The 2019 Oscar nominations are in, and amid the plethora of shoo-ins (Olivia Colman for Best Actress for The Favourite; Best Picture for A Star is Born), there were also several significant nods that made Academy Awards history.
We've rounded up five historical Oscar nominations that have made this year's awards crop much more exciting than usual.
1. Black Panther
Comic book movies are routinely overlooked in awards circles, so it's time to hail Wakanda and Black Panther with its seismic nomination for Best Picture. It's the first such nomination in the history of the genre – not even 1978's Superman, considered the godfather of the superhero movie, was recognised in this category.
It's an indicator that Marvel's thrilling epic, directed by Ryan Coogler, is no mere popcorn adventure, but also an intelligent drama underscored with character depth and provocative statements about the modern world. Add to this the Best Original Score nod for Ludwig Goransson – the first comic book movie soundtrack to be recognised since John Williams' Superman.
2. Spike Lee
Few movies reflected the divisive, angry landscape of 2018 quite as well as BlacKkKlansman. This true story of an African-American police detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan marked Spike Lee's most significant movie in years, further cementing him as a director with his finger on the pulse of America's anguished soul.
It's surely for this reason that Lee received his first ever nomination for Best Director – remarkable given his career began back in 1986 with She's Gotta Have It. Lee has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay for his landmark Do the Right Thing and has picked up Oscar nods elsewhere, but this is surely the most personal slice of recognition he's achieved from the Academy Awards so far.
3. Melissa McCarthy
Although she landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her scene-stealing turn in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy had yet to be recognised in the Best Actress field. That all changed yesterday with her nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a poignant true story in which McCarthy excels as fraudulent biographer Lee Israel.
Clearly McCarthy impressed the Oscar voters with this demonstration of her dramatic side, in which she largely forgoes the laughs (although not entirely) to tap into a far more melancholy character.
4. Richard E. Grant
If we're talking about actors with longevity on their side, they don't come more experienced than Richard E. Grant. Since exploding onto the scene with his classic, booze-addled portrayal in British cult hit Withnail and I, Grant has endured all manner of Hollywood flops (Hudson Hawk) and personal triumphs (his autobiographical directorial debut Wah-Wah).
It's about time he was recognised by the Oscars and 2019 has turned out to be the year. Grant has received his first ever Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Can You Ever Forgive Me? The actor plays Jack Hock, on-screen drinking buddy of Melissa McCarthy's Lee Israel, and has been widely acclaimed for the role. (Check out Grant's endearing and wonderful reaction his nomination here.)
Alfonso Cuaron's black and white biographical Netflix drama tied with The Favourite to score the most Oscar nominations – 10 in all. As expected, the movie picked up Best Picture, Best Foreign Language and Best Director nods, although its recognition in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress fields (for Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, respectively), was a surprise, albeit an unexpected one.
The Best Picture nomination in fact conceals a watershed moment – Roma has become the first movie in which a Hispanic woman, producer Gabriela Rodriguez, has been nominated for Best Picture. In a year where women filmmakers were controversially overlooked, this is a significant breakthrough.
Which of this year's Oscar nominees are you most pleased about, and who do you think will win? The 91st Academy Awards get underway on 24th February so let us know @Cineworld.