The 91st Academy Awards took place Sunday night and the people who make the movies made Oscars history.
Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Green Book, becoming the second black actor to win multiple acting Oscars after Denzel Washington. Roma became the first Mexican film to win in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Earlier in the evening, Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler became the first black people to win in the Costume Design and Production Design categories for their work on Black Panther. Carter and Beachler are two of three black women to win Oscars in non-acting categories. Their wins brought Marvel Studios its first ever Academy Awards.
Controversy seems to have followed the 91st Academy Awards since before nominations were even announced this year, with the ceremony proceeding without a host and plenty of discussion over the merits of Best Picture contenders like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Here are all the records that were broken at the 2019 Oscars, and some that came close.
Records broken Sunday night
Mahershala Ali became the second black actor to win multiple acting Oscars
Mahershala Ali took home the statue for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his turn on Green Book. He became the second black actor to win multiple acting Oscars. Denzel Washington preceded him, having earned Oscars for 1989’s Glory and 2001’s Training Day in acting categories. Ali last won an Oscar in 2017 for his role in Moonlight.
Ali’s win also made him the the 12th actor to earn multiple awards within four years.
Ruth E. Carter became the first black person to win Best Costume Design
The costume designer Ruth E. Carter, nominated for her work in Black Panther, became the first black person to take home the Best Achievement in Costume Design.
Hannah Beachler became the first black person to win Best Production Design
Fellow Black Panther alum Hannah Beachler won for Best Production Design. In her speech, she thanked director Ryan Coogler, Carter and cinematographer Rachel Morrison.
Peter Ramsey became the first black director to win in the animated feature category
Peter Ramsey was the first black director to be nominated in the animated feature category this year, and on Sunday night he became the first to win in that category for Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Rami Malek became the first Arab-American to win Best Actor
With his win for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek became the first Arab-American and the first Egyptian-American to win in the Best Actor category. Malek gave a shout-out to his parents in his Oscars speech: “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I’m a first-generation American.”
Roma became the first Mexican film to win Best Foreign Language Film
The first film from Netflix to earn a Best Picture nomination, Roma earned the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first Mexican movie to do so.
Glenn Close held onto an unfortunate record
That Amy Adams has never won an Oscar has become a routine joke, especially among her most ardent fans, who would love to see her get some credit. Adams, who was up in the Best Supporting Actress category this year for playing Lynne Cheney in Vice, has previously lost at the Academy Awards five times.
But Glenn Close’s loss for Best Actress for her role in The Wife leaves her with the lead. Close, who has now been nominated seven times at the Oscars without winning any awards, continues her record this year. Olivia Colman won Best Actress for her role in The Favourite.
Records that came close
Black Panther could have set another new precedent for superhero movies
Black Panther already set a record this year by becoming the first ever superhero movie nominated in the Best Picture category. Had it won, the groundbreaking film would have been the first superhero movie to ever earn the Best Picture nod from the Academy Awards.
Spike Lee could have been the first black person to win Best Director
While Spike Lee is a Hollywood legend, his work as a director has never earned him an Academy Award. This year, he scored a nomination for BlacKkKlansman in the Best Director category. Had he won, he would have become the first black person to win Best Director.
Roma could have become the first foreign language film to win best picture
Netflix’s Roma made history before the Oscars even aired. Leading the 91st Academy Awards nominations (along with The Favourite) with 10 nominations, the film is only the second foreign language to score that many nods, after 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did the same. If the film had won Best Picture, Roma would have been the first foreign language film to take home the Academy Award in that category. While the Oscars recognize achievements in foreign language films in a separate category, a win for Roma would have marked a turn away from only awarding English-speaking films as Best Picture.
Correction, Feb. 24:
The original version of this story misstated the number of actors to win multiple Oscars within four years prior to Mahershala Ali. It was 11, not 10.
- The Fall of Roe and the Failure of the Feminist Industrial Complex
- What Trump Knew About January 6
- The Ocean Is Climate Change’s First Victim and Last Resort
- Column: 6 Proven Ways to Reduce Gun Violence
- Ads Are Officially Coming to Netflix. Here's What That Means for You
- Jenny Slate on the Unifying Power of a Well-Heeled Shell Named Marcel
- Column: The FDA's Juul Ban May Not be a Pure Public Health Triumph
- What the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision Means for Your State