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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Moira Macdonald

Oscars 2023: Fun facts about this year's nominees

Time for a round of Oscar trivia! Here are some intriguing facts about this year's slate of nominees.

If Kazuo Ishiguro wins for best adapted screenplay (for "Living"), he would become only the third person in history to win both the Nobel Prize for literature, which he won in 2017, and an Academy Award. The other two? George Bernard Shaw (who won his Oscar in the same category as Ishiguro is nominated in, in 1939 for "Pygmalion") and Bob Dylan (who won best song in 2001, for "Things Have Changed" in "Wonder Boys").

If John Williams wins for best original score (for "The Fabelmans"), he will become the oldest Oscar winner in history at age 90, surpassing James Ivory, who was 89 when he won best adapted screenplay in 2018 for "Call Me By Your Name." With 53 career nominations, the first of which was in 1968, Williams is the second-most nominated person in Oscar history; only Walt Disney, with 59, had more. Williams has won five times, most recently for "Schindler's List" in 1994.

This year's roster of acting nominees is remarkable in that it contains so many first-timers: Sixteen of the 20 nominated performers have never been up for an Oscar before, including all five in the best actor category (which hasn't happened since 1934). Only Angela Bassett (one previous nomination), Cate Blanchett (seven previous nominations, two wins), Judd Hirsch (one previous nomination), and Michelle Williams (four previous nominations) are repeaters. Bassett and Hirsch are also notable in that it has been decades since their last nominations: Bassett's was in 1994 for "What's Love Got to Do With It?"; Hirsch's was in 1981 for "Ordinary People."

If The Daniels — Kwan and Scheinert, co-directors of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" — win best director, they will be the first Daniels to do so. (Danny Boyle, who won in 2008 for "Slumdog Millionaire," goes by his nickname.) They will also become only the third directing duo to win an Oscar, following Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise ("West Side Story," 1961) and Joel and Ethan Coen ("No Country for Old Men," 2007).

With her best supporting actress nomination for "Everything Everywhere All at Once," Jamie Lee Curtis joined a very small club: that of nominated actors whose parents were both also nominated for Oscars. Curtis' mother, Janet Leigh, was nominated for "Psycho" and her father, Tony Curtis, for "The Defiant Ones." The only other two people in this category: Laura Dern (daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern) and Liza Minnelli (daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli).

Alfonso Cuarón tied a record set only last year by Kenneth Branagh, for a career in which he has been nominated for Oscars in seven different categories. Cuarón has been nominated in the past for best picture ("Gravity," "Roma"), directing ("Gravity," "Roma"), adapted screenplay ("Children of Men"), original screenplay ("Roma," "Y Tu Mamá También"), film editing ("Children of Men," "Gravity"), and cinematography ("Roma"); this year, he adds the live-action short film category, for "Le Pupille" (with Alice Rohrwacher).

If Steven Spielberg wins best director (for "The Fabelmans"), he'll become one of only four people to have won three or more directing Oscars. The other three date back to old Hollywood: John Ford, with four, and Frank Capra and William Wyler, with three each. Spielberg's previous directing wins were for "Schindler's List" in 1994 and "Saving Private Ryan" in 1999; he hasn't won an Oscar in this century.

If Diane Warren wins for best song (she's nominated for "Applause" from "Tell It Like a Woman"), she'll break a streak that stretches back to 1988: Warren has been nominated 14 times in the original song category, and never won. She was awarded an honorary Oscar last year — the first songwriter ever to receive one — with the Academy noting in a statement that "(her) music and lyrics have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists."

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