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What Oscar records will be broken and which ones will remain intact at the 96th Academy Awards ceremony March 10. With a win, Billie Eilish, 22, and Finneas, 26, would become the youngest artists ever to win two Oscars before the age of 30. The pair won for James Bond theme “No Time to Die” in 2022, and are nominated this year for “What Was I Made For,” from “Barbie.” Only three individuals have clinched two Oscars before turning 30: Luise Rainer earned back to back Oscars by the time she was 28 for “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) and “The Good Earth” (1937); Jodie Foster in 1989 for “The Accused” (age 26) and in 1992 for “The Silence of the Lambs” (29); and Hilary Swank in 2000 for “Boys Don’t Cry” (26) and in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby” (29).

Meanwhile, Diane Warren faces a less enviable milestone with her 15th nomination for “The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot,” potentially tying with the late Alex North and the still-active Thomas Newman for the second-most number of nominations without a win, just behind sound mixer Greg Russell’s 16.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The Oscars this year is a family affair across various categories. “Anatomy of a Fall” writers Justine Triet and her husband, Arthur Harari, are favored to win original screenplay for their French drama. At the same time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, the powerhouse couple behind the atomic bomb biopic “Oppenheimer,” are expected to be the second married duo to win best picture, with “Driving Miss Daisy” producers Richard D. Zanuck and Lili Fini Zanuck as the first.

“Oppenheimer” is also in the running to set records, with predictions suggesting anywhere from six to 10 wins. Should it secure eight or more, it would mark the most wins for a best picture nominee since the category’s expansion in 2009 and the highest tally since “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. If it lands a nearly perfect 10, it would tie 1961’s “West Side Story” as the second-most awarded film in history. Moreover, with global box office tallying just shy of $1 billion, it could become the third-highest-grossing film to win the top Oscar, trailing only “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” in addition to the highest-grossing film to earn acting awards for its stars, Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Willie D. Burton attends a special screening of OPPENHEIMER presented by the Filmmakers to celebrate the contributions of the film’s crew and craftspeople at the AMC Lincoln Square on July 17, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)
Getty Images for Universal Pictu

Should Murphy and Downey Jr. win, it would be the first time a best picture winner has snagged the acting Oscars for lead and supporting actor since 1959’s “Ben-Hur.” In the sound category, “Oppenheimer” production sound mixer Willie D. Burton could become the first Black person to win three Oscars in the category, an historic achievement. A victory for “Oppenheimer” would also grant Universal Pictures its 10th statue, placing it third overall behind Columbia Pictures and MGM.

Cord Jefferson could break new ground in the adapted screenplay category for “American Fiction,” potentially becoming the second Black solo writer to win the category, following Geoffrey Fletcher’s surprise victory for “Precious.” In addition, he would be the third Black solo scribe along with Jordan Peele for 2017’s “Get Out” in original.

Lily Gladstone has already made history as the first Native American nominated for actress for her role in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” With a SAG Award win under her belt, an Oscar now seems well within reach. Sadly, Indigenous representation in the Academy has been virtually non-existent in the history of cinema. There have been three Indigenous women nominated for best actress – Merle Oberon for “The Dark Angel” (1935), Keisha Castle-Hughes in “Whale Rider” (2003) and Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma” (2018). Those women are British, Kiwi, and Mexican, respectively.

POOR THINGS, Mark Ruffalo, 2023. © Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
©Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Should Gladstone not win, her film faces the prospect of leaving empty-handed, which would be Scorsese’s third film to do so after “Gangs of New York” and “The Irishman.” Similarly, Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” risks tying the record for most nominations without a win if it fails to secure any of its 11 nods, joining “The Turning Point” and “The Color Purple.”

The U.K. eyes its first international feature prize with Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest,” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” could become the first non-Disney sequel to win the animated feature Oscar, marking another potential milestone in a year rich with record-breaking possibilities. 

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

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