The Academy Awards, the biggest night in Hollywood, are just around the corner — and this year’s Oscar nominations, announced in January, delivered some predictable frontrunners and some surprise snubs.
The nominations also put some directors, actors and other moviemaking professionals in the position to make history and set records come Oscars night. Here are the people to watch on March 4, when the 90th Academy Awards take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Dee Rees, Mudbound
Even though Dee Rees, who directed the Netflix drama Mudbound, didn’t score a best director nomination, she was nominated for best adapted screenplay along with Virgil Williams. That means that Rees has already made history — she’s the first black woman in history to be nominated in her category. And if she wins, she’d the the first black woman to take home an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Get Out director Jordan Peele landed best director and best original screenplay nominations this year, and Get Out was also nominated in the best picture category. Peele is only the fifth black director nominated for the best director Oscar — he joins John Singleton, Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins. And if he wins in March, Peele would become the first black director in history to win the Oscar for best director.
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Also a contender in the best director category is Greta Gerwig, nominated for her semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film Lady Bird. Gerwig was also nominated for best original screenplay and Lady Bird also snagged a best picture nod.
Only a small handful of women directors have ever been nominated in the best director category — Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow. And only one of those women — Bigelow — won, which means that Gerwig could become just the second woman in history to win the Oscar for best director.
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Cinematographer Rachel Morrison, whose latest project is the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther, already made Academy Awards history by becoming the first woman in history to be nominated for the best cinematography Oscar, for her work on Mudbound. Now she’s in the position to become the first woman ever to win in the category.
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet, who also appeared in Lady Bird, is nominated for an Oscar in the best actor category. At 22, Chalamet is the youngest best actor nominee since 1944, when Mickey Rooney was nominated at just 19 years old. If he wins, Chalamet would be the youngest best actor winner in history. The current record holder is Adrian Brody, who won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in 2002’s The Pianist, when he was 29.
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Christopher Plummer, nominated for the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in All the Money in the World, is, at 88, not only the oldest actor nominated in his category — he’s also the oldest actor to ever be nominated in any of the four acting categories.
Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey in the film through editing and reshoots after Spacey was publicly accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault, some allegedly with minor victims. Plummer would be the oldest actor in history to take home an Oscar for acting if he wins this year — beating a record he himself currently holds for his Oscar win for 2010’s Beginners, at the age of 82.
Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote the semi-autobiographical romantic comedy The Big Sick with his collaborator (and wife), writer Emily V. Gordon, and the two of them scored a nomination for best original screenplay. If Nanjiani and Gordon win in their category, he would become the first Asian-American screenwriter in Oscars history to win the award for best original screenplay.
Agnès Varda, Faces Places
Director Agnès Varda, nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature for her film Faces Places (Visages Villages in France) is the oldest Oscar nominee in history at 89 years old. If she wins in March she would be the oldest Oscar winner in history. When asked about that honor by Vulture, Varda responded, “I’m just saying, I’m not dead yet.”