In the unlikely occasion that the best-actor Oscar goes to another person, there’s nonetheless lots of historical past to be made. Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) would turn out to be the oldest man to prevail on this class, and at 83, he’s already the oldest best-actor nominee ever. The “Sound of Metal” star Riz Ahmed is the primary Muslim to be nominated for greatest actor, and the “Minari” patriarch Steven Yeun is the primary Asian-American; if both wins, that will make their cultural breakthroughs much more resonant.
The inclusion of Viola Davis and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) within the best-actress race represents solely the second time in Oscar historical past that the class has featured a couple of Black contender; the final time was 1973, when Cicely Tyson was nominated for “Sounder” and Diana Ross for “Lady Sings the Blues” (and like Day, Ross was additionally enjoying Billie Holiday). If Davis wins this yr, she would turn out to be the second Black actress after Halle Berry to prevail on this class.
Dual wins for Davis and Boseman would additionally make “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” the eighth film to take each lead-acting Oscars — a feat not managed since 1997’s “As Good as It Gets” — and the primary to ever do it with out a best-picture nomination. That snub feels particularly egregious now for the reason that movie is well-positioned for 2 different wins, each of which might additionally make historical past: Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson could turn out to be the primary Black ladies to win the Oscar for make-up and hairstyling, whereas the 89-year-old costume designer Ann Roth is poised to turn out to be the oldest lady to ever win an Oscar.
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
The supporting-actor race has by no means earlier than featured three Black nominees in the identical yr, nor two Black nominees from the identical movie (Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield from “Judas and the Black Messiah”). The different Black nominee, the “One Night in Miami” star Leslie Odom Jr., was additionally nominated within the best-song class, a once-rare double dip that has now occurred every of the final 4 years, with Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet,” Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born” and Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound” rounding out the listing.
Speaking of Oscar two-timers, Olivia Colman gained greatest actress simply two years in the past for “The Favourite,” and if she will get a statue for “The Father” (she’s up for supporting actress) she’ll turn out to be one of the speediest actresses to nab two Oscars: Only Katharine Hepburn and Luise Rainer have achieved it sooner, with back-to-back wins. If the supporting-actress Oscar as an alternative goes to Yuh-Jung Youn, she’d be the primary Korean actor to ever win an Academy Award.
And then there’s Glenn Close, nominated for supporting actress for “Hillbilly Elegy.” Close is already the one actress to earn seven nominations with no win, and if she loses once more this yr, she’s going to tie Peter O’Toole’s document of eight winless nominations for performing. (O’Toole was at the least given a noncompetitive, honorary Oscar in 2002, when he was youthful than the 74-year-old Close is now.)
The closest Close has come to profitable was most likely two years in the past for “The Wife,” when she misplaced the best-actress Oscar to … nicely, Olivia Colman. And Close was practically pressured right into a face-off with one other ghost from Oscars previous this yr, when Jodie Foster gained the supporting-actress Golden Globe for “The Mauritanian” and really practically made the Oscar lineup, too: Back in 1989, it was Foster’s efficiency in “The Accused” that prevailed over Close’s in “Dangerous Liaisons.”