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New Oscar Trivia, courtesy of this season's nominations

by Nathaniel R

We just called to say we love you!With each new year's nominations, new trivia or follow-up stat discussions can emerge. Here are some things we noticed straightaway this morning. If you have any suggestions, do tell!


• With Glenn Close's seventh nomination for acting at 71, she is now the 8th oldest nominee in that category ever, and THE most-nominated actress who has never won. Meanwhile Amy Adams, with her sixth nomination if she loses, takes Glenn Close's previous spot in a three way tie with 1950s mainstays Thelma Ritter and Deborah Kerr for 'most noms for an actress ever without a competitive win'. Related: OUR CHAT WITH GLENN LAST MONTH

• If Glenn Close wins in February for The Wife (2018), she'll become only the third leading actress over 70 to have won. The other two were 80 year old Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and 74 year old Katharine Hepburn for On Golden Pond (1981).

• Last year Mary J Blige became the first actor ever nominated for Best Original Song and acting in the same year! The very next year, Lady Gaga has repeated the trick with A Star is Born , so now there are two people who have done it. Note: Barbra Streisand is the only person to win for both songwriting and acting but she did it in two separate years...

Yalitza and Marina in "Roma"

• We believe but we don't yet have the clarification that Marina de Tavira is now the ONLY performer ever in the modern era to receive an Oscar nomination without a single notice from critics awards or precursors of any kind. Not a single one. And remember there are 40+ now. There were far fewer precursor awards in 2000 when Marcia Gay Harden stormed toward the Oscar for Pollock out of the blue significant precursor attention but she did have a smidgeon of precursor support. She was a Spirit nominee and she won one major prize: The NYFCC for Supporting Actress. 

Roma is only the second film in history to receive two acting nominations for foreign language performances. The first was Babel  (2006) which received two supporting actress nominations for Rinko Kikuchi (in Japanese sign language) and Adriana Barraza (a mix of English and Spanish).

Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio are only the 5th and 6th Mexican-born actresses to ever be nominated. Only one (Lupita Nyong'o) has ever won. Of the 11 Latin-American actresses nominated for acting Oscars to date, nobody has ever received a second nomination. Three Latin-American men, though, have been repeat nominees and winners (Benicio del Toro, Anthony Quinn, and Jose Ferrer) 


• This is the first time Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) has been nominated for a performance in which he didn't go full frontal. He had complete nude scenes (rare for male actors) in both of his previous leading actor nomination (Captain Fantastic and Eastern Promises)

• We believe but have not yet verified that Rami Malek is the only the second actor of Egyptian descent to be nominated. The first was Omar Shariff for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 


Best Director / Best Picture split wins have become almost the norm since the expansion of the Best Picture ballots in 2009. In the last 9 years, there has been a split 4 times. If we split again this year (which we seem likely to with both A Star is Born and Green Book missing the Director field) it will be a 50% statistic moving forward. 

• With Roma's Best Picture nomination, producer Gabriela Rodriguez becomes the first Latina woman to have ever been nominated in that category.

• While Alfonso Cuarón did not break the record some were expecting him to in terms of most nominations in a single year (he missed in Film Editing), he does tie Warren Beatty's record with his four nominations for Roma.  (We don't understand why Oscar doesn't count the foreign film prize as being an official nomination for the director, but they don't). Warren Beatty accomplished the four nominations for one film twice in his career with both Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981). The most nominations in a single year is still Walt Disney (6 nominations for 1953 albeit for different films)

Roma has now tied Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon so Ang Lee's wuxia masterpiece has to share the title of "most nominated foreign language film of all time". They each received 10 nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. Crouching Tiger shares the record of "most wins for a foreign language film" with Fanny And Alexander (1983). They each won 4 Oscars, so Roma will have to win 5 Oscars in February to best that record. We assume it has three nearly locked up (Director, Foreign, Cinematography) but the others will be harder wins.

Jordan Peele, who produced BlacKkKlansman, is the first African American to receive two nominations for Best Picture. He was previously nominated in the category just last year for Get Out

• With their respective nominations for the screenplays to BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk, Spike Lee and Barry Jenkins are now the most nominated black screenwriters ever. They've each been nominated twice.  


• With Never Look Away, Germany receives its 20th nomination, surpassing Spain to become the third most honored country ever in the foreign language category. Germany has won 3 times. Numbers #1 and #2 of all time in the Foreign Film race are Italy (28 nominations / 11 wins / 3 honoraries) and France (37 nominations / 9 wins / 3 honoraries)


• With her nomination for Black Panther, costume designer Ruth E Carter ties Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer to be the most nominated black woman of all time at the Oscars. They've each been up three times for the prize. Both Viola and Octavia have won before but Ruth has yet to win. 

Ruth E Carter and Sandy Powell, celebrated costume designers

• With her double nominations for Mary Poppins Returns and The Favourite, Sandy Powell now holds the record of most double-nominations in any one category for a woman. This is her THIRD time being double-nominated in Costume Design. With her 14th nomination, Sandy Powell is now the fourth most-nominated Costume Designer of all Time and the only one of the top four not to have the benefit of TWO costume design categories to get them there (they used to have one for black and white films and one for color films). A few men have multiple years of double or even triple nods (like Walt Disney and composer Alan Menken)

• This is only the second time in Oscar history that the Cinematography category has been dominated by foreign language films with Cold War, Roma, and Never Look Away all nominated. The only other time that three have made it into the category was 2004 (The Passion of the Christ, A Very Long Engagement, and House of Flying Daggers... curiously none of those three in the earlier record were Best Foreign Language Film nominees!).

Diane Warren was already the most nominated songwriter never to have won but she received her 10th nomination today, upping her record. Her nearest rival in most nominated songs without a win is a guy named Mac David (1912-1993) who was nominated in the category 8 times without winning. Some of his most famous songs to be nominated were "Bibbiddi-Bobbidi-Boo" from Cinderella, and the title songs for Cat Ballou and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. Related Post: MIDDLEBURG'S DIANE WARREN TRIBUTE

Franchise Fatigue? This is the first time since 2007 that a Potterverse movie has been shut out of any Oscar recognition. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald failed to secure the usual Potter nomination (Best Production Design) and Colleen Atwood failed to follow up her Costume Design win for the previous film in the franchise with another nomination. Usually once Oscar gets bored with a series, they don't show up again unless there's a long break.  Take the case of Spider-Man, the first two films (2002 and 2004) were honored with nomination but the third missed any nominations and they've skipped all of the reboots and sequels since. The spin-off Into the Spider-Verse is the first time they've shown interest in the webslinger again. Or take the case of Pirates of the Caribbean or Transformers. Both of those series were regulars in the craft categories until suddenly they weren't. 

• With his 6th surprise nomination for Cinematography for Never Look Away Caleb Deschanel becomes the most-nominated living cinematographer to have never won. The record for most noms without a win ever in that category is George J Folsey's 13 nominations. Folsey used to share that record with Roger Deakins but Deakins finally won last year on his 14th nomination (Blade Runner 2049). And, yes, Caleb Deschanel is the father of the actresses Zooey and Emily Deschanel. Related: MORE ON THE FOLSEY & DEAKINS PREVIOUS RECORD

Hannah Beachler  (Black Panther) is the first black person ever, man or woman, to be nominated in Best Production Design. 


• With nominations for both Bao, One Small Step, and Weekends in Animated Short Film, this is the first time THREE   films by Asian filmmakers have been nominated in the category (Domi Shee, Bobby Pontillas, and Trevor Jimenez respectively). In fact, there had never been a time with two Asian filmmakers competing in this category together let alone three.  Here's an awesome Instagram post from Bobby Pontillas reacting to his nomination

Can you think of any others? We'll add them.  



P.S. Sign up for our newsletter which we'll be relaunching this week, if you dont wanna miss anything going forward related to Oscar and beyond...


Related Articles: 
• 12 things we learned from the noms
• Adams vs Weisz, Round Two
• Best Picture Silliness
• Mourning the Snubs
• How to Stage the Original Song Performances
• Nomination Index (individual charts still being updated)


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Reader Comments (115)

I haven't researched it but the Music Branch used to have over a dozen nominees in each category (including Song) so I wouldn't be surprised if there were lots of double - or more - nominees in these categories each year. Also Cinematography and Art Direction had a staggering number of nominees for several years.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Nat, are you omitting Deborah Kerr because of her honorary? She received 6 nominations, didn't she?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

I don't know if it's a record, but I'd like to note that Sam Elliott received his first acting nomination 51 years after his wife received her first (and only).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

ken s., you're right. Alan Menken has 2 double-nominations(1989, 1993) and 2 triple-nominations (1992, 2008) in Best Song. It's not technically 3 double-nominations like Powell has, but in total are 4 times being nominated more than once in the same category in the same year.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterlois

How many people have scored a Best Leading Actress nomination for their debut? Surely Yalitza joins a pretty elite club there?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Surely this has to be the year with the most nominations for LGBT characters? I'm counting 7. At least one in each category.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

It’s the first time there have been two acting nominations from the same foreign lanaguage film, and only the second time there’s been a Best Supporting Actress nominee from a foreign language film. Valentina Cortese was the first in Day For Night, 1974.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Wouldn’t Walt Disney hold the double nominee record?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Jordan Peele is the first African American to be nominated for Best Picture twice (in back-to-back years, no less).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

The trivia is one of my favourite parts of nomination day and beyond)!

Couple of responses to the above:

John Williams has been double-nominated in Original Score five times (1977, 1984, 1987, 2005, 2011).

The Cinematography is evenly split between Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture, as Roma is nominated in the latter (alongside The Favourite and A Star is Born) as well as in the former (alongside Cold War and Never Look Away).


I think Roma is the first film not in the English language to get multiple acting nods.

Bradley Cooper becomes the latest in a semi-regular pattern of directors who get nominated for GG, BFCA, DGA and BAFTA but not the Oscar, joining Paul Greengrass (2013), Ridley Scott (2015) and Martin McDonagh (2017).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

"Meanwhile Amy Adams, with her sixth nomination if she loses, takes Glenn Close's previous spot in a tie with 1950s mainstay Thelma Ritter for 'most noms for an actress ever without a win'."

You missed mentioning Deborah Kerr who was nominated six times and never won.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHarmodio

The Favourite becomes the third film to score three actress nominations either in lead or supporting, after Mrs Miniver and The Turning Point. All About Eve is the champ with 4 actresses nominated.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) is the first African-American nominated in the Best Animated Feature category.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

Two actors, I believe, have been nominated for playing Vincent Van Gogh: Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate) and Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Yes, Walt Disney had double nominations in the same category around 11 times. Also, in two different categories for his films of 1953.

He also had four nominations in one category for 1938. That record will never be broken.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArlo


Not to poop on your parade, but it happens way more often than you think.
This is actually the 20th time a film has three Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress nominees

The Favourite
The Help
Working Girl
The Color Purple
The Turning Point
Tom Jones
Peyton Place
The Bad Seed
All About Eve (4)
Come to the Stable
I Remember Mama
Gentleman's Agreement
Mildred Pierce
The Song of Bernadette
Mrs. Miniver
The Little Foxes
Gone with the Wind

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBen

"The Favourite becomes the third film to score three actress nominations either in lead or supporting"

What? This has happened numerous times. "Doubt," "The Help," etc.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I think that Sandy Powell double nomination stat might be wrong since John Williams has gotten double nominations so many times.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

Re: Edward L. on John Williams

He's actually been double-nominated for Best Score EIGHT times! In 1972, 1978, 1984, 1987, 1989, 2001, 2005, and 2011.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

brookesboy: Don't forget The Help and Doubt.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

@Arlo, yes, I noticed Mark Harris also tweeted about this, and pointed out that almost none of the movies are "issue" movies, which makes it even sweeter.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Thanks, Ben, that’s embarrassing. My brain was totally turned off! Great list!

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Said it in another thread but it's the third straight year a swedish movie is nominated in makeup & hairstyling

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNiklas83

@gwynn1984: Laurene Olivier - Wuthering Heights (1940), Joan Plowright - Enchanted April (1993). 53 years.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

First time since 2008 there are no "lone" Original Song nominees.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Let me just say, if Viggo Mortensen had done a full frontal Green Book would probably would've been a little more interesting.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteranon

Fun read! The Viggo Mortensen trivia is the only trivia I care. You know me so well!

Is the costume design the only category where you can double dip?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I don't have time to check the stats but has a category's two most recent winners ever been nominated together in that category a la Rockwell and Ali?

Also, it's fun to think of an alternate universe where The Front Runner and Ready Player One were better received, so that Rylance and Simmons made it the four most recent winners competing for the trophy.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

Thanks for including my trivia nugget on Viggo and his nudity.
Also is Adam Driver the first male actor associated with Star Wars to get nominated since Harrison Ford?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G

Mahershala Ali is only the third black actor after Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman to receive another nomination after previously winning.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I didn't see it in the post but it's reported that Hannah Beachler, nominated for Production Design for "Black Panther", is the first African American nominee in that category.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKristenCraze

I remember posting back in December that Marina de Tavira is my favourite thing in Roma. Stop doing what you're doing and find that comment. I need to look good.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

This is the first time two B&W movies are nominated for Best Cinematography since they combined color and B&W categories in 1966!

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I'm procrastinating at work so I made a list in alpha order of all the nominated feature films (excluding docs and shorts) and their U.S. theatrical release dates (from IMdB). Films in ALL CAPS are the Best Picture nominees. Hope it helps to come up with some cool trivia.

Number of releases nominated from each month:
Jan 0
Feb 1
Mar 1
Apr 3
May 2
Jun 1
Jul 0
Aug 3
Sep 0
Oct 4
Nov 10
Dec 7

Avengers: Infinity Wars Apr 27

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Nov 9




Border Oct 26

Can You Ever Forgive Me? Oct 19

Capernaum Dec 14

Christopher Robin Aug 3

Cold War Dec 21

At Eternity’s Gate Nov 16


First Man Oct 12

First Reformed May 18


If Beale Street Could Talk Dec 14

The Incredibles 2 Jun 15

Isle of Dogs Apr 13

Mary Poppins Returns Dec 19

Mary Queen of Scots Dec 14

Mirai Nov 30

Never Look Away nov 30

A Quiet Place Apr 6

Ralph Breaks the Internet Nov 21

Ready Player One Mar 29

ROMA Nov 21

Shoplifters Nov 23

Solo: A Star Wars Story May 25

Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse Dec 14


VICE Dec 25

The Wife Aug 17

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Is Rami Malek is only the second actor of Egyptian/Arab descent after Omar Sharif to get an acting nomination?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Did Marisa Tomei in MY COUSIN VINNY get any other prescusor award?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatagonia

Two Best Director nominees have been included for foreign-language films for the first time since 1976

Christian Bale and Amy Adams receive nominations for performances opposite each other in the same film for the third time in their careers (after "The Fighter" and "American Hustle") ... unprecedented?

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Peggy Sue -- no, you can double dip in any category other than acting categories where that's not allowed.

January 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Brian -- oooh, good one. Not sure how to look that up but i'll try. It might have happened regularly in the 40s under the old hollywood system though when co-stars were regularly repaired.

January 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Steve: Thanks!

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Patagonia -- she was at least mentioned. The Chicago Film Critics nominated her and something called The American Comedy Awards which ran for just under 20 years but closed up in 2013 or something.

January 22, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yalitza Aparicio is the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for an Academy Award and second Mexican woman nominated for Best Actress in a leading role.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJones

@Michael C.

I looked into your question about the two previous winners competing against each other in an acting category, and I found that it has happened a few times, but not in almost 75 years.

Best Actor
1932/33 - Charles Laughton
1934 - Clark Gable
1935 - both lost to Victor McLaglen

Best Actress
1932/33 - Katharine Hepburn
1934 - Claudette Colbert
1935 - both lost to Bette Davis

Best Actress
1941 - Joan Fontaine
1942 - Greer Garson
1943 - both lost to Jennifer Jones

Interestingly, it did once happen with winners of 3 consecutive competing against each other in the fourth year...

Best Actress
1942 - Greer Garson
1943 - Jennifer Jones
1944 - Ingrid Bergman
1945 - all 3 lost to Joan Crawford

This is the first time it's happened in the supporting categories (where people repeat far less often).

In fact, Sam Rockwell is the first Supporting Actor winner to be nominated in the category the following year since Jason Robards won back-to-back awards in 1976 and 1977. Previous to that it had only happened once before (Walter Brennan 1940-41).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

Peter Ramsey is the first black filmmaker to be nominated for animated feature (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Is the first time that a mexican actress is nominated for a mexican film in both leading and supporting category.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

@Patagonia: IMDB says she got the Awards Circuit Community Award, a most promising from Chicago and nominated for supporting at Chicago as well. Also a breakthrough award from MTV. I think at least the Chicago combo may count for something.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Barry Jenkins and Spike Lee are the first black screenwriters to be repeat nominees in the writing categories.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

As far as I know neither Marina de Tavira nor Yalitza Aparicio had received any precursor awards at all. Are there any other past nominees (in our modern era of 40+ acting awards) for whom the same was true? I seem to recall Demian Bichir getting a totally of-of-left-field Best Actor nom for A Better Life back in 2011, but I can't think of anyone else.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Tommy Lee Jones' nomination for In the Valley of Elah has to be the most out-of-left-field nomination of all time.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Rob, I remember Laura Linney’s nomination for The Savages in 2007 was similarly shocking.

January 22, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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