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The Last 60 Years Of Oscar Nominations In One Chart

John Williams — the composer behind “Star Wars,” “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park” and almost any other movie theme that you can hum to yourself from memory — received his 51st Oscar nomination this year. Think about that. Williams has two Academy Award nominations for every year Timothée Chalamet (nominated for best actor for “Call Me by Your Name”) has been alive — and then some.

Over the past 60 years, Williams has more Oscar nominations than anyone else. In second place: the country of France, with 35 nominations in the best foreign language film category.1 As you can see in the chart below — which looks at the ratio of nominations to unique nominees in each Academy Award category on the ballot this year2 — those two categories are among the least diverse in terms of giving new faces a shot at Oscar gold. Nominations for best documentary, on the other hand, have gone to a wide array of people.


  1. Why the academy gives the award for best foreign language film to countries rather than producers is beyond me.

  2. Categories that changed names in the past 50 years — but not what they were honoring — are included under their current labels.

Gus Wezerek was a visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight.