Oscars: 11 of 2018's Historic Nominees

7:38 AM 2/23/2018

by Zoe Haylock

Mary J. Blige, Christopher Plummer and Rachel Morrison all earned rare distinctions with their nods.

With the 2018 Oscars, the Motion Picture Academy has taken steps towards more diverse nominees. As a result, people of color, women, members of the LGBT community and other once-marginalized groups are seeing their stories and their people recognized.

Get Out's Jordan Peele became only the fourth African-American helmer to be nominated for best director, and if he wins the Oscar on March 4, he'll be the first black winner in that category. Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig also became the fifth woman nominated for best director and a win would make her only the second woman to take home the Oscar in that category, after Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2010.

Elsewhere, Strong Island director Yance Ford became the first transgender filmmaker nominated for best documentary, and Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison broke through the glass ceiling, or camera lens, becoming the first woman nominated for best cinematography.

Ahead of the 2018 Oscars, take a look at these and other milestones reached by this year's nominees.

  • Mary J. Blige

    Mary J. Blige is the first person to earn nominations for acting and best original song in the same year. The best supporting actress nominee will face off against Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread). In the best original song category, Blige, who's up for Mudbound's "Mighty River," is up against Sufjan Stevens' "Mystery of Love" from Call Me by Your Name, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's "Remember Me" from Coco, Common and Diane Warren's "Stand Up for Something" from Marshall and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman.

  • Timothee Chalamet

    Timothee Chalamet, 22, is the youngest person in 80 years to be nominated for best actor. He's not the youngest, however. That distinction belongs to 9-year-old Jackie Cooper, who was nominated in 1931 for his role in Skippy. Mickey Rooney was also only 19 (read: younger than Call Me by Your Name's breakout star), when he was nominated for Babes in Arms in 1940. Still, Chalamet is the first person born in the '90s to be nominated for the best actor prize.

  • Yance Ford

    Strong Island director, Yance Ford, is the first transgender filmmaker ever nominated for an Academy Award. Strong Island is up for best documentary feature, a category that itself earned a rare distinction in 2018, as a record-breaking 170 movies were submitted. The five films that were nominated are Faces Places, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Icarus, Last Men in Aleppo and Strong Island.

  • Greta Gerwig

    Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig is the fifth female best director nominee ever, and the first woman to be nominated in that category since 2010, when nominee Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) became the only woman to ever win a best director Oscar. Gerwig and Bigelow's fellow female best director Oscar nominees over the Academy Awards' 90-year history are Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation) Jane Campion (The Piano) and Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties).

  • 'The Insult'

    The Insult is the first Lebanese film to be nominated in the foreign-language category. This year's five nominees came from a field of a record 92 foreign-language submissions. The nominees are A Fantastic Woman (Chile), The Insult (Lebanon), Loveless (Russia), On Body and Soul (Hungary) and The Square (Sweden).

  • James Ivory

    Call Me by Your Name screenwriter James Ivory, 89, is the oldest nominee for best adapted screenplay.

  • 'Logan'

    Logan is the first superhero film to be nominated for an adapted screenplay Oscar. 

  • Rachel Morrison

    Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison is the first woman ever nominated for a best cinematography Oscar.

  • Jordan Peele

    Get Out writer-director-producer Jordan Peele is the third person in history to be nominated for best directing, best original screenplay and best picture all for their directorial debut. He's also the first African-American to achieve this hat-trick. The other two directors to get those three nominations for the first film they directed are Warren Beatty for Heaven Can Wait and James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment. Peele is the fifth black person ever to earn a best director nomination. Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Lee Daniels (Precious), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) and John Singleton (Boyz In The Hood) all earned nods in past years but none have won, meaning that if Peele wins he'll be the first African-American best director Oscar winner.

  • Christopher Plummer

    At 88, Christopher Plummer is the oldest acting nominee ever. Plummer stepped into All the Money in the World just weeks before it hit theaters, taking over for Kevin Spacey. His performance earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination. 

  • Dee Rees

    Mudbound's Dee Rees is the first African-American woman ever to be nominated for a best adapted screenplay award. She's the second African-American woman in history to be nominated for a writing award. The first was Suzanne de Passe, who was nominated for best original screenplay in 1972 for Lady Sings the Blues. Dee Rees, who also directed Mudbound, shares this nomination with Virgil Williams.