Home Entertainment Oscar nominations 2021 – Mank, diversity, and an octopus teacher lead the way

Oscar nominations 2021 – Mank, diversity, and an octopus teacher lead the way

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2020 was a strange year for movies. Thanks to Covid-19 theatres were closed for most of the year and as a result, we saw most of the big blockbusters delayed until more profitable times. We might have gotten fewer big releases, but that doesn’t mean that the year was lacking in quality as there were still some fantastic movies that came out. With most films coming out through newly adopted digital policies of streaming services rather than just keeping them in theatres, this also meant that for the first time, we saw a lot of big award-contenders available on a smaller flatscreen first.

All the delays though also meant that award season itself was also inevitably held back and as a result, the Oscar awards are taking place two months later than normal. While we normally see the Academy Award nominations announced in January, we’ve had to wait until the middle of March to find out exactly which movies are up for the top prize.  

It is a great year for diversity with actors of colour featured throughout, and Chloé Zhao is the first female of colour to be nominated for best director. Chadwick Boseman also secures a posthumous nomination for Best Actor, though surprisingly loses out for the Best Supporting actor category in Da 5 Bloods which was snubbed entirely. It’s also great to see the South African-made documentary My Octopus Teacher land a nomination. At 83 years of age, legendary performer Anthony Hopkins is now the oldest person to ever be nominated in the Best Actor category. The man just gets better with age.

In the end, Mank leads with 10 nominations but has not won much for most of the award season and it’s unlikely to land too many here outside of possibly some of the technical categories. Nomandland, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Minari are also the likely favourites for Best Picture.

So far, this year is shaping up to be one of the most diverse ever with contenders for most categories transcending races and genders, something which is a major victory for the often very white-looking nominations. However, if the Golden Globes perhaps showed us one thing, it’s that there appear to be few obvious favourites this year and so there could be a lot of shock wins on the cards. Will the Academy Awards follow the trend of some crazy nominations or right the ship and give us a fair reflection of the very best that 2020 had to offer? We haven’t stolen the magic envelopes revealing the winners yet, but check out the nominees below.

Best Picture

  • The Father
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Minari
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Andra Day – The United States vs Billie Holiday
  • Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland
  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father
  • Gary Oldman – Mank
  • Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Leslie Odom Jr – One Night in Miami…
  • Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
  • Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
  • Olivia Colman – The Father
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank
  • Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

Best Director

  • Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
  • David Fincher – Mank
  • Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
  • Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
  • Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Minari
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • The Father
  • Nomadland
  • One Night in Miami…
  • The White Tiger

Best International Feature Film

  • Another Round
  • Better Days
  • Collective
  • The Man Who Sold His Skin
  • Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Onward
  • Over the Moon
  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
  • Soul
  • Wolfwalkers

Best Documentary Feature

  • Collective
  • Crip Camp
  • The Mole Agent
  • My Octopus Teacher
  • Time

Best Film Editing

  • The Father
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Cinematography

  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • News of the World
  • Nomadland
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Music (Original Score)

  • Da 5 Bloods
  • Mank
  • Minari
  • News of the World
  • Soul

Best Music (Original Song)

  • “Fight for You” – Judas and the Black Messiah
  • “Hear My Voice” – The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • “Husavik” – Eurovision Song Contest
  • “Io Si (Seen)” – The Life Ahead
  • “Speak Now” – One Night in Miami…

Best Sound

  • Greyhound
  • Mank
  • News of the World
  • Soul
  • Sound of Metal

Best Visual Effects

  • Love and Monsters
  • The Midnight Sky
  • Mulan
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Tenet

Best Production Design

  • The Father
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Mank
  • News of the World
  • Tenet

Best Costume Design

  • Emma
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Mank
  • Mulan
  • Pinnochio

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Emma
  • Hillbilly Elegy
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Mank
  • Pinocchio
  • Viola Davis in Netflix film ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Best Animated Short Film

  • Burrow
  • Genius Loci
  • If Anything Happens I Love You
  • Opera
  • Yes-People

Best Live Action Short Film

  • Feeling Through
  • The Letter Room
  • The Present
  • Two Distant Strangers
  • White Eye

Documentary Short Subject

  • Colette
  • A Concerto Is a Conversation
  • Do Not Split
  • Hunger Ward
  • A Love Song for Latasha

The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on 25 April.

Last Updated: March 16, 2021

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