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  • Jonny Diaz

Trivia Guide for the 93rd Oscars

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences / ABC

One of the great things about the Oscars is the endless stream of trivia that each new batch of nominees and winners generates, and this year’s crop is no exception. Need a source for your Oscar night tweets? Want to impress your buddies during your Zoom watch party? Look no further.

Best Picture

  • Producer David Parfitt (The Father) is the only producer nominated for Best Picture this year to have won this award before. He previously won for Shakespeare in Love.

    • Two other Best Picture nominees have won before, but in different categories: Frances McDormand (Nomadland) is a two-time Best Actress winner, and Eric Roth (Mank) won Best Adapted Screenplay for Forrest Gump.

  • If The Father wins, it will join a long line of play adaptations to take home the top prize, including Casablanca, West Side Story, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Chicago, and Moonlight.

    • By my count, The Father would be the 16th play adaptation to win Best Picture.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah is the first Best Picture nominee with an all-Black producing team—Ryan Coogler, Charles D. King, and Shaka King, who also directed the film.

    • If Judas wins, it will be only the second time a Black producer wins Best Picture. The first was Steve McQueen, who won for 12 Years a Slave.

    • If it wins, Judas would also be the third Best Picture winner directed by a Black filmmaker, after 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight.

      • It would also be the third to have done so without winning Best Director, as Shaka King is not nominated in that category.

    • Shaka King is also of Panamanian descent, and would be the third Latino to win Best Picture, after Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) and Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water).

  • No woman has ever won Best Picture as a solo producer—although several women have won as part of producing teams. If Minari wins Best Picture, Christina Oh would be the first.

    • Oh would also be the second Asian woman to win Best Picture, after Kwak Sin-ae (Parasite) just last year—as would Chloé Zhao if Nomadland wins.

  • If Promising Young Woman or Nomadland win Best Picture, they would be only the second winner directed by a woman.

    • The first was The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

  • If Nomadland or Minari win, they would be the second Best Picture winner directed by an Asian filmmaker, after last year’s Parasite.

  • If Nomadland wins, Frances McDormand will become the fourth person and first woman to have won Oscars for both acting and producing.

    • The first three are Michael Douglas (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Wall Street), George Clooney (Syriana; Argo), and Brad Pitt (12 Years a Slave; Once Upon A Time in Hollywood).

  • If Mank, Sound of Metal, or The Trial of the Chicago 7 win, it’ll be the first time that a film distributed by a streaming platform is named Best Picture.

  • If Promising Young Woman or Sound of Metal win, they will be the first debut film to win Best Picture since 2002's Chicago.

Best Director

  • Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) is the first Asian woman and woman of color ever nominated in this category.

    • She would, of course, also be the first to win.

  • Zhao and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) are the eighth and ninth directors of Asian descent to be nominated in this category.

    • Either would be the third Asian winner, after Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain; Life of Pi) and Bong Joon-ho (Parasite).

    • Zhao would be the first Chinese winner.

      • Lee is from Taiwan, and Bong is from South Korea.

    • Chung would be the first Asian-American winner. He was born in the U.S. to Korean parents.

  • Zhao and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) are the sixth and seventh female nominees in this category.

    • Either would be the second female winner, joining Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker).

  • Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) is the first Danish nominee in this category.

  • Chung and Vinterberg are the 29th and 30th directors nominated for films primarily in a language other than English.

    • Chung is the third American director nominated for a non-English language film, joining Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima in Japanese) and Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in French)

    • If either Chung or Vinterberg wins, they would be the third director ever to win for directing a non-English language film, after Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) and Bong Joon-ho (Parasite).

      • That would also make it the third year in a row.

  • David Fincher (Mank) is the only repeat directing nominee this year, having been previously nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network.

    • If he wins, he’d be the second director who began his career directing music videos to have won a directing Oscar, after Steven Soderbergh (Traffic).

  • Fincher is also the fifth director nominated for a black-and-white film in the past decade.

    • The other four are Paweł Pawlikowsi (Cold War), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), and Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist).

      • Cuarón and Hazanavicius both won.

  • Chung and Fincher would be only the second Americans to win in this category in the past decade.

    • Damien Chazelle is the only American to win Best Director since 2010. The other nine winners have been from South Korea (Bong Joon-ho), Mexico (Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárrit, and Guillermo del Toro), Taiwan (Ang Lee), France (Michel Hazanavicius), and the United Kingdom (Tom Hooper).

      • Cuarón and Iñárritu both won twice in that span.

Best Actor

  • At age 83, Anthony Hopkins (The Father) is the oldest nominee in this category’s history.

    • If he wins, he would be seven years older than the previous record holder—Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond.

  • Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) is the eighth actor to receive a posthumous nomination at the Oscars.

    • He would be the third to win a posthumous acting Oscar after Peter Finch (Network) and Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight).

  • Boseman would be the fifth Black performer to win Best Actor, after Sidney Poitier (Lilies of the Field), Denzel Washington (Training Day), Jamie Foxx (Ray), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland).

  • Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) is the first Muslim nominee in a lead acting category, and the fourth Muslim acting nominee overall, after Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), and Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog).

    • He would be the second Muslim actor to win after Ali.

    • Ahmed is also the first acting nominee of Pakistani descent.

  • Steven Yeun (Minari) is the first Asian-American Best Actor nominee and (alongside co-star Youn Yuh-jung) the first Korean actor nominated for an Oscar.

  • Ahmed and Yeun are the fifth and sixth Best Actor nominees of Asian or Middle Eastern descent.

    • The previous four are Yul Brynner (The King and I), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, House of Sand and Fog), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus), and Demián Bichir (A Better Life).

    • Either would be the fourth winner, after Brynner, Kingsley, and Abraham.

    • This is only the second time that two Asian actors are nominated in the same category.

      • The first time was in 1984, when Haing S. Ngor (The Killing Fields) and Pat Morita (The Karate Kid) were both nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

  • Yeun is also the 12th Best Actor nominee for a performance in a language other than English. Yeun’s performance is in both English and Korean.

    • He would be the second Best Actor winner for a non-English language performance, after Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful, Italian).

      • The other nominated non-English performances in this category are Marcello Mastroianni (Divorce Italian Style, A Special Day, and Dark Eyes, all in Italian); Alan Arkin (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, American Sign Language); Giancarlo Giannini (Seven Beauties, Italian), Max von Sydow (Pelle the Conqueror, Swedish), Gerard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac, French), Massimo Troisi (Il Postino, Italian), Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls and Biutiful, both in Spanish), Demián Bichir (A Better Life in English and Spanish), Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name in English, French, and Italian) and Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory, Spanish).

  • Gary Oldman (Mank) would be only the second actor to win an Oscar for playing a previous Oscar winner. Herman Mankiewicz won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Citizen Kane.

    • Cate Blanchett won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 playing four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

Best Actress

  • With her fourth nomination this year, Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) breaks a tie with three-time nominees Octavia Spencer and costume designer Ruth E. Carter to become the most nominated Black woman in Academy history.

  • If Davis wins, she will become the first Black woman to have won more than one Oscar in any category.

  • Davis or Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) would be only the second Black Best Actress winner in history, after Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball).

  • This is only the second time in Academy history that two Black women have been nominated for Best Actress in the same year.

    • The last time was 1972, when Cicely Tyson (Sounder) and Diana Ross (Lady Sings the Blues) were both nominated.

      • Amazingly, in both instances Day and Ross were nominated for playing Billie Holiday in their film debuts.

  • With Vanessa Kirby’s nomination for Pieces of a Woman, every actress to portray Princess Margaret on Netflix’s The Crown has been nominated for an Oscar.

    • Helena Bonham Carter was nominated for The Wings of the Dove and The King's Speech, and future Princess Margaret Lesley Manville was nominated for Phantom Thread.

  • If Frances McDormand (Nomadland) wins, it will be her third Academy Award, putting her in rare company—only six other actors have won three or more Oscars: Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Daniel Day-Lewis, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep.

  • Carey Mulligan has been nominated for Best Actress twice—both times for performances in films directed by women.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami) is the first man and fourth person to be nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year. The first three were Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Lady Gaga (A Star is Born), and Cynthia Erivo (Harriet).

    • Until Blige did it in 2016, it had never happened before, but it has happened every year since.

      • And only Lady Gaga won either award.

    • Only Barbra Streisand has won Oscars for both acting (Funny Girl) and songwriting (A Star is Born)—but those were in different years.

  • This is the 20th time that two (or more) performances from the same film (Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah) have been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, and the first time two Black actors from the same film were nominated together in one category.

    • If either Kaluuya or Stanfield win, it will be the seventh time that a Best Supporting Actor winner triumphed over a co-star.

  • If Kaluuya, Odom, or Stanfield win, they would be the sixth Black actor to win in this category, after Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman), Denzel Washington (Glory), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight; Green Book).

  • Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) is the seventh Best Supporting Actor nominee for a performance in a language other than English. His performance is in both English and American Sign Language.

    • If Raci wins, he will be the fifth Best Supporting Actor winner for a non-English language performance, joining John Mills (Ryan’s Daughter, British Sign Language), Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part II, Italian), Benicio del Toro (Traffic, Spanish), and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, English, German, French, and Italian).

  • Sacha Baron Cohen is the 7th person nominated for acting (The Trial of the Chicago 7) and screenwriting (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) in the same year.

    • The first six were Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting), Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful), George Clooney (Syriana; Good Night and Good Luck) and Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born).

      • In those years, Thompson, Thornton, and Damon won for screenwriting, and Benigni and Clooney won for acting. Only Cooper came away empty handed.

      • Baron Cohen is the second person after Clooney to have received those nominations for two different films in the same year.

      • Thompson remains the only person in Academy history to have won for both acting (Howard’s End) and screenwriting.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) received her eighth nomination this year. If she loses, she will tie Peter O’Toole for most nominations by an actor without a single win.

    • Close’s 8 acting nominations are tied for ninth most all-time with O’Toole, Marlon Brando, Jack Lemmon, Geraldine Page, and Denzel Washington.

      • Only Paul Newman (9), Al Pacino (9), Spencer Tracy (9), Laurence Olivier (10), Bette Davis (11), Katharine Hepburn (12), Jack Nicholson (12), and Meryl Streep (21) have been nominated more times than Close.

        • All the actors listed above except O'Toole and Close won at least once. And even O’Toole got an Honorary.

    • Even if she doesn’t win, Close still isn’t guaranteed to be the biggest loser on Oscar night. Composer James Newton Howard (News of the World) and sound designer Ren Klyce are on their ninth nominations this year without a win, and songwriter Diane Warren (The Life Ahead) is on her twelfth.

      • If all of them lose, at least they have practice.

  • A win for Close would also make her only the 25th person to complete the American "Triple Crown" of Acting by winning competitive acting prizes from the Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys.

    • Close has won three Emmys (two for Damages and one for Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story) and three Tonys (for The Real Thing, Death of a Maiden, and Sunset Boulevard).

    • Two of this year's Oscar nominees have already completed the Triple Crown: Frances McDormand and Viola Davis.

      • Davis is the only Black actor to have won all three awards, and the second woman of color after Rita Moreno.

  • Youn Yuh-jung is the first Korean actress nominated for an Oscar, and the sixth actress of Asian descent nominated in this category.

    • If she wins, Youn would be the second Asian winner in this category, after Miyoshi Umeki (Sayonara), and only the second Asian woman to win an acting Oscar.

  • Youn is the eighth Best Supporting Actress nominee for a non-English language performance.

    • She would be the third to win, after Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker, American Sign Language) and Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Spanish).

  • Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) is the first Bulgarian actor to be nominated for an Oscar in any category.

  • Amanda Seyfried is the second cast member of Mean Girls nominated for an Oscar, after Rachel McAdams (Spotlight).

    • If Seyfried wins, her fictional family in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again will be comprised of three generations of Oscar winning actresses (Seyfried, Meryl Streep, and Cher). (shoutout Jorge Molina)

  • If Olivia Colman wins, she’ll be the eighth actor with a perfect 2 for 2 record at the Oscars.

    • The other performers with two wins on two nominations as of this year are Mahershala Ali, Helen Hayes, Vivien Leigh, Luise Rainer, Kevin Spacey (yikes), Hilary Swank, and Christoph Waltz.

Actors Generally

  • 17 Black actors have previously won Oscars for acting.

    • Chadwick Boseman, Andra Day, Daniel Kaluuya, Leslie Odom Jr., and Lakeith Stanfield could become the 18th or 19th names on that list.

    • And Viola Davis could become only the third Black actor to have won multiple acting Oscars, after Denzel Washington and Mahershala Ali.

  • Five actors of Asian descent have previously won Oscars for acting—Yul Brynner (The King and I), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus), Haing S. Ngor (The Killing Fields), and Miyoshi Umeki (Sayonara).

    • Riz Ahmed, Steven Yeun, and Youn Yuh-jung could become the sixth or seventh.

  • Five actors have won Oscars for performances mostly or entirely in American or British Sign Language—Jane Wyman (Johnny Belinda), Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker), John Mills (Ryan's Daughter), Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God), and Holly Hunter (The Piano).

    • Paul Raci could become the sixth.

  • Including this year, 47 actors total have been nominated for non-English language performances. Twelve of them have previously won.

    • Yeun, Youn, and Raci could become 13th, 14th, and 15th.

  • Seven films have won Oscars for both Best Actress and Actor: It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Network, Coming Home, On Golden Pond, The Silence of the Lambs, and As Good as It Gets.

    • If both Boseman and Davis win, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom would be the eighth film on that list—and the first not to be nominated for Best Picture.

  • If Anthony Hopkins wins, he would become the oldest acting winner ever, beating out the late Christopher Plummer, who won Best Supporting Actor for Beginners at age 82.

    • Although he’s the oldest Best Actor nominee in history, Hopkins still isn’t the oldest acting nominee overall.

      • Plummer was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for All The Money in the World at age 88.

      • Gloria Stuart was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Titanic at age 87.

      • And Emmanuelle Riva was nominated for Best Actress at age 85 for Amour.

  • There have been two occasions in history when all four acting Oscars went to non-American actors.

    • First, in 1964: Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady, English), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, English), Peter Ustinov (Topkapi, English), and Lila Kedrova (Zorba the Greek, Russian/French).

    • And again in 2007: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, English), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, French), Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Spanish), and Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, Scottish).

    • It could happen again this year if some combination of Riz Ahmed, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Vanessa Kirby, Carey Mulligan, Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Kaluuya, Maria Bakalova, Olivia Colman, or Youn Yuh-jung win in all four acting categories.

      • Hopkins is Welsh, Bakalova is Bulgarian, Youn is South Korean, and the rest are English (Ahmed and Kaluuya are also of Pakistani and Ugandan descent, respectively).

  • This year features the most Black acting nominees (6), Asian acting nominees (3), and non-white nominees overall (9) of any year in Academy history.

  • Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried are the sixth and seventh actors nominated for performances in films directed by David Fincher.

    • The previous Fincher-directed nominees were Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Taraji P. Henson (same), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

    • Oldman or Seyfried would be the first performers to win for a performance in a Fincher film.

  • If Close wins, it will be the third time that Ron Howard directs an actor to an Oscar-winning performance.

    • The previous two were Don Ameche (Cocoon) and Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind).

  • Day would be the second performer to win an Oscar for a performance in a Lee Daniels film.

    • The first was Mo'Nique (Precious).

Best Original and Adapted Screenplay

  • Two films with Asian or Asian-American writers have previously won Oscars for screenwriting: Parasite (Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won) and Schindler’s List (Steven Zaillian).

    • Minari (Lee Isaac Chung), Nomadland (Chloe Zhao), The White Tiger (Ramin Bahrani), and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Nina Pedrad) could become the third or fourth.

  • Five films with Black screenwriters have previously won Oscars for screenwriting: Get Out (Jordan Peele), Precious (Geoffrey Fletcher), 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley), Moonlight (Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins), BLacKkKlansman (Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee).

    • One Night in Miami (Kemp Powers) and Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, Keith Lucas) could become the sixth or seventh.

  • Judas and the Black Messiah would be the second film with a Latino screenwriter (Shaka King) to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay, after Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando Bó, Alexander Dinelaris Jr.).

  • Minari could become the sixth non-English language film to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, after Marie-Louise (Swiss German), The Red Balloon (French), Divorce Italian Style (Italian), A Man and a Woman (French), Talk to Her (Spanish), and Parasite (Korean).

    • No non-English language film has ever won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and none are nominated this year.

  • If Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), or Jena Friedman, Erica Rivinoja, and Nina Pedrad (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) win, they would become the first female screenwriters to win since 2007.

    • Zhao would be the ninth woman to win the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, after Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain), Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (A Room with a View, Howards End), Claudine West (Mrs. Miniver), Sarah Y. Mason (Little Women), and Frances Marion (The Big House).

    • Friedman, Rivinoja, and Pedrad would likewise become the ninth, tenth, and eleventh if their film wins.

    • Fennell would be the twelfth woman to win the Oscar for Original Screenplay, after Diablo Cody (Juno), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Jane Campion (The Piano), Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), Pamela Wallace (Witness), Nancy Dowd (Coming Home), Sonya Levien (Interrupted Melody), Edna Anhalt (Panic in the Streets), Muriel Box (The Seventh Veil), Eleanor Griffin (Boys Town), and Frances Marion (The Champ).

  • Both screenplay categories feature one previous winner: Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network).

    • If either one of them win, they will join a short list of 18 other writers to have won multiple screenwriting Oscars: Woody Allen (yikes), Charles Brackett, Robert Bolt, Paddy Chayefsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Horton Foote, Bo Goldman, William Goldman, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Alexander Payne, Mario Puzo, Michael Wilson, Alvin Sargent, George Seaton, Quentin Tarantino, and Billy Wilder.

  • Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), Florian Zeller (The Father) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) are all nominated for adapting their own previous work.

    • 16 other writers have won for adapting themselves before: Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), John Irving (The Cider House Rules), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade), Michael Blake (Dances with Wolves), Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy), Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons), Peter Shaffer (Amadeus), Ernest Thompson (On Golden Pond), Mario Puzo (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II), William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist), James Goldman (The Lion in Winter), Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons), Abby Mann (Judgment at Nuremberg), Pierre Boulle (The Bridge on the River Kwai), Paddy Chayefsky (Marty), and George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion).

  • Keith and Kenny Lucas (Judas and the Black Messiah) would be the fifth set of siblings to win Oscars for screenwriting, after Philip and Julius Epstein (Casablanca), Herman (Citizen Kane) and Joseph Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve), James (The Lion in Winter) and William Goldman (All the President’s Men), and Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo; No Country for Old Men).

    • Other family duos to have won screenwriting Oscars include Francis Ford Coppola (Patton; The Godfather; The Godfather Part II) and daughter Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), cousins Nicolas Giacobone and Armando Bo (Birdman), and husband-and-wife pairs Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King), Muriel and Sydney Box (The Seventh Veil), Edward and Edna Anhalt (Panic in the Streets), and Earl and Pamela Wallace (Witness).

Best International and Documentary Feature

  • Better Days would be the eighth Asian film to win Best International Feature, and the first from Hong Kong.

    • Better Days is Hong Kong’s third nominee for Best International Feature.

  • The Man Who Sold His Skin would be the fourth African film to win Best International Feature.

    • It is the first Tunisian film nominated in that category.

  • Another Round, Collective, or Quo Vadis, Aida? would be the fifty-eighth European film to win Best International Feature.

    • Another Round is the 13th nominee from Denmark, and would be the fourth Danish film to win.

      • This is Thomas Vinterberg's second nominated film in this category after 2012's The Hunt, which also starred Mads Mikkelsen.

    • Quo Vadis, Aida? is the second nominee from Bosnia and Herzgovina, and would be the first winner.

    • Collective is the first Romanian film nominated in any category at the Academy Awards.

  • Collective is the second film to be nominated for both Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature Film.

    • The first was Honeyland, from North Macedonia.

  • Ten non-English language films have won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

    • Collective (Romanian) or The Mole Agent (Spanish) would be the eleventh.

  • The Mole Agent is the sixth Documentary Feature nominee by Latin American filmmakers. Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibañez would be the first Latin American winners in that category.

    • Both Alberdi and Santibañez are from Chile.

  • Garrett Bradley and Lauren Domino (Time) would be the third Black winners of Best Documentary feature, after T.J. Martin (Undefeated) and Ezra Edelman (O.J.: Made in America).

  • Crip Camp is the second film from Higher Ground Productions, the production company founded by Barack and Michelle Obama. The first was American Factory, which won the Oscar for Documentary Feature last year.

Animated Feature

  • This is the first year that two Pixar films (Onward and Soul) are nominated for Best Animated Feature in the same year.

    • Since the Animated Feature category was introduced in 2001, ten Pixar films have won: Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Inside Out, Coco, and Toy Story 4.

      • In fact, only three Pixar films have ever lost this award when nominated: Monsters Inc. (lost to Shrek), Cars (lost to Happy Feet), and Incredibles 2 (lost to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).

    • Pete Docter (Soul) is the most nominated individual in this category’s history, with four nominations. If he wins, it will be his third Oscar in this category—also a record.

  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is the fourth nominee in this category from claymation studio Aardman Animations.

    • It would be the second stop motion film to win, after fellow Aardman film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

  • Wolfwalkers is the fourth nominee in this category from Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon. It would be the first to win.

    • It would also be the second hand drawn animated film to win in this category, after Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away.

  • This is the first nomination in this category for Over the Moon director Glen Keane, who won the Animated Short Oscar in 2017 for Dear Basketball alongside the late Kobe Bryant.

    • Keane is a legendary animator: he was the lead character animator and designer for Disney's Ariel (The Little Mermaid), the Beast (Beauty and the Beast), and the title characters of Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tarzan.

  • Peilin Chou and Gennie Rim (Over the Moon) would be the second Asian winners in this category after Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away).

Best Original Score

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Soul, Mank) are the 33rd and 34th composers to be nominated twice in the same year. It happens more often than you’d think!

    • Of course, John Williams has done it the most—eleven times.

      • Williams is the second most nominated person in Academy history, with 52 nominations and five wins. The only person with more is Walt Disney with 59 nominations (and 22 wins!).

  • James Newton Howard (News of the World) has been nominated nine times across the Best Original Score and Song categories, but has never won either.

    • He has the third most nominations for a composer without a win, after Thomas Newman and Alex North, who both have 14.

  • If Terence Blanchard (Da 5 Bloods) or Jon Batiste (Soul) win, they would be only the third Black winners in the Best Score category

    • The other two Black winners in this category are Prince (Purple Rain) and Herbie Hancock (Round Midnight).

      • Pretty good company, if you ask me.

    • This is also the first time two Black composers have been nominated in the same year in this category.

  • Blanchard is also only the second Black composer to receive multiple nominations for Best Score after Quincy Jones.

  • Emile Mosseri (Minari) is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, which has turned out several Oscar nominees in recent years, including sound mixer Matt Chaeffer (Black Panther) and songwriters Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs).

    • Mosseri’s fellow nominee Terence Blanchard was a visiting scholar at Berklee from 2011-2015, and Dorothea Williams’s saxophone solos in Soul were played by Berklee professor Tia Fuller. Small world!

Best Original Song

  • Seven songs by Black songwriters have won the Oscar for Best Original Song. If “Fight For You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami) or “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7) win, they’ll be the eighth.

  • H.E.R., nominated for “Fight For You”, is the second Filipino-American nominated in this category, after two-time winner Robert Lopez (Frozen; Coco).

  • Sam Ashworth, nominated with Leslie Odom Jr. for “Speak Now,” also wrote nine songs on fellow nominee H.E.R.’s Grammy-nominated album I Used to Know Her.

  • Diane Warren has been nominated for Best Original Song twelve times without a win.

    • If she finally gets the trophy for “Io sì (Seen)” from The Life Ahead, it will be the fourth song with non-English lyrics to win this award after the title song from Never on Sunday, “Al otro lado del río” from The Motorcyle Diaries, and “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire.

  • Warren’s co-writer Laura Pausini is the sixth Italian nominee for Best Original Song.

    • She would be the second to win, after Giorgio Moroder (“Flashdance… What a Feeling” from Flashdance; “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun).

  • Rickard Göransson and Fat Max Gsus (“Husavik”, from Eurovision Song Contest) are the third set of Nordic nominees for Best Original Song, and would be the first to win. Both are Swedish.

    • Iceland’s Bjork and Sjon and Denmark’s Lars von Trier were nominated for “I’ve Seen It All” from Dancer in the Dark, and Swedes Max Martin and Shellback were nominated alongside Justin Timberlake for “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls.

    • As far as I can tell, Rickard Göransson is not related to Oscar winning composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther).

  • If Leslie Odom Jr. wins for "Speak Now" from One Night in Miami, he will be 3/4 of the way to EGOT status.

    • He won Tony and Grammy Awards for Hamilton, so he'll just be missing the Emmy.

    • Nobody up for an Oscar this year can complete an EGOT by winning.

Best Film Editing

  • If Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) wins for Best Film Editing, she will be only the third director to have won an Oscar for editing her own film, after James Cameron (Titanic) and Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity).

    • Six other directors have been nominated for editing their own films: David Lean (A Passage to India), Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo; No Country for Old Men), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), and Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).

    • Zhao is the first Asian woman nominated for Best Film Editing.

Best Cinematography

  • Only eight Westerns have won the Oscar for Best Cinematography: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Shane, Hud, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, There Will Be Blood, and The Revenant.

    • This year, News of the World or Nomadland could become the ninth (depending on how you define "Westerns")

  • Nominees Dariusz Wolski (News of the World) and Sean Bobbitt (Judas and the Black Messiah) received their first nominations this year—but both of them have lensed Best Picture nominees before!

    • Wolski works often with director Ridley Scott, including on Best Picture nominee The Martian.

    • Bobbitt, meanwhile, is known for his work with Steve McQueen. He shot McQueen's Best Picture winning film 12 Years a Slave.

  • Erik Messerschmidt is nominated this year for Mank, which is his first film as Director of Photography.

  • Joshua James Richards has been the director of photography on all of director Chloé Zhao's films, including Nomadland, for which he received his first nomination.

  • Phedon Papamichael (The Trial of the Chicago 7) is the only repeat nominee in this year's field. He was previously nominated for Nebraska in 2013.

  • This is the third year in a row and the seventh time in the past decade that a black-and-white film (Mank) is nominated for Best Cinematography.

    • Previous black-and-white nominees and in this category in the last 10 years include The Lighthouse, Cold War, Roma, Ida, Nebraska, and The Artist.

      • Of those, only Roma won.

Best Sound

  • Soul is the ninth animated film to be nominated for Best Sound.

    • The others are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Toy Story 3. Only The Incredibles won in this category.

  • Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, and Carlos Cortes (Sound of Metal) would be the first Latino/a winners in the Best Sound category.

    • The only previous Latino nominees in Best Sound are Fernando Cámara (Apocalypto) and José Antonio García (Argo; Roma).

  • Ren Klyce, who received his eighth and ninth nominations this year for Mank and Soul, would be the first Asian winner in Best Sound.

    • He is one of only two Asian nominees in Best Sound, along with Iranian-American Kami Asgar (Apocalypto).

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Mia Neal and Jameika Wilson (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) are the first Black nominees for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

    • Their co-nominee Sergio Lopez-Rivera would be the third Spaniard to win in this category, after David Martí and Montse Ribé (Pan's Labyrinth).

  • Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti (Pinocchio) are the 8th and 9th Italians nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. If they win, they’d be the third set of Italian winners in this category after Manlio Rocchetti (Driving Miss Daisy) and Alessandro Bertolazzi and Giorgio Gregorini (Suicide Squad).

Best Live Action Short and Documentary Short

  • If Travon Free (Two Distant Strangers) wins for Best Live Action Short Film, he will be the first Black winner in that category.

  • Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan (A Love Song for Latasha) are the first Black women nominated for Best Documentary Short.

    • If they or Kris Bowers (A Concerto is a Conversation) win, it will be the second time that award goes to a Black filmmaker.

Best Visual Effects

  • Tenet would be the third Christopher Nolan film to win in this category, after Inception and Interstellar.

  • Mulan is the third live-action remake of a Disney animated film to be nominated in this category, after Alice in Wonderland and The Lion King.

Best Production Design

  • Mank is the third black-and-white film nominated in this category since 2010, after The Artist and Roma. Neither won.

    • Mank production designer Donald Graham Burt previously won this award for another David Fincher film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. His co-nominee, set decorator Jan Pascale, was previously nominated for her work on another black-and-white film: George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck.

  • This is Tenet production designer Nathan Crowley's sixth nomination, and his fifth for a Christopher Nolan film. He has yet to win.

Best Costume Design

  • If Ann Roth (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) wins the Oscar for Best Costume Design at age 89, she will be the oldest woman in history to win an Oscar.

    • But, she will fall just shy of the all-time record. Best Adapted Screenplay winner James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name) was just three months older than Roth is now when he won his Oscar.

    • This is Roth's fifth nomination—she previously won for The English Patient.

    • Roth is also an accomplished costume designer for the theatre. She has been nominated for twelve Tony Awards, winning once.

  • Alexandra Byrne (Emma.) has been nominated six times. She previously won for Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

  • Massimo Cantini Parrini (Pinocchio) is the 15th Italian nominated for Best Costume Design. If he wins, he would be the seventh Italian designer to win an Oscar in this category.

    • The previous Italian winners in this category are Piero Gherardi (La Dolce Vita; 8 ½), Vittorio Nino Novarese (Cleopatra; Cromwell), Danilo Donati (Romeo and Juliet; Fellini’s Casanova), Milena Canonero (Barry Lyndon; Chariots of Fire; Marie Antoinette; The Grand Budapest Hotel), Franca Squarciapino (Cyrano de Bergerac); and Gabriella Pescucci (The Age of Innocence).

  • Mulan (Bina Daigeler) is the fourth live-action remake of a Disney animated film to be nominated in this category.

    • The previous nominees were Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood), Cinderella (Sandy Powell), and Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran). Only Alice won.

  • Mank (Trish Summerville) is the first black-and-white film nominated in this category since 2011's The Artist.

A Fun Fact:

  • Chloe Zhao has four nominations this year: Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and Film Editing. If she wins them all, she will be only the second person ever to win four Oscars in one ceremony.

    • The first and only other was Walt Disney in 1954.

      • Bong Joon-ho technically won "only" three Oscars for Parasite last year because the Best International Feature Oscar is officially credited to the submitting country, not the director.

        • But that’s a dumb rule, so for my purposes, he also counts.

    • Only four other women have won multiple Oscars at the same ceremony:

      • Kathryn Bigelow (Picture and Director for The Hurt Locker in 2009)

      • Fran Walsh (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Original Song for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003)

      • Catherine Martin (Costume Design and Production Design for Moulin Rouge! in 2001 and The Great Gatsby in 2013)

      • Edith Head (Costume Design for All About Eve and Samson and Delilah in 1950)

This is far from a comprehensive list, but it just goes to show that every year at the Oscars generates reams of new trivia facts, some of which inevitably make history.

Which is your favorite new fun fact? Did we miss something or get a detail wrong? Let us know in the comments, and happy Oscar season!


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