The road to the 2019 Oscars has been a wild one, with some of the closest races for the top prizes, plenty of controversy and much discussion over how diversity and inclusion will play out among the nominees.
On Tuesday, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kumail Nanjiani presented the official nominees for the 91st Academy Awards, and like every year before, there were plenty of surprises and snubs. But there were also a number of historic moments and major milestones achieved by the list of contenders, including the fourth remake of A Star Is Born, Marvel’s Black Panther, Netflix’s Roma, performers Lady Gaga and Yalitza Aparicio, and director Spike Lee.
With so many achievements among the nominees, the upcoming Oscars could certainly prove to be one for the record books, when the awards are handed out live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, Feb. 24 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Below is a breakdown of all the major milestones and notable nominations this year:
1. Black Panther Is the First Superhero Movie Nominated for Best Picture
No superhero film — not even Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed The Dark Knight, which garnered Heath Ledger a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar — has managed to crack the top prize until now. Black Panther’s nomination represents a major milestone for superhero/comic book movies, which are often not considered credible enough to compete in the category despite their huge box office success.
2. Roma Scores 10 Oscar Nominations, Tying for Most for a Foreign Language Film
Alfonso Cuaron’s Spanish-language Netflix film earned 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, tying with Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which previously earned 10 nominations in 2001. This also marks Netflix’s first nomination for the Academy Awards’ top prize.
3. Yalitza Aparicio Is First Latin Woman to Be Nominated for Best Actress in 14 Years
The breakout star of Roma and Mexican actress garnered a well-earned nomination, marking the first time a Latina performer has been nominated for Best Actress since Catalina Sandino Moreno was recognized in 2005 for Maria Full of Grace. Aparicio is also the second Mexican-born actress after Salma Hayek and only the fourth Latin or Hispanic woman to be nominated in the category overall. Aparicio’s Roma co-star Marina de Tavira was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
4. Spike Lee Earns First Best Director Oscar Nomination for BlacKkKlansman
After years of snubs, the acclaimed filmmaker finally earned a nomination for the Best Director prize for the first time in his career. He’s now the sixth black man to be nominated in the category behind John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood), Lee Daniels (Precious), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Jordan Peele (Get Out). Lee was previously nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Do the Right Thing and Best Documentary Feature for directing 4 Little Girls and was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2015. Lee also earned a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay this year.
5. The Favourite Makes History With 3 Female Oscar-Nominated Roles
The film, which earned acting noms for Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, joins a coveted list of movies to garner three or more acting nominations for its female stars. The 19 previous films to achieve this are Gone With the Wind, The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, The Song of Bernadette, Mildred Pierce, Gentleman’s Agreement, I Remember Mama, Come to the Stable, Pinky, All About Eve, The Bad Seed, Peyton Place, Tom Jones, The Turning Point, The Color Purple, Working Girl, Chicago, Doubt and The Help. The film scored 10 Oscar nominations in total.
6. Lady Gaga Becomes the Third Lead Actress Nominated for A Star Is Born
Prior to Gaga, Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland were nominated for the Best Actress award for playing the lead — Esther — in the first two versions of the film. In Gaga’s version, the character is changed to Ally. (Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand was overlooked in the 1976 remake.)
7. Lady Gaga Is a Double Oscar Nominee for A Star Is Born
The performer earned Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Original Song for the hit film. She is the second person behind Mary J. Blige, who was recognized for her work in Mudbound, to be nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year. If she wins either Oscar, she will be halfway to an EGOT.
8. Kendrick Lamar Earns First Oscar Nomination for Black Panther Song
The rapper’s “All the Stars,” which he performs with Sza, was nominated for Best Original Song, making him one of the few rappers — Eminem, Common, M.I.A. and Three 6 Mafia — nominated in the category.
9. Composer Marc Shaiman Is Now Eligible for an EGOT With Latest Oscar Nomination
The longtime composer is nominated for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Mary Poppins Returns. He previously won an Emmy, GRAMMY and Tony, putting him on track for the coveted EGOT title.