2024 Oscar Firsts: Lily Gladstone, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg Make History

Other notable nominations included Colman Domingo, John Williams and “20 Days in Mariupol”

Lily Gladstone
Getty Images

The 96th annual Oscar nominations were revealed Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. And the newest lineup featured a number of historic milestones. Among them this year:

Best Picture

◦  Two producers of Best Picture nominees (Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper) were also nominated for acting. The only person to ever win for producing and acting in the same year is Frances McDormand for 2020’s “Nomadland.”

◦  With his 13th nomination, Steven Spielberg has extended his record as the most nominated producer ever for “Maestro.” It marks Spielberg’s 25th nomination overall.

◦  With Best Picture nomination for “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig is the first director ever to have her first three solo feature films (“Lady Bird,” Little Women,” “Barbie”) nominated for Best Picture.

◦  Independent film pioneer Christine Vachon (“Past Lives”) received her first ever nomination after a three-decade career that’s included “Kids,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Far From Heaven,” “Still Alice,” “Carol,” and this year’s “May December.”

◦  A record three Best Picture nominees (“Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “Past Lives”) were directed by women.

◦  A record three Best Picture nominees are either predominantly or entirely in a language other than English (“Anatomy of a Fall,” “Past Lives,” “The Zone of Interest”).

Acting categories

◦  Best Actress nominee Lily Gladstone (“Killer of the Flower Moon”) is the first Native American acting nominee.

◦  Gladstone is the second Native American nominee in any category, after Buffy Saint-Marie, who won for Best Song in 1983, and the fourth Indigenous person nominated for Best Actress after Merle Oberon (part Maori), Keisha Castle-Hughes (Maori) and Yalitza Aparicio (Mixtec and Trique). Chief Dan George and Graham Greene were indigenous Canadian nominees in the supporting actor category. Taika Waititi (Best Adapted Screenplay, 2019) and Sainte-Marie are the only Indigenous winners.

◦  The 29 year gap between nominations for Jodie Foster (“Nyad”) ties Angela Bassett (1993-2022) as the third longest among actresses. Foster was last nominated for 1994’s “Nell.” Helen Hayes (39 years) and Lynn Redgrave (32 years) lead the list among actresses.

◦  Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown’s nominations for “America Fiction” are the first time that a Black lead actor was nominated alongside a Black supporting actor from the same film.

◦  Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”) is the 20th actor to direct himself to a nomination. And the first since himself for 2018’s “A Star is Born.”

◦  Colman Domingo (“Rustin”) is second openly gay Best Actor nominee and the first since Ian McKellen was nominated for 1998’s “Gods and Monsters.”

◦  Domingo and Foster’s nominations mark the first time that two openly gay actors were nominated for playing LGBTQ characters.

◦  After only two nominees in the categories last year were for biopics (“Elvis” and “Blonde”), this year is a return to Academy form, with 10 actors – half of the total lineup – nominated for playing real people.

◦  Both actresses who have played Sofia in film versions of “The Color Purple” – Danielle Brooks in 2023 and Oprah Winfrey in 1985 – received Oscar nominations.

Best Director

◦  Martin Scorsese, 81, is the eldest nominee for Best Director ever and the first octogenarian. “Prizzi’s Honor” director John Huston, then 79, has held the record since 1986.

◦  With his 10th nomination, Scorsese is alone in second place behind William Wyler (12 noms) as the most nominated director, breaking a tie with Steven Spielberg. Scorsese has earned 16 total career nominations for directing, writing, and producing.

◦  Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”) is the eighth woman nominated for Best Director and the first Frenchwoman.

Cinematography

◦  Four out of five films were shot entirely (“El Conde”) or partially (“Oppenheimer,” “Poor Things,” “Maestro”) in black-and-white. Even fifth nominee “Killers of the Flower Moon” featured color-drained segments.

Editing

With her ninth nomination, Thelma Schoonmaker (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) is the most nominated film editor ever.

Music

◦  John Williams, 91, is oldest nominee ever in any category (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”), his 49th Best Score nom and 54th nom overall. He was 35 when he received his first nomination in 1968.

◦  Song nominee “It Never Went Away” from “American Symphony” is the eighth song from a documentary nominated.

Documentary Short

◦  At age 84, documentary icon Sheila Nevins earned her first Oscar nomination for “The ABCs of Book Banning,” her directorial debut. Nevins ran HBO’s documentary division for nearly 40 years and in 2019 launched MTV’s documentary department.

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