By Daniel Howat
After an abnormally long wait, the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards are finally here! As per usual, there are plenty of record-setting nominees, interesting bits of trivia, and random noteworthy moments. Overall, it’s a groundbreaking year for diversity at the Oscars. While there is still so, so much to do to bring more equity to the nominations, it’s incredible to see record numbers of non-white nominees across this many categories.
Take a look below at our comprehensive list of as much trivia as we could gather!
OVERALL STATS & TRIVIA
- There are more Black Oscar nominees this year than ever before. There are 25 individual Black nominees garnering 27 total nominations. The previous record was 18 in 2016. There were only 5 Black nominees in 2019.
- There are a total of 13 nominees for people of Asian descent, down slightly from last year’s record of 15 nominees.
- With the six nominations for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” ten Black individuals were nominated, the most Black nominees for a single film. The previous record-holder was “The Color Purple,” with seven.
- “First Cow” is the first winner of the New York Film Critics Circle to not receive a single Oscar nomination.
BEST PICTURE STATS & TRIVIA
- Chloe Zhao is the first woman with four nominations in a single year: Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and Editing.
- Frances McDormand received nominations for both Best Actress and Best Picture as a producer of “Nomadland.” She is the first woman to receive nominations for acting and producing in the same year. Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey have received nominations for producing and acting, but not in the same year.
- McDormand has now received Oscar nominations in each of the last five decades, a feat previously accomplished by Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep.
- “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first all-Black produced Best Picture nominee. It is also the first film to have three Black producers nominated for Best Picture.
- Eight women were nominated for Best Picture, the same number as last year. The record number of women nominated in Picture is nine in 2016.
- Christina Oh, producer of “Minari,” is the first Asian-American woman nominated for Best Picture.
- “One Night in Miami” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” are the second and third films in the expanded era to receive nominations at PGA, SAG, AFI, and Critics’ Choice to not receive a Best Picture nomination. “The Big Sick” was the first.
BEST DIRECTOR STATS & TRIVIA
- Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell became the sixth and seventh women to be nominated for Best Director. This is the first time two women were nominated for Best Director in the same year.
- Chloe Zhao is the first woman of Asian descent and the first non-white woman nominated for Best Director.
- Chloe Zhao and Lee Isaac Chung became the sixth and seventh Asian directors nominated for Best Director. Chung is the second Asian-American nominated in the category, following M. Night Shyamalan.
- Emerald Fennell is the first woman nominated for her directorial debut.
- Emerald Fennell is the third woman to receive three nominations in a single year, following Sofia Coppola and Fran Walsh.
- Thomas Vinterberg is the first Danish nominee for Best Director.
ACTING STATS & TRIVIA
- Nine people of color were nominated across the four acting categories, more than any previous year. These nominees: Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Steven Yeun, Viola Davis, Andra Day, Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr., LaKeith Stanfield, and Youn Yuh-jung.
- This is the first year with three non-white men nominated in the same male acting category, and it happened in both Lead and Supporting. Chadwick Boseman, Riz Ahmed, and Steven Yeun were nominated for Best Actor, while Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, and Leslie Odom Jr. were nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
- Ahmed is the first Muslim to receive a nomination in a lead acting category and the fourth Muslim nominated for acting overall.
- Ahmed is also the first person of Pakistani descent nominated for any acting Oscar.
- Steven Yeun is the first Asian-American nominated for Best Actor.
- Yeun and Youn Yuh-jung are the first people born in Korea to be nominated for acting Oscars. Yeun is the fourth actor of Asian descent nominated for Best Actor, while Yuh-jung is the fifth actress of Asian descent nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
- Yuh-jung is the first person nominated for a Korean-language performance.
- Chadwick Boseman received a posthumous nomination for Best Actor. He is the fifth person to receive a posthumous nominee in Best Actor and the eighth actor nominated posthumously overall.
- Boseman is the first actor of color to receive a posthumous Oscar nomination.
- Viola Davis received her fourth Oscar nomination, the most for any Black woman. If she were to win, she would be the first Black actress to win two Oscars.
- Davis is the first Black woman with two nominations for Best Actress.
- Davis also becomes the first person nominated in a leading acting category for a shorter performance than won her a supporting Oscar.
- “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is the third film to feature Black nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. The first two were “Sounder” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
- This is only the second time that two Black actresses are nominated in Best Actress, with Davis and Andra Day. The only other time this happened was in 1972 when Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson were both nominated. Oddly enough, Ross and Day were both nominated for playing Billie Holiday.
- “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first film to have two Black males nominated for acting.
- Leslie Odom Jr. received nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song for “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami.” This the fourth year in a row, and the fourth time ever, that an individual was nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year. Odom Jr. is the first male to achieve this.
- Anthony Hopkins becomes the oldest Best Actor nominee at 83 years old, surpassing Richard Farnsworth’s record of 79 years old.
- Glenn Close received her 8th nomination, tying Peter O’Toole’s record for the most-nominated actor without a win. Of course, she could change that this year. She was already the most-nominated living actor without a win.
- Close is the third actor nominated for both an Oscar and a Razzie for the same role, following James Coco (“Only When I Laugh”) and Amy Irving (“Yentl”).
- With Kaluuya and Stanfield from “Judas and the Black Messiah” nominated this year and Al Pacino and Joe Pesci from “The Irishman” nominated last year, this is the first time we’ve had back-to-back double nominees in Supporting Actor since 1976 (“Rocky” and “Julia”).
- Chadwick Boseman is the only Best Actor nominee who doesn’t appear in a Best Picture nominee. If he were to win, he would be the first such winner since 2009, when Jeff Bridges won for “Crazy Heart.” No one has won Best Actor for a non-Best Picture nominee in an expanded Best Picture lineup since 1932, with Fredric March.
- Carey Mulligan is the only person to have been exclusively directed to multiple acting nominations by female directors (“Promising Young Woman” and “An Education”).
SCREENPLAY STATS & TRIVIA
- This is the first time ever that all five Original Screenplay nominees are also up for Best Picture.
- With “One Night in Miami” and “Judas and the Black Messiah,” this is the first year with four Black nominees in the writing categories.
- This is also the first time more than one Black person is nominated in Original Screenplay, with Shaka King, Kenneth Lucas, and Keith Lucas for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” They are the fifth, sixth, and seventh Black nominees in the category.
- Chloe Zhao becomes the second woman with nominations in Best Director and Adapted Screenplay, following Greta Gerwig.
- Sacha Baron Cohen is the first person nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay in the same year.
CRAFT CATEGORIES STATS & TRIVIA
- Mia Neal and Jameika Wilson became the first-ever Black nominees for Makeup & Hairstyling. This leaves Best Visual Effects as the only category to have never nominated a Black person.
- Ann Roth, nominated for Costume Design for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” becomes the second-oldest nominee of all time in any category at 89 years old. Roth is three months younger than Anges Varda was when she set this record in 2017.
- “The Glorias” was not nominated for Costume Design, making it the first Julie Taymor-directed film to not receive a nomination in that category.
- Pete Docter is now the most nominated person in Animated Feature, with four nominations.
- This is the first time that Pixar received two Animated Feature nominations in the same year.
- This is the first time since 2012 that there are no Animated Feature nominees in a language other than English. This has only happened six times in the 20 years of the category.
- Diane Warren received her 12th nomination in Best Original Song for “Io Sí (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead.” This makes her the third most-nominated living individual without a win, after Thomas Newman (15) and Greg P. Russell (16).
- Terence Blanchard is the first Black composer to receive a second nomination for Best Original Score.
- With Blanchard and Jon Batiste receiving Original Score nominations, this is the first year two Black composers were nominated for different films in the same year.
- Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste are the first trio nominated for Original Score since “Mulan” in 1998.
- “Collective” is the second film to receive nominations for both International Feature and Documentary Feature. “Honeyland” was the first to achieve this just last year.
- “Collective” is the first International Feature nomination for the country of Romania.
- “The Man Who Sold His Skin” is Tunisia’s first nomination for International Feature.
- Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing merged into the single category of Best Sound for the first time since 1987. There are only 23 categories for the first time since 2000. The most recent category to be added is Best Animated Feature, in 2001.
- Ren Klyce and David Parker received two nominations for Best Sound (“Soul” and “Mank“). This is the first time this has happened with only one Sound category since 1977.
Like I said upfront, there was a lot of ground broken this year, and even more records stand to be broken by the potential winners. Keep an eye on Next Best Picture as we update you with all the record-breakers.
Did we miss any notable stats or trivia? What was the most surprising piece of trivia for you? What records do you want to see broken next year? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.
You can follow Daniel and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @howatdk