things
2004: Before Sunset
2005: The Squid and the Whale, Match Point
2007: Lars and the Real Girl
2008: Happy Go Lucky, In Bruges
2009: In the Loop
2010: Another Year
2011: Margin Call
2012: Moonrise Kingdom
2013: Before Midnight
2015: Straight Outta Compton
2016: 20th Century Women, The Lobster
2017: The Big Sick, Logan, Molly’s Game
2018: First Reformed
2019: Knives Out
2020: The White Tiger
And a fun one…the cast of Venom all have Oscar nominations now (Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Woody Harrelson).