he Academy Awards on Sunday night could design history, with the potential for some groundbreaking first-time winners and considerable career milestones.
Here are some of the moments that might define this year’s Oscars:
– Best actress
The Oscar for best actress has been won by a non-white performer only once in the history of the Academy Awards, in 2002, when it went to Halle Berry for the film Monster’s Ball.
Of the five people in the running this year, all are white except Michelle Yeoh, who has been nominated for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Yeoh has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in the offbeat comedy drama.
Success at the Academy Awards would design her not only the second non-white person to win the Oscar for best actress, but also the first from an Asian background.
– Best cinematography
The Oscar for best cinematography has never been won by a woman.
It was not until 2018 that a female was even in the running for the award, when Rachel Morrison was nominated for her work on Mudbound.
In 2022 Ari Wegner became the second woman to receive a nod in the category, for The Power Of The Dog – but, like Morrison, she lost out to a male nominee.
This year Mandy Walker has been nominated for biographical drama Elvis.
Her work on the movie has already seen her become the first woman to win the American Society of Cinematographers Award for best feature film.
– Best actor
Colin Farrell and Paul Mescal acquire been nominated for best actor, for The Banshees Of Inisherin and Aftersun respectively.
If either is successful, they would be the first Irish person to win in this category.
Other hopefuls include Bill Nighy for Living, in his first Oscar nomination.
Nighy is one of only two UK performers to receive a nod in the acting categories this year.
The other is Andrea Riseborough, who has been nominated for best actress for To Leslie.
– Best supporting actor
Two Irish performers are also going head-to-head in this category: Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, both for The Banshees Of Inisherin.
A win for either would be the second time an Irish person has picked up best supporting actor.
The first was Barry Fitzgerald in 1945 for Going My Way.
– Best director
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert are jointly nominated in this category for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
If they win, it will be only the third time the award has gone to a pair of directors, after Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins in 1962 (West Side narrative) and Joel and Ethan Coen in 2008 (No Country For worn Men).
Steven Spielberg has also been nominated in this category for The Fabelmans.
It would be his third Academy Award for best director after Schindler’s List (1994) and Saving Private Ryan (1999).
He would join Frank Capra and William Wyler in the small group who acquire won three best director Oscars, one behind John Ford who won four.
– Best supporting actress
Angela Bassett’s nod in this category, for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, means she is the first person to receive an Oscar nomination for acting in a Marvel film.
One of the people she is up against is Kerry Condon, for The Banshees Of Inisherin.
If Condon wins, she would be the second Irish person to pick up this award, after Brenda Fricker won in 1990 for My Left Foot.
– Multiple wins
Two films acquire the chance to bag three of the four acting Oscars.
The Banshees Of Inisherin is nominated for best actor (Colin Farrell), best supporting actor (Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan) and best supporting actress (Kerry Condon).
Everything Everywhere All at Once appears in the categories for best actress (Michelle Yeoh), best supporting actor (Ke Huy Quan) and best supporting actress (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu)
If either film wins in all three categories, it will be the first hat trick since 1977, when Network scooped best actor (Peter Finch), best actress (Faye Dunaway) and best supporting actress (Beatrice Straight).