The Oscar win for H.E.R., D’Mile and Thomas comes just six weeks after they won a Grammy for song of the year for “I Can’t Breathe.” This is the first time in 35 years that a songwriter or songwriting team has won an Oscar in the same awards season that they won a Grammy for song of the year for a different song. Lionel Richie won both awards in 1986. He and Michael Jackson shared the Grammy for song of the year on Feb. 25, 1986 for “We Are The World.” On March 24 of that year, he won the Oscar for “Say You, Say Me” from White Nights.
With the win for “Fight For You,” fellow nominee Diane Warren’s Oscar track record stands at 0-12. She is one of just seven people in Oscar history – across all categories – to amass as many as 12 nominations without a win. (Let’s hope nomination No. 13 will be lucky for her.)
Reznor, Ross and Batiste are the first three-member composing team in 33 years to win for best original score. The last three-member team to win in this category was the team of Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne and Cong Su, who took the 1987 award for The Last Emperor.
Reznor and Ross won in this same category 10 years ago for The Social Network. Only three other composers – Howard Shore, Gustavo Santaolalla and Alexandre Desplat – have won twice in this category since 1999, when the Academy consolidated two score awards into one.
Batiste is only the third Black composer to win in a scoring category. Prince won the 1984 award for best musical song score for Purple Rain. Herbie Hancock won the 1986 award for best original score for ’Round Midnight.
This is just the second time in Oscar history that Black musicians have won in both song and score categories in the same year. At the 1984 Oscars, when Prince won for best original song score, Stevie Wonder won best original song for “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from The Woman in Red.
Soul also won for best animated feature film. It is the second film to win for both animated feature film and original score. The first was Up (2009). Pete Docter directed both of these films. Michael Giacchino scored Up.
Nomadland is the first best picture winner with three female producers – Zhao, Frances McDormand and Mollye Asher. (The other producers on the film were Peter Spears and Dan Janvey.)
McDormand also won best actress for the third time. She previously won for Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. McDormand is just the third actor or actress to win three lead acting Oscars. Katharine Hepburn leads with four best actress wins. Daniel Day-Lewis has won best actor three times.
McDormand also becomes just the second person to win an Oscar in a lead acting category and also win for producing or co-producing a best picture (not necessarily in the same year). The first was Michael Douglas, who co-produced the 1975 best picture winner, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and 12 years later won best actor for Wall Street. (Two other actors – George Clooney and Brad Pitt — have won for supporting roles and also for best picture.)
Besides becoming the first woman of color to win for best director, Zhao becomes just the second female winner in that category, following Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2009).
Anthony Hopkins, 83, became the oldest winner of an acting Oscar. He won his second best actor Oscar for The Father, 29 years after he first won in the category for The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins’ win was an upset. The late Chadwick Boseman was expected to prevail for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Three of the four acting winners were born outside the U.S. Hopkins was born in Wales, Youn Yuh-jung (best supporting actress for Minari) was born in Korea and Daniel Kaluuya (best supporting actor for Judas and the Black Messiah) was born in England.
Glenn Close, nominated for best supporting actress for Hillbilly Elegy, lost again, bringing her track record to 0-8. Close thus ties the late Peter O’Toole as the actor with the most Oscar losses without a win. (May she, like Warren, win one day.)
Emerald Fennell won best original screenplay for Promising Young Woman. She’s the first female screenwriter to win an Oscar since Diablo Cody won in the category 13 years ago for Juno.
Scott R. Fisher shared the award for best visual effects for Tenet with Andrew Jackson, David Lee and Andrew Lockley. Fisher’s father, Thomas L. Fisher, won in the same category 23 years ago for his work on Titanic.