2019 Oscars: 13 historic firsts for this year’s nominees

Whether it’s a first-time winner’s empowering speech or a celebrity’s first time stepping out on the Oscars red carpet, movie fans can’t seem to get enough of the “firsts” that take place at the Academy Awards.

Several barrier-breaking milestones could taken place at this year’s ceremony and there are already a number of history-makers among the nominees.

1. ‘Black Panther’ is the first superhero film nominated for best picture

The 2008 film, “The Dark Knight,” seemed like the great hope for the genre. After all, the late Heath Ledger did earn a best supporting actor award for his turn as The Joker. But the film failed to score a nomination for best picture.

2. Hannah Beachler is the first African-American to be nominated for best production design

Beachler reportedly became the second person hired for Marvel’s “Black Panther” after its director Ryan Coogler. And it paid off, not only for the film’s envy-worthy $700 million haul, but because she’s the first black production designer nominated in the category and is Marvel’s first female production designer.

3· ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is Marvel’s first best animated feature nomination

“Black Panther” is breaking through for Marvel in the live action arena, but the studio is also a force to contend with in animation, too, as the acclaimed :Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” becomes the first best animated feature nomination for Marvel.

4. Lady Gaga is the first person to be nominated for best actress and best song

Gaga could have a huge night at the Oscars thanks to her role as Ally in “A Star is Born” and for “Shallow,” the song she co-wrote for the film that she sings with co-star Bradley Cooper. To be fair, the path she walks isn’t freshly paved: Mary J. Blige scored best supporting actress and best song nods for her respective performances in “Mudbound.”

5. First time two directors were nominated for both best foreign language film and best director

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” together made history, but what would be additionally historical is if one of them scores a best picture win. To date, no foreign language film has achieved that feat.

6. Spike Lee earns his first nomination for best director

Though his career spans more than three decades, Lee only received his first best director nomination this year for “BlacKkKlansman.” It wouldn’t be his first Oscar, though, as he took home an honorary award in 2016.

7. ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is Spike Lee’s first film nominated for best picture

“Do the Right Thing” got Lee his first Oscar nod for best original screenplay in 1990 and his film “4 Little Girls” earned a best documentary nomination in 1998. But up until this year, none of those or his dozens of other films reached the level of best picture consideration.

8. Hulu gets first Oscar nomination in best documentary category for ‘Minding the Gap’

Hulu gets into the Oscars game with Bing Liu’s documentary, which followed Liu and two of his friends as they navigated growing up, family life and challenges to their friendship.

9. ‘Roma’ is the first Netflix film nominated for best picture

Alfonso Cuarón’s critical masterpiece has been scoring film-of-the-year accolades throughout awards season. If it’s crowned the winner on Sunday, it’d become the first streaming film to crack through The Academy’s usual crop of theater-based winners. It isn’t the first streaming flick to be nominated, though — that honor goes to Amazon’s “Manchester by the Sea.”

10. Yalitza Aparicio’s performance in ‘Roma’ makes her the first indigenous person from the Americas nominated for best actress

Aparicio — a teacher whose first major acting gig led to her nomination — made headlines for being the first person of a Mexican indigenous background to be nominated in the best actress category. Keisha Castle-Hughes, who is of Maori indigenous descent, was the first ever nominated, thanks to her role in “Whale Rider.”

11. First time 2 Mexican-born women nominated for acting awards in the same year

“Roma’s” Yalitza Aparicio was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico, while best supporting actress nominee Marina de Tavira — who also stars in “Roma” — was born in Mexico City.

12. ‘Roma’ producer Gabriela Rodriguez is first Latina nominated for best picture

Rodriguez is co-credited with Alfonso Cuarón, whom she worked with during his Best Director-winning stint on “Gravity.”

13. Alfonso Cuarón first to get both best director and best cinematography nods

It’s clear that “Roma” has the potential to be a big hit on Oscar night, but Cuarón himself could also make history. He’s nominated for four awards, but is the first person to ever get both best director and best cinematography nominations in the same year.

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