Oscars 2020: All the History Making Moments To Look Out For

The 2020 Oscar nominees have been announced! See which of the nominees could make Oscars history at this year's ceremony below.

By kelli boyle Jan 13, 2020 2:37 PMTags

The nominees for the 2020 Oscars have officially been announced.

While every win at the Academy Awards goes down in film history, there are some nominations among this year's list that could make for major Oscars milestones come the Feb. 9 ceremony.

The 2020 Oscar nominees were announced by Issa Rae and John Cho on Monday, Jan. 13 via a live stream from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in California. And this year's list is stacked with Hollywood icons.

Nominated in the coveted Best Picture category are The Irishman1917Once Upon a Time…in HollywoodParasiteMarriage StoryJokerLittle WomenJojo Rabbit and Ford v Ferrari.

Hand-in-hand with the Best Picture nominees are the nominees for Best Director, although the latter list is famously shorter than the former. Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-Ho, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips all received a nod.

In the acting categories, Renée Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson, Cynthia Erivo, Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron are all nominated for Best Actress.

Biggest Oscars Transformations of All Time

Joaquin Phoenix, Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver are the Best Actor nominees.

Now that we've covered the four biggest categories, let's break down which of the nominees could make Oscars history with their potential wins!

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Cynthia Erivo: The star snagged a nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in Harriet, and the song she recorded for the film, "Stand Up," is up for Best Original Song. Should she win in either category, Erivo will be added to the coveted short list of people to E.G.O.T. (which includes artists like John LegendAndrew Lloyd Weber and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few).

The 33-year-old won an Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program in 2017, a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for Broadway's The Color Purple in 2017 and her performance in The Color Purple also snagged her the Tony Award for Best Actress in 2016.

In addition to her possible E.G.O.T., Erivo is also now the third person to be nominated in an acting and original song category the same year. The first was Mary J. Blige, when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song in 2018 for Mudbound. The second was Lady Gaga, when she was the first person to be nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Song in the same year for A Star Is Born. Should Erivo win both categories, it would be an Oscars first.

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ParasiteNo foreign language film has ever won Best Picture. Plenty have been nominated and have won the Best Foreign Language Film category (which was newly named Best International Feature Film in 2020), but a foreign language film has never broken the barrier of winning the top honor of Best Picture.

Most recently, Alfonso Cuarón's Roma was nominated for Best Picture in 2019. Cuarón won Best Director for the Netflix film, and the feature won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography. Despite those top honors, it did not take home Best Picture. Green Book did.

Should Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite win, it would be the first international feature film to do so. The night before the Oscar nominations, Joon-Ho tied with 1917 director Mendes for Best Director at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards.

Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach: Fun fact, these two directors are a couple! The two have been together for eight years and share a 9-month-old son named Harold.

While neither of them are nominated for Best Director, Little Women and Marriage Story are both nominated for Best Picture. Their nomination makes them the first directorial couple to be pit against each other in the Best Picture category the same year. 

Famous exes, however, have competed against each other in past Oscar races. James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow were long since divorced by the time they were each nominated for Best Director and Best Picture in 2010. Bigelow became the first (and only) woman to win the Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker, beating out her ex-husband, who was nominated for Avatar. (The Hurt Locker also won Best Picture that year.)

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Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: The Academy is not known for rewarding sequels, and the Best Animated Feature category is no exception. Toy Story 3 is the only animated sequel in history to win the category, which was created in 2002 (the first winner was Shrek).

Should Toy Story 4 or How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World win the category, it will only be the second time a sequel has won.

Scarlett Johansson: The Avengers star is nominated in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories this year. She's not the first actor to be nominated in both of the coveted acting categories in the same year, but she would go down in Oscars history if she were to win both categories.

Al PacinoCate BlanchettJulianne MooreJamie FoxxJessica LangeSigourney WeaverEmma Thompson and Holly Hunter have all been nominated in the top acting categories the same year. Pacino, Lange, Foxx and Hunter all won one of their respective categories when they were doubly nominated.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama: The former President and First Lady signed a deal with Netflix in 2018. Now, one of the films they produced—the documentary American Factory—is nominated for Best Documentary Feature. While Obama would not be the first President to win an Oscar (Ronald Reagan starred in an Oscar-winning movie before he moved over to politics), he would be the first President to win an Oscar after leaving office.

The 2020 Oscars will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 9 on ABC.