April 20, 2021

Oscar Nominations 2021: ‘Mank’ Leads Academy Awards Noms As Female Directors Make History

Directors Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) were both nominated for Best Director, and Zhao could be the first woman of color in history to take home the award if she wins;

Zhao and Minari director Lee Isaac Chung also made history as the most filmmakers of Asian descent to be nominated for their directing, while actor Steven Yeun (Minari) became the first Asian American nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role—one of a number of actors of color who were nominated this year, with Variety noting the acting categories are the most diverse in the awards’ history.

Mank, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 were nominated for Best Picture.

Netflix was a big winner in the nominations: In addition to Mank, Da 5 Bloods earned one nomination, The Trial of the Chicago 7 earned six nominations and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earned five, including a posthumous leading actor nomination for actor Chadwick Boseman.

Other actors to earn nominations include Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Anthony Hopkins (The Father) and Gary Oldman (Mank) as Best Leading Actor—with Ahmed becoming the first Muslim-American actor ever nominated in the category—and Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) in the leading actress category.

Among the more notable snubs were Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey being shut out of the Best Picture race; Aaron Sorkin and Regina King getting overlooked for Best Director (for The Trial of the Chicago 7 and One Night at Miami, respectively); and Jodie Foster losing out on a Best Supporting Actress nomination for The Mauritanian after winning the Golden Globe for her portrayal.

76. That’s the number of nominations women earned this year—honoring 70 women in total—a record number for the awards.With her nomination Monday, Davis is now the most-nominated Black actress in the awards’ history.

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