Unusual facts about this year's nominations
Among the notable and unusual achievements in this year’s crop:
- Each of the five best-pic contenders saw its director nominated — which, incredibly, is only the fifth time that’s ever happened.
- “Button’s” Kathleen Kennedy earned her sixth producing bid, tying her with Stanley Kramer and Steven Spielberg for the record for individual producers.
- Stephen Daldry makes Oscar history by going three for three: With this year’s “The Reader,” he has scored a directing bid for the trio of films he’s helmed (“The Hours,” “Billy Elliot”).
- With a 15th bid for “Doubt,” Meryl Streep maintains her easy lead in most acting noms. Runners-up are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, with 12 apiece.
- “Doubt” scored four acting noms, the first time that’s happened since the 2002 “Chicago,” another Miramax film.
- A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog”) is a triple nominee, for his music score and two songs: “Jai Ho” and “O Saya,” which rep the third and fourth bids for songs not in the English language.
- Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E”) is only the fourth person to score a second bid in the animated feature category, which began in 2001. He also earned a citation in original screenplay as one of the scribes on the film.
- Two best-pic contenders center around real-life TV shows: “Frost/Nixon” (the 1977 interviews) and “Slumdog Millionaire” (the India version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”).
- France maintains its lead in the foreign-language race, with its 35th bid for “The Class.”
- There are nine first-timers among the 20 acting contenders. Seven of the 10 lead actors are aged 45 or older.
- Kate Winslet was nommed as leading actress in “Reader,” though she won a Golden Globe as supporting actress for the same film.
- Heath Ledger scored a supporting actor nom for “The Dark Knight” on the first anniversary of his death. This marks the seventh posthumous acting nomination, including the sole winner so far, Peter Finch (“Network”).
- Robert Downey Jr.’s nom (“Tropic Thunder”) marks the first time since Laurence Olivier’s 1965 “Othello” that an actor has been nommed for playing a role in blackface.
- “Waltz With Bashir” is the first animated feature nominated for a foreign-language Oscar (though it’s the 13th toon to be submitted in that race; last year’s “Persepolis” didn’t even make the short list).
- Viola Davis and Michael Shannon are supporting contenders (for “Doubt” and “Revolutionary Road,” respectively) though each has only about 10 minutes of screen time.
- Michael Semanick was cited twice in the sound mixing race, for his work on “Benjamin Button” and “Wall-E.” Ben Burtt is up for “Wall-E,” in both sound editing and mixing.
- Lora Hirschberg (“Dark Knight”) becomes the third woman nominated in the sound mixing category.