In the unlikely event that the Oscar for Best Actor goes to someone else, there is still a lot of history to be made. Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) would become the oldest man to win in this category, and at 83 he is already the longest-running nominee for best actor of all time. “Sound of Metal” star Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim to be nominated for Best Actor, and “Minari” Patriarch Steven Yeun is the first Asian American; if either wins, it would make their cultural breakthroughs even more resonant.
The inclusion of Viola Davis and Andra Day (“United States vs. Billie Holiday”) in the Best Actress race represents only the second time in Oscar history that the category has featured more than one black contender; the last time was in 1973, when Cicely Tyson was nominated for “Sounder” and Diana Ross for “Lady Sings the Blues” (and like Day, Ross also played Billie Holiday). If Davis wins this year, she would become the second black actress after Halle Berry to win in this category.
Two wins for Davis and Boseman would also make ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ the eighth film to win both Oscars – an unsuccessful feat since 1997’s ‘As Good as It Gets’ – and the first to do so without a better – nominee. ‘picture. This snub seems especially glaring now since the film is well positioned for two more wins, both of which would also make history: Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson could become the first black women to win the Oscar in makeup and hair, while that the 89- year-old costume designer Ann Roth is on track to become the oldest woman to win an Oscar.
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
The supporting actor race never featured three black nominees in the same year, nor two black nominees from the same film (Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield from “Judas and the Black Messiah”). The other Black nominee, “One Night in Miami” star Leslie Odom Jr., was also nominated for Best Song, a once rare double dip that has now occurred in each of the past four years. , with Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet”, Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born” and Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound” complete the list.
Speaking of twice at the Oscars, Olivia Colman won the award for Best Actress just two years ago for “The Favorite”, and if she gets a statue for “The Father” (she’s ready for the actress support), she would become one of the fastest actresses to grab two Oscars: Only Katharine Hepburn and Luise Rainer did it faster, with back-to-back wins. If the Oscar-supporting actress went to Yuh-Jung Youn instead, she would be the first Korean actor to win an Oscar.
And then there’s Glenn Close, nominated for Supporting Actress for “Hillbilly Elegy.” Close is already the only actress to earn seven winless nominations, and if she loses again this year, she will tie Peter O’Toole’s record of eight winless nominations for the actress. (O’Toole at least received an honorary non-competitive Oscar in 2002, when he was younger than Close, 74.)
Close’s closest victory was probably two years ago for “The Wife”, when she lost the Oscar for Best Actress to … well, Olivia Colman. And Close was almost forced into a face-to-face with yet another Oscars ghost this year, when Jodie Foster won the Golden Globe for Supporting Actress for “The Mauritanian” and was almost on the lineup. Oscars too: in 1989, it was Foster’s performance in “The Accused” that prevailed over Close’s in “Dangerous Liaisons”.