Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott's nominations as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their performances in A Star Is Born (2018) were the only nominations for fictional characters in their respective categories. The other four nominees as Best Actor were all playing real-life figures: Freddie Mercury, Dick Cheney, Vincent van Gogh, and Tony Lip; and in the Supporting Actor the real life figures were: Jack Hock, George W. Bush, Dr. Don Shirley and Flip Zimmerman - the latter being a slightly fictional composite of a real personality.
There were no "shut-outs" for the Best Picture nominees; for the first time in four years (since The Oscars (2015)), each of the eight films nominated for Best Picture received at least one Oscar.
With Mary Poppins Returns (2018) not gaining recognition for its stars, this year marked the first time that a musical directed by Rob Marshall hasn't secured an Oscar nomination for acting.
Of all the four versions of A Star Is Born, the Gaga/Cooper version A Star Is Born (2018) is the one which received most Oscar nominations, in eight categories. A Star Is Born (1937) received seven nominations and one honorary award (though not competitive); A Star Is Born (1954) was nominated for six Oscars, while A Star Is Born (1976) got four nominations.
Alec Baldwin appeared in two of the Best Picture nominees: BlacKkKlansman (2018) and A Star Is Born (2018). Coincidentally, in both films he appeared in just one scene: in Spike Lee's film he delivered a monologue opening the film, while in A Star Is Born (2018) he played himself in a cameo (a rare occurrence in Oscar-nominated pictures).
Kevin Hart was announced as host through social media on December 4, 2018, but he stepped down two days later after a controversy over past homophobic tweets and jokes.
Sam Rockwell and Mahershala Ali received their second nominations in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category, right after their first win and nomination in the same category had succeeded one another; Ali won in 2017, while Rockwell won in 2018.
The Best Director category was one of the most diverse in the awards season: it included one Greek, Yorgos Lanthimos; one Polish, Pawel Pawlikowski; one Mexican, Alfonso Cuarón; one African-American, Spike Lee; and one Caucasian, Adam McKay. It was reminiscent of The 60th Annual Academy Awards (1988), when all five directing nominees were foreign-born.
Three of the four winners in the acting categories were first-time nominees: Rami Malek (Lead Actor), Olivia Colman (Lead Actress) and Regina King (Supporting Actress).
Melissa McCarthy, Best Actress nominee for Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), had the dubious honor of being the only acting nominee who was also nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award, as Worst Actress for The Happytime Murders (2018).
After more than 40 years in the business, New Hollywood veteran screenwriter/director Paul Schrader finally received his first Oscar nomination, being nominated for Best Original Screenplay for First Reformed (2017).
Notables who died in 2018, including John Gavin, Sondra Locke, Dorothy Malone and Clint Walker, were excluded from the "In Memoriam" segment.
Black Panther (2018) was the first superhero movie to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards.
Lady Gaga was the second performer to earn nominations for acting and songwriting in the same film. Mary J. Blige was the first to earn the distinction in 2018, for Mudbound (2017).
Several planned departures from tradition during the broadcast were reversed after public criticism: First the announcement of a new Popular Film award, then producers' alleged wishes to only feature performances of two out of five nominated original songs and not invite the previous year's winners to present the acting awards, and then a plan to present four awards during commercial breaks and air the presentations in edited form.
Diane Warren received her 10th Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, but has yet to win.
During the "In Memoriam" segment of the show, military veteran and actor R. Lee Ermey was not included. Ermey died from complications related to pneumonia on the morning of April 15, 2018. He was 74 years old.
First ceremony edition that didn't include any Best Picture nominee that got the Best Film nomination from the Film Independent Spirit Awards ever since 2009.
Of the five nominees as Best Director, only Pawel Pawlikowski got nominated in the category without getting a Best Picture nomination for his film Cold War (2018). This marked the second time Pawel and his cinematographer Lukasz Zal received Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, respectively. The previous film was Ida (2013), which won the Oscar as Foreign Film. Both films were shot in black and white, and in the 2019 edition they were running in the same three categories as Roma (2018).