Dee Rees, writer and director of Mudbound, is the second Black woman to be nominated for screenwriting. Rachel Morrison, the film's cinematographer, is the first woman nominated in that field. Mary J. Blige, nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, is the first person ever to be considered in those two categories simultaneously.
Octavia Spencer, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Shape of Water, is the only Black actress to follow up an Oscars victory with two more nominations. With three nominations, she ties with Viola Davis as the most nominated Black actress in the 90-year history of the awards.
And with 21 nominations under her belt, Meryl Streep has extended her own record, leaving Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson — tied in second place with a dozen each — in the dust.
But there are a lot more women, whose names won't make headlines, poised to take the stage on March 4. They are the documentarians, the producers, the makeup artists, the costume designers, the set decorators, the cinematographers — roles integral to the movie-making process but not as showy as say, Best Actress. You may not have heard of them before, but you know their work. And in a year where Hollywood has started to come to terms with a systemic power imbalance that has led to rampant sexual harassment and abuse, their contributions matter more than ever. If we're going to make real, lasting change, we need women at every level of the industry, not just in the spotlight or on the red carpet.
Scroll through for a list of all the incredible women whose achievements we can't wait to celebrate at the 90th Academy Awards — win or lose.
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