It’s a glorious day for breaking boundaries. On Tuesday morning, nominations for this year’s Oscars were finally announced—and this year’s surprising bunch also comes with a slew of historic potential. From women breaking hideously old gender barriers, to legendary performers protecting their record-breaking streaks, there was no shortage of eye-popping nods that showed just how different this year’s Oscars will be.
Let’s start with Mudbound, the Netflix drama directed by Dee Rees. The film is the streaming platform’s first non-documentary to earn a citation from the Academy, which should get champagne bottles popping at Ted Sarandos HQ—and additionally, Rachel Morrison picked up a nod for best cinematography, becoming the first woman in Oscar history to get a nomination in that category. In addition, even though Rees was snubbed in the best director category, she was nominated alongside writer Virgil Williams for best adapted screenplay, making Rees the first black woman to pick up a nod in this category. Meanwhile, star Mary J. Blige picked up a best supporting actress nod, as well as best song nod (for the song “Mighty River,” co-written by Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson); she is reportedly the first person to be nominated for best performance and best song in the same year.
Great strides were also made for trans artists of color. Strong Island, Netflix’s gripping police brutality documentary, was nominated for best doc. It was directed and produced by Yance Ford, a black trans man. And over in the best foreign language category, Sebastián Lelio’s romantic drama A Fantastic Woman, starring trans actress Daniela Vega, was nominated for best foreign language film. “The fact that I am trans provides the script and narrative with a higher level of truth,” Vega previously told Vanity Fair of her role. “But, more importantly, it opens a door into the movie world that had never been explored before, because I am a trans actress playing a trans woman.”
Comic book-based stories also found a surprising new way into the ceremony. Logan, the stirring last chapter of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine saga, was nominated for best adapted screenplay, a first for a big-screen comic book superhero tale; the nod went to Scott Frank, James Mangold (who also directed), and Michael Green.
Speaking of surprising genres making the prestige leap: Jordan Peele’s thrilling Get Out nabbed a slew of nods, including best picture, best director, best original screenplay, and best lead actor. Daniel Kaluuya’s nod also marks the first time two black actors have been in the lead race since 2006; Denzel Washington is also nominated this year, continuing his streak as the most nominated black actor in Oscar history. Peele, who made his directorial debut with Get Out, is now the third filmmaker in history to land directing, writing, and producing nods for his first feature, following in the footsteps of Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait), and James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment), according to the Academy itself. This also keeps up another triple-threat theme of this year’s Oscars; this is reportedly the first year that all the best director nominees also wrote their own films.
Elsewhere on the nominations list were the heavyweights back to defend their titles. Meryl Streep has maintained her reputation as the most nominated performer of all time, picking up her 21st nomination (best actress for The Post). Roger Deakins earned a 14th nomination for best cinematography for Blade Runner 2049—and perhaps this will be the year he finally wins a well-deserved statuette. Rounding out this mighty trio is John Williams, who picked up his 51st Oscar nomination for best score for The Last Jedi. He now has more Oscar nominations than any other living person, beating a record was previously set by . . . John Williams! The legendary composer is a one-man Oscar army, just a few nods away from beating the all-time Academy record set by Walt Disney. How’s that for Oscar history?