Will Hilary Swank become the fourth actor to punch her way to Oscar glory? Will Jamie Foxx be the first to win double acting honors?
Here's a look at some facts and figures in this year's Oscar race:
Reel Life: Eight of the 20 acting nominations are for performances based on real people. In "Ray," Foxx not only takes on the role of Ray Charles, he plays piano, too. In "The Aviator," Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a young Howard Hughes. Cate Blanchett is Hughes' onetime girlfriend, actress Katharine Hepburn, and Alan Alda is Ralph Owen Brewster, the Maine Republican who served in the U.S. Senate from 1940 to 1952.
Others include Johnny Depp as "Peter Pan" playwright J.M. Barrie in "Finding Neverland"; Laura Linney as Alfred Kinsey's wife, Clara, in "Kinsey"; and Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo as hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina and his wife, Tatiana, in "Hotel Rwanda."
Gold Medal Boxers: Swank is the first woman to land an Oscar nod for playing a boxer, but boxing and the Oscars have a long history. At least 12 actors have been nominated for playing boxers or former boxers. Winners include Wallace Beery in "The Champ," Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull," and, most famously, Marlon Brando as a retired boxer in "On the Waterfront," in which he delivers the immortal line, "I could've been a contender!"
This year's crop of Oscar-nominated ex-boxers also includes Morgan Freeman, who co-stars with Swank in "Million Dollar Baby."
Rookies of the Year: Ten of the 19 actors and actresses nominated have never been nominated for an Oscar before. Foxx, one of the first-timers, was nominated twice.
Double Play: Jamie Foxx, nominated for best actor in "Ray" and best supporting actor in "Collateral," becomes only the 10th person in history to pick up nods in two acting categories in the same year. Julianne Moore was the last to do it, back in 2003. (She was nominated as best actress for "Far From Heaven" and best supporting actress in "The Hours," but lost in both categories.) No one has ever won two acting categories in the same year.
A Perfect World: Clint Eastwood, who's up for best actor and best director for "Million Dollar Baby," was previously nominated in both categories in 1993 for "Unforgiven." He won for director, but lost out in the acting competition.
Golden Hopes: Five of the 20 acting nominations went to African-Americans, the most they've ever received in one year.
Muy Buena: Catalina Sandino Moreno is up for best actress, even though her role was in Spanish. Only four performances given in a foreign language have resulted in Oscar wins, most notably, Roberto Benigni, who took home a trophy for best actor for "Life Is Beautiful" in 1999.
Losing Score: Martin Scorsese has never had much luck at the Oscars. Not only has he failed to win in the four previous times he's been nominated for best director, he's also failed to come up a winner on the two occasions he's been nominated in screenwriting categories. Moreover, no film he's directed -- and his r&eacite;sumé includes "Raging Bull," " Goodfellas" and "Taxi Driver" -- has ever won best picture.
Hawkeye Soars: Alan Alda earned his first Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. He has been nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, winning five.
Diva Rematch: Swank and Annette Bening are up for best actress. They were both nominated, as well, in 2000 -- Swank for "Boys Don't Cry" and Bening for "American Beauty." Swank won.
ABCNEWS.com's Buck Wolf and ABC News Radio contributed to this report.