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Oscars 2024: All the facts and trivia you need to know before Sunday's awards ceremony

96th Academy Awards - All the facts and trivia you need to know
96th Academy Awards - All the facts and trivia you need to know Copyright Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Copyright Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
By David Mouriquand
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Who's breaking records this year? How long are the films? And why is this year's Oscar ceremony representing some slow-but-certain progress? Here's everything you need to know about the 96th Academy Awards.

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As you may know from our extensive Oscar coverage, the Academy Awards will be handed out very early Monday morning. 

You can check where we think the statuettes will be going for this year’s 96th ceremony, and how many trophies we think Oppenheimer will win out of its 13 nominations.

In the meantime, here are the Oscar facts you should know for this year’s edition, the precious trivia that will help you shine this Sunday should you be hosting an Oscars party. We’ll be covering the awards live, so no time to celebrate or commiserate over cocktails for us. Still, someone should.

Here’s what you need to know.

Films are getting long...

Martin Scorsese at the 2024 Berlinale
Martin Scorsese at the 2024 BerlinaleDavid Mouriquand

This year’s average duration of a Best Picture nominee is 138 minutes. 

The shortest is The Zone of Interest, clocking in at 105 minutes; the longest is Killers of the Flower Moon at a whopping 206 minutes. 

If Hitchcock was right about the length of a film needing to be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder, then this year’s vintage has absolutely no consideration for your vesica urinaria.

Ho ho ho-ldovers

Paul Giamati from 'The Holdovers'
Paul Giamati from 'The Holdovers'Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The Holdovers is technically the first Christmas movie to be nominated for Best Picture since 1948’s Miracle on 34th Street. Grinches.

Plastic is fantastic

Greta Gerwig
Greta GerwigJoel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Barbie may have missed out on some nominations, including Best Director and Best Actress, but what many bellyaching fans have forgotten is that director Greta Gerwig has become the first director in history to have her first three feature films nominated in the Best Picture category, with Barbie following Lady Bird and Little Women.

In the Best Director category, French director Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall) has become only the ninth-ever female nominee. The first was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1977). Then came Jane Campion for The Piano (1994), Sofia Coppola with Lost in Translation (2003), Kathryn Bigelow with The Hurt Locker (2010), Greta Gerwig with Lady Bird (2017), Emerald Fennell with Promising Young Woman (2020), Chloé Zhao with Nomadland (2021) and Jane Campion again with The Power of the Dog (2022).  

As a depressing reminder, only three women have ever been awarded the Oscar for Best Director: Bigelow, Zhao and Campion.

Slow progress... But progress

Justine Triet at the César Awards 2024
Justine Triet at the César Awards 2024Aurelien Morissard/AP

This year marks the first time that the Best Picture line-up has featured three films directed by women - Barbie, Anatomy of a Fall, and Celine Song’s Past Lives. A historic first in Oscars history.

Elsewhere, four of the 10 screenplay nominees were written or cowritten by women -  Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet, cowriting with her partner Arthur Harari), Barbie (Greta Gerwig, cowriting with her partner Noah Baumbach), May December (Samy Burch) and Past Lives (Celine Song). That represents the most female writers represented across the two categories in a single year.

More progress

Lily Gladstone
Lily GladstoneJordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Jeffrey Wright and Sterling K. Brown received their first ever Oscar nominations for American Fiction. By doing so, they have set a milestone as the first time a Black lead actor and supporting actor have both been nominated for the same film.

Speaking of representation, Killers of the Flower Moon star Lily Gladstone makes history as the first Native American woman to be nominated for Best Actress. Gladstone is a member of the Blackfeet Nation, and she looks likely to win...

Even more progress

Colman Domingo
Colman DomingoJordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Nominations for both Colman Domingo (Rustin) and Jodie Foster (Nyad) in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress category respectively marks the first time in the same year that two out queer actors have been contenders for playing LGBTQ+ characters.

Glückwunsch

Sandra Hüller
Sandra HüllerVianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Sandra Hüller, lead actress in Anatomy of a Fall and supporting actress in The Zone of Interest, is the first German-born actress to earn a nomination (Best Actress) in 86 years. In case you were wondering, the last was Luise Rainer for The Good Earth in 1938.

We interviewed her and she's delightful. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed... 

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Eyebrows beats Beard

Martin Scorsese at the 2024 Berlinale
Martin Scorsese at the 2024 BerlinaleDavid Mouriquand

Killers of the Flower Moon becomes the 10th film directed by Martin Scorsese to earn a Best Picture nomination. (The previous nine were Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Irishman.)

In addition to this, Scorsese also picked up his 10th best-director nomination, meaning that he not only becomes the oldest person ever nominated for Best Director at the age of 81, but he also overtakes Steven Spielberg for most Best Director nominations by any living filmmaker. 

In case you were wondering, William Wyler (Roman Holiday, Ben Hur) still holds the overall record at 12 nominations. 

Still, Marty only took home the Directing award once – for his 2006 film The Departed – and Steve has won twice (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan).

Aging Bull

Robert De Niro
Robert De NiroVianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Speaking of Killers of the Flower Moon, Robert De Niro is nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and sets a new record for the longest time between an actor's first and last Oscar nomination, surpassing Katherine Hepburn's 48-year gap.

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Indeed, his 2024 recognition comes 49 years after he was first nominated for his performance in The Godfather Part II (which he won) in 1975. De Niro breaks the record held by Hepburn, who spanned 48 years between her first nomination for Morning Glory in 1938 and her final nod for On Golden Pond in 1982.

The most nominated living person strikes again...

Composer John Williams, left, and director Steven Spielberg pose together at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John Williams
Composer John Williams, left, and director Steven Spielberg pose together at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John WilliamsChris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Composer John Williams, at 92, earned his 54th nomination this year for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Yes, that means that the worst film in the series can now be referred to as “Oscar nominated film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” And All of Us Strangers got nothing... Something’s gone wrong somewhere. 

Still, this 54th nomination means that he’s only five noms behind Walt Disney’s record of 59 career nominations. Williams retains his record as the most Oscar nominated composer of all time, though, and remains the most-nominated living person.

On the other end of the age spectrum...

Billie Eilish
Billie EilishJordan Strauss/Invision/AP

If Billie Eilish and Finneas win the award for Best Song for 'What Was I Made For?' from Barbie, the 22 and 26-year-old brother and sister duo will become the youngest two-time Oscar winners in history. 

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They previously picked up an award for their James Bond anthem 'No Time to Die' in 2022.

Oh, Bradley...

Bradley Cooper
Bradley CooperRichard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Bradly Cooper is the fifth most nominated living person to have never won an Oscar. 

He has been nominated 12 times, but he has never won. In all likelihood, he won’t be winning this year, as Maestro probably won’t win Best Picture, Best Actor, or Best Original Screenplay this year. 

He joins sound engineer Greg P. Russell (16 noms), composer Thomas Newman (15), songwriter Diane Warren (15) and special effect supervisor Daniel Sudick (13).

Oh Thelma...

Thelma Schoonmaker at the 2024 Berlinale
Thelma Schoonmaker at the 2024 BerlinaleAP Photo/Markus Schreiber

Three-time Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker has nabbed a record ninth nomination for film editing with Killers of the Flower Moon. The legendary editor has been working with Scorsese since 1967, and with this nomination, she overtakes frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator Michael Kahn, who has eight editing nominations.

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International Feature / Best Picture doubles

Jonathan Glazer
Jonathan GlazerChris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest is nominated this year in both the Best Picture category and in Best International Feature, as a film not in the English language. 

This has been happening a lot more over the years: Life Is Beautiful (1998); Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000); Amour (2012); Roma (2018); Parasite (2019); Drive My Car (2021); and All Quiet on the Western Front (2022). The first to achieve this? Z in 1969. 

If only France had had the good sense of selecting Anatomy of a Fall as their champion instead of (the no-less-excellent) The Taste of Things, and another name could have been added to this list...

This year’s Academy Awards take place on Sunday 10 March. Stay connected to Euronews Culture for news, updates and live coverage this weekend.

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