2019 Oscar Nominations Make History; Plus, See The Reactions! 

Andie Manahan

January 23, 2019

The nominees for the 2019 Academy Awards are in – and the list is making history with a lot of firsts and momentous milestones.

Many are lauding this year’s Academy Awards as probably the most diverse and inclusive in recent memory – even GLAAD approves!

“Today’s list of Oscar nominees reflect a banner year for LGBTQ inclusion in film and a signal that the Academy and its members are rightfully prioritizing diverse storytelling at a time when audiences and critics alike are calling for more,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “The diversity across the full list of nominations should be celebrated and will no doubt lead to more inclusive, culture-changing films.”

Here are some of the major milestones and biggest firsts among this year’s Academy Awards nominees:

Black Panther has had many impressive achievements since it was released early last year, and it continues to make history at this year’s Academy Awards – as the first superhero movie to ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Kendrick Lamar and SZA are up for Best Original Song – their first-ever Oscar nomination with their song “All The Stars” from the film’s soundtrack. Hannah Beachler is also the first black production designer to be recognized for Best Production Design with her nomination.

Roma is up for awards in 10 categories, including directing, lead actress, original screenplay, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, foreign language film, and overall Best Picture. The film is now tied with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, as the foreign language film with the most Oscar nominations. This is Netflix’s first Best Picture nomination, and the film’s producer Gabriela Rodriguez is the first Hispanic woman to receive a Best Picture nom. Roma director Alfonso Cuarón, is the first person to be honored for both directing and cinematography on the same film. Yalitza Aparicio, who’s up for Best Actress makes her the first Indigenous woman nominated in the category, as well as the second Mexican actress to receive the honor (Salma Hayek was nominated in 2003 for her portrayal of Frida Kahlo in Frida).

Cold War has become the most nominated film in Poland’s history. The film has been shortlisted in the Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography categories.

A Star Is Born is no stranger to the Oscars. Lady Gaga is the third actress to receive a Best Actress nomination for the same role, following in the footsteps of Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland, who played the titular role in the 1938 and 1955 versions of the film, respectively. (Barbara Streisand’s portrayal of the female lead in the 1976 version did not receive a nomination, but she had already won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Funny Girl). But this being Lady Gaga’s first feature film, she’s already making history as the second person to receive nods for both Best Actress and Best Original Song (Mary J. Blige broke the ground in 2018, for her work in Mudbound).

BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee just received his first ever Oscar nomination in the directing category. He’s also up for Best Adapted Screenplay this year. He has received nods in other categories – Best Original Screenplay for Do the Right Thing and Best Documentary Feature for directing 4 Little Girls; he was also awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2015.

Five of the eight Best Picture nominees are inclusive to LGBTQ communities, namely, A Star is Born, Green Book, The Favourite, Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody.


This could be the year composer Marc Shaiman achieves EGOT status. He’s already previously won a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony. Now, he’s up for two Oscars – Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Mary Poppins Returns.

Lady Gaga has already won six Grammys. Although she has been nominated for three Emmys, she hasn’t won one yet. And she hasn’t had any projects nominated for a Tony. But, with her nominations for this year’s Oscars, she could be halfway to an EGOT if she wins.

Kendrick Lamar could also be one step closer to an EGOT title. He already has 12 Grammy awards under his belt and he just received his first Oscar nomination (Best Original Song for Black Panther’s “All The Stars” with SZA). A win would put him halfway towards an EGOT.

It’s definitely an exciting year for cinema. And perhaps none are more excited than this year’s nominees.

Check out some of their reactions below:

Bradley Cooper (Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay nominee, A Star Is Born)

“Everyone who worked on this film truly risked putting themselves out there — in the hope that in doing so people will connect and feel something deep and personal — the way films have made me feel since I was a kid. When I got this opportunity I knew I had to risk it all because I may never get another chance, so to be here today in a place where people who have seen the film are talking about how it makes them feel something deep — that simple human thing, that we need each other — and for the Academy to recognize that this morning, I just am so grateful.”

Lady Gaga (Best Actress and Best Original Song nominee, A Star Is Born)

In an interview with the New York Times: “I woke up around 8:30 and I didn’t know anything about it.“ She heard the news from her manager, “and I just burst into tears.”

“These are not Oscar nominations for me, these are Oscar nominations for the Germanottas. I come from an Italian-immigrant family, and this feels like a very big win for them. This film was a lot of hard work, and I wouldn’t know that hard work if I didn’t know the hard work of the lineage of my family.”

“To be recognized as the lead actress and a musician at the same time, I can’t tell you what that means to me.”

Rami Malek (Best Actor nominee, Bohemian Rhapsody)

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly: “It’s just something you never expect to happen. It’s like a distant dream that actors have and hope for to some degree. But it’s never really felt in the realm of possibilities — it’s a pretty joyous occasion to say the least. I’m always so thankful that I get to be a working actor. The percentage of people who get to do this is so small that getting accolades like this seems so distant always, whether you’ve received awards in the past or not. But I think perhaps after getting the Globe, it seemed more attainable — but there’s something about hearing the words that you’re an Oscar-nominated actor that are still going to be incredibly shocking. It’s a profoundly humbling moment for me.”

Regina King (Best Actress In A Supporting Role nominee, If Beale Street Could Talk)

“Wow, wow, wow. The word I keep coming back to is proud. Proud of our cast and crew with all the work we put into this amazing, yet still timely story. I’m grateful to Barry Jenkins for creating this beautiful role out of the great James Baldwin’s words. Collaborating with Barry has been a highlight of my career and this recognition is icing on the cake! And thank you to The Academy!”

Amy Adams (Best Actress In A Supporting Role nominee, Vice)

“Thank you so much to the Academy for this recognition. It is an honor to be nominated for a film that I loved making. I am grateful to Adam for writing such rich material and for creating such a wonderful work environment. I also want to congratulate the other nominees, my cast members, the crew and everyone who worked so hard on this film!”

Sam Rockwell (Best Actor In A Supporting Role nominee, Vice)

“Hot damn! I am so truly honored to be recognized by the Academy again this year. Vice is such a special and important film to be a part of and I’m thrilled for Adam, Christian, Amy and Hank, as well as all of the cast and crew.”

Willem Dafoe (Best Actor nominee, At Eternity’s Gate)

“I’m over the moon with this nomination. Playing Vincent Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s AT ETERNITY’S GATE was a gift. The making was so transforming and my working with Julian was so complete and close that sometimes it felt like we were the same person. I share this honor with him. I’m so proud of this movie and this recognition means the film will have greater visibility and be seen by more people, which is a VERY gratifying reward.

Yalitza Aparicio (Best Actress nominee, Roma)

“From the very first casting call to this morning, my ROMA journey has been extraordinary. As a daughter of a domestic worker and an indigenous woman myself, I am proud this movie will help those of us who feel invisible be seen. I am eternally grateful to the Academy for recognizing ROMA and am honored to be part of Alfonso’s vision. Congratulations to Alfonso, the entire cast and crew, and my dear friend Marina De Tavira. I am so humbled and honored. Thank You.”

Yorgos Lanthimos (Best Director nominee, The Favourite)

“I would like to thank The Academy for honoring The Favourite so generously today. Having felt a bit like an outsider looking in, I am truly humbled about this morning’s nominations. They are a meaningful tribute to every person involved in the making of The Favourite – my talented collaborators and sublime cast, led by Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.”

Emma Stone (Best Actress In A Supporting Role nominee, The Favourite)

“Working on The Favourite alongside my brilliant friends Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and the whole cast was nothing short of incredible. I was grateful every day and am honored by this nomination. Yorgos created a palace for us all to play in. I am forever indebted to him and the whole team that brought this insane vision to life. Thank you to Fox Searchlight for their invaluable support and thank you to the Academy for recognizing our work.”

Rachel Weisz (Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee, The Favourite)

“Thank you to The Academy for recognizing The Favourite in so many categories. I’m immensely proud to be part of it and to be nominated in the company of such talented women. Congratulations to my incredible fellow actors Emma and Olivia, our brilliant director Yorgos, and to everyone who participated in the making of this extraordinary film. Thank you to Fox Searchlight for their unwavering support and for having the guts to make a film with three complex female protagonists.”

Lupita Nyong’o (on Black Panther’s Oscar nominations)

“Seven #OscarNoms for #BlackPanther, including best picture!! This is our reaction the first time we saw footage from the film and we’re feeling this way all over again today! Thank you @TheAcademy! #WakandaForever #Oscars”

Letitia Wright (on Black Panther’s Oscar nominations)

“History was made again this morning. 7 #OscarNominations including Best Picture! God is truly amazing.

Thank you all for the love and support. Honestly we made this movie out of love and wanted to inspire the world with it.

Thank you!

@TheAcademy @theblackpanther #Oscars”

Mahershala Ali (Best Actor In A Supporting Role nominee, Green Book)

“I’d like to thank the Academy for recognizing my work along with the extraordinary performances of my fellow nominees. I was so fortunate to have collaborators in Viggo Mortensen and Peter Farrelly and I’d like to congratulate them on their nominations. Through Dr. Donald Shirley, I had the gift of navigating circumstances as a profound, gifted, complicated genius. A man who had experiences and a combination of qualities that I had yet to see on film. I’m tremendously grateful for the lessons I learned through both his struggles and successes. I sincerely hope Dr. Shirley’s music and his unique contribution to our culture continues to be discovered, shared and appreciated.”

Alfonso Cuarón (Best Director nominee, Roma)

“Thank you to the Academy for recognizing ROMA across these categories. Human experience is one in the same, and it’s so gratifying that a black and white film about life in Mexico is being celebrated around the world. We are living a great moment in cinema where diversity is embraced by audiences. This kind of visibility pushes our industry forward and creates more opportunity for new voices and perspectives to emerge. It is a testament of how late we’re arriving to this moment, in which stories of the invisible among us — the domestic workers and indigenous women — are put at the center of our narratives. I share this with my cast, crew, producers, and most importantly, with my family and Mexico.”

Mark Ronson (Best Original Song nomination for “Shallow” in A Star is Born)

“Such an honour to be nominated for an Oscar. And it makes it even more special to be nominated as part of this incredible film where the music is so powerful and emotional. Bradley Cooper got right what is nearly impossible in film, to show inside the creative process and make it feel honest and believable. And Lady Gaga’s empowers that vision in the most beautiful and compelling way.”

Adam McKay (Best Picture, Best Director And Best Original Screenplay nominee, Vice)

“My sincere thanks to the Academy for recognizing our incredible cast and crew, who worked so tirelessly on this movie that spans five decades. I’m just thrilled, flabbergasted and excited!”

Pawel Pawlikowski, best director and best foreign language film nominees for “Cold War”

“It is an incredible honor to be included amid this group of filmmakers, and I’m so grateful to the Academy. Sharing this very personal film with the world over the last year has been an unforgettable journey. I couldn’t have done it without my producers Tanya Seghatchian and Ewa Puszczyńska, my luminous star Joanna Kulig, as well the support of Amazon Studios, which brought this film to the US. And a special congratulations to Łukasz Żal, whose brilliant lighting brought the film to life.”

The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 24 on ABC.