With her Best Supporting Actress nod for her work in The Shape of Water, Octavia Spencer became the first African-American actress to earn back-to-back Oscar nominations, and she officially tied with Viola Davis as the most nominated black actress in Oscars history (both have three nods).
However, if she wins on Sunday, Spencer will officially become the most decorated African-American actress in the Academy’s history, having previously won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Help.
Rachel Morrison, the director of photography for Best Picture nominee Mudbound is the first woman to ever receive a nomination for Best Cinematography. Thus, if she wins big on Oscar night, she will become the first woman to take home the honor. By default, Morrison is also the first LGBT woman to be nominated for her cinematography. (Oh, and for the record, she also shot Black Panther, because she’s just that cool.)
MARY J. BLIGE
Though she is up against some fierce competition in the Best Supporting Actress category — including Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf — Mary J. Blige has already earned herself a place in the history books. Between her performance in Mudbound and the original song, “Mighty River,” that she wrote for the film, she is the first person to ever be nominated for both acting and songwriting in a single year.
One Oscar nominee breaking his own records? Christopher Plummer, who at 88 years old, became the oldest actor ever nominated for a competitive Oscar, breaking the record that he set in 2012 at the age of 83.
His win that year — for his performance in Beginners — made him the oldest actor to win an Oscar. Could he break that record this year? We’ll have to wait and find out.
However, the title of oldest competitive Oscar nominee goes to director Agnes Varga, who at the age of 89, is nominated for Best Documentary Feature for her film, Faces Places. The doc is considered to be that category’s frontrunner, and a win would make Varga the oldest-ever Oscar winner.
Yance Ford — whose film, Strong Island, is up for the Best Documentary Feature — is the first out trans director to ever be nominated in the film’s 90-year history. “I think that everybody out there should know that there is a generation of trans directors who are coming for their Oscars,” Ford told EW after his nomination. “So this might be the first, but it certainly won’t be the last.”
With her Best Actress nomination for The Post, Meryl Streep broke the record for the most nominated performer in Oscars history — a record that she, herself, had set. For the record, she’s officially up to 21 Oscar nominations, although we’re sure that number will keep climbing.
John Williams broke his own record this year by earning his 51st Academy Award nomination (yes, you read that correctly) for his Star Wars: The Last Jedi score. No other filmmaker or musician has come close to breaking Williams’ record thus far —not even Meryl Streep.
Though Netflix has been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category in the past, 2018 marks the first year the streaming service has managed to have a film nominated for Best Picture. That movie, Mudbound, earned an impressive four nominations this year, and could see Netflix becoming the first streaming service to produce a Best Picture winner.
BONUS: KOBE BRYANT
Kobe Bryant has broken plenty of records on the basketball court, but if his film, Dear Basketball, takes home the prize for Best Documentary Short, he would officially become the first former NBA player to win an Oscar. (Sadly, Shaquille O’Neal was overlooked for his work in Kazaam.)
BONUS: JORDAN PEELE
Jordan Peele — who is nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and as a producer of Get Out, which is up for Best Picture — could make history if he takes home the top prize for directing. He’s only the fifth black filmmaker to earn a nomination in that exclusive category, but even if he does not win, he can still enjoy the distinction of being the first black filmmaker to earn nominations for producing, directing and writing in the same year (also known as the Big Three).