This year was one for the record book

Muliple noms, most noms, first with 2 African-American best actors

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  • There were several records set Tuesday in the nominations for the 74th annual Academy Awards.

    • For the first time, two blacks are in the best actor category: Will Smith, for “Ali,” and Denzel Washington, “Training Day.” With Halle Berry of “Monster’s Ball” in the actress race, this is the third time ever that has seen three blacks in acting races in one year (after 1972 and 1985).

    • Several people earned double noms, including Robert Altman, Todd Field, Ron Howard, Peter Jackson, Catherine Martin, Randy Newman and John Williams.

    • “Moulin Rouge” is the first best picture nominee in decades that was filmed entirely on soundstages. It’s also the second “Moulin Rouge” to be up for best pic, after the 1952 film.

    • David Lynch won a directing bid for “Mulholland Drive” — the sole mention for his film. The last time it happened was Robert Altman, with “Short Cuts” (1994).

    • Altman, at 76, is among the Academy’s oldest nominated helmers (including David Lean, 76, “A Passage to India”; Charles Crichton, 78, “A Fish Called Wanda”; and John Huston, 79, “Prizzi’s Honor”). Other longtime vets include John Williams, 70, given his 40th and 41st Oscar noms, and Maggie Smith, 67, with her sixth Oscar bid.

    • With twin noms, John Williams sustains his record as the most nominations for a living person, and moves up to third place in all-time Academy history. (Walt Disney holds the record with 64).

    • Newcomers include several scribes who were cited for their first produced screenplay: Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff, “Ghost World”; Rob Festinger & Todd Field, “In the Bedroom”; Philippa Boyens, co-scripter of “Rings”; and Milo Addica & Will Rokos, “Monster’s Ball.”

    • If Randy Newman and Kevin O’Connell win, they go down in Oscar history. If not, they enter the record of individuals with the most noms without a win. Newman is up for his 15th and 16th bids; O’Connell is up for his 15th. Composer Alex North and art director Roland Anderson also earned 15 noms, but no wins.
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