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Top 5 Ways the Oscars Might be Different This Year But Still Be the Same

  1. It’s possible that there will be two films directed by African American directors for the first time ever. The number of Best Picture nominees directed by African American directors is a pretty small list to begin with – Precious, 12 Years a Slave, Selma. We almost had more than one in 2012 but Fruitvale Station and The Butler were shut out. This year, Moonlight and Fences both stand a very good chance of getting in, which is astonishing. Of course, we’re always remembering the way Birth of a Nation was treated this year and lamenting its fall as a major Oscar player. That number might have climbed to three otherwise.
  2. It’s possible that we’ll have all five Best Actress nominees in Best Picture nominees. I don’t think that has happened since 1977 when there were four out of five. There were three in 2009, 2010, 2013, one in 2014 and two last year. So it’s not that common and in fact there is a good chance it won’t be the case this year either, sadly. If we look at potential Best Picture/Best Actress combos we see:
    La La Land/Emma Stone
    Jackie/Natalie Portman
    Arrival/Amy Adams
    Loving/Ruth Negga
    20th Century Women/Annette Bening
    Florence Foster Jenkins/Meryl StreepWe are sure that one will make it in. We’re pretty sure that two will. But three is less likely, four is nearly impossible, and five is probably totally impossible. But a girl can dream. Women, in the end, just don’t mean as much to American voters, or Academy voters. It’s an ugly truth but a truth nonetheless.
  3. Perhaps only the second time in all of Oscar history that a black cinematographer will earn a nomination, and the first time for an African American. In 1999 Remi Adefarasin earned the sole nomination to date for a black cinematographer for Elizabeth. This year, Bradford Young could get one for Arrival. And it would be the FIRST time a female cinematographer was nominated if Charlotte Bruus Christensen gets in for Fences.
  4. Denzel Washington would become the first African American director to star in a film and earn nominations for Actor, Picture, and Director.
  5. For the second time in Oscar history, it’s possible there will be at least one actor of color in every acting category. It’s possible that Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress will be more diverse than we’ve seen in recent years.

For all of the ways the Oscars will be different, they will more or less be the same as they’ve always been. There will likely be five white male nominees for Best Picture, give or take a Denzel Washington or a Barry Jenkins.

The ratings will probably be mixed, considering audiences watch when there are a lot of big stars in films they’ve seen but how many films will they have seen come Oscar time? Probably not many.

There will be a lot of political speeches, probably, and a lot of Trump jokes.

Can you think of any more potential Oscar trivia?