10 Oscar Wins That Would Make History This Sunday

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 27 2014 11:25 AM

10 Oscar Wins That Would Make History This Sunday

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This Sunday's ceremony could be the setting for all kinds of history.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

At this point, we can only wonder who will be thanked in the acceptance speeches come Oscar night. But we do know who could make history if they stride to the podium this Sunday. There are a number of nominees who, if they won, would set a new precedent or break a new barrier in the 86-year history of the Academy Awards.

Below we’ve collected 10 of the most notable. If you’re not sure who to root for this Sunday, perhaps the possibility of these milestones will help you decide. Or you can just use these bits of trivia to impress the other people at your Oscar party.

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Alfonso Cuarón, first Latino winner for Best Director
Gravity
’s director is only the second Mexican-born nominee in this category, following Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel.

Steve McQueen, first black winner for Best Director
The only other black nominees in this category have been John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) and Lee Daniels (Precious).

June Squibb, oldest winner for Best Supporting Actress
At 84, Squibb’s win for Nebraska would surpass current record-holder Peggy Ashcroft, who was 77 when she won for A Passage to India.  

Bruce Dern, oldest winner for Best Actor
Henry Fonda, who won at 76 for On Golden Pond, is currently the oldest winner; Dern is 77.

Jennifer Lawrence, youngest actor to win two Oscars
Lawrence, 23, would surpass Luise Rainer, who won Best Actress in 1937 and 1938 at 27 and 28.

American Hustle, first movie to win all four acting awards
If Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all win in their respective categories, the film will surpass A Streetcar Named Desire and Network, which took three acting awards apiece. (It’s worth noting that David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook was also nominated in all four categories last year.)

Gravity, first 3-D film to win Best Picture
Avatar
and Up were the first such nominees in this category four years ago, and, as the Dissolve points out, the Oscars have taken note of a number of 3-D films in the years since.

Robert Lopez, youngest EGOT winner
Depending whom you ask
, Lopez—nominated for Best Original Song along with his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez—could join the exclusive club of competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winners.

Woody Allen, most wins for Best Original Screenplay
Allen is already the most nominated in this category—he’s been a finalist 15 times—and also the biggest winner in this category. A win with Blue Jasmine would bring his number of screenplay awards to four, breaking his own record.

Best Foreign Language Film, first winner from Cambodia, Belgium, or Palestine
If The Missing Picture, The Broken Circle Breakdown, or Omar win, they will bring the award home to their respective countries for the first time.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.