2021 Oscar Nominations: Yes! No?! What?

By Christian DiMartino

Whew, what a morning it has been.

Despite never receiving recognition of my own (someday, hopefully), Oscar morning is very nerve-wracking for me. I thought this year would be different, considering my lack of interest in movies in general recently. Yet I’d seen a decent amount so I guess something within me still felt interest, and this morning was just as nerve-wracking. It was a morning of surprises- some good, some not so good. The good ones are a delight, and yet some of the choices are very questionable. There’s a lot to unpack, so I’ll keep it brief.

The biggest surprise of the morning was the love for Sound of Metal. Riz Ahmed was definitely getting that Best Actor nomination, but who could’ve predicted Best Picture and Original Screenplay? Speaking of Original Screenplay, Judas and the Black Messiah also made a decent splash, with nominations for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, and Supporting Actor, not just for Daniel Kaluuya (who is poised to win) but for Lakeith Stanfield, who is honestly his equal. The surprise snub of Original Screenplay came in the form of Mank, which was written by director David Fincher’s late father, Jack Fincher. After this snub, I feared the film wasn’t getting in. But it ultimately did, with nominations for Best Picture, Director (Fincher), Actor (Gary Oldman), and in a pleasant surprise, Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried).

To bounce off of Supporting Actress, Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster wasn’t nominated for The Maurucharian (don’t honestly know what it’s called, but wanted to see it for her), but Glenn Close overcame the bad reviews for Hillbilly Elegy (the Razzie A-holes also recently nominated her too, so take that). Yuh-Jung Youn also got in for her wonderful work in Minari, and Maria Bakalova, who could win it, got in for Borat 2.

Sacha Baron Cohen had a decent morning too, getting nominated for Adapted Screenplay for Borat 2 as well as Supporting Actor for The Trial of the Chicago 7. Speaking of which, The Trial of the Chicago 7 did decent business, with nominations for Best Picture, Original Screenplay and so on. Yet something in my gut told me they were going to snub Aaron Sorkin for Best Director, and snub they did. His slot went to Another Round, which I officially need to see. Chicago 7 was however nominated for Best Cinematography, and, what a load of crap. Because you know what wasn’t? Tenet.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it didn’t take off financially either. Yet even if you didn’t like it, there is no denying that the cinematography, editing, score, and sound were all out of this world. Well, none of the above were nominated. It still made it on the board though, with nominations for Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects. In the technical fields, there was a lot of love for Paul Greengrass’ News of the World, but nothing major otherwise.

One thing that does surprise me is the lack of love for Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods. Personally, I thought it was decent, but it seemed up their alley. Delroy Lindo, at least, could’ve been nominated, but in the end it only scored for Best… Score. Chadwick Boseman will certainly win a posthumous Oscar for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Viola Davis’ nomination was very well deserved too. Yet in a shocker, the movie wasn’t nominated for either Adapted Screenplay or Picture. Regina King’s One Night in Miami nabbed an Adapted Screenplay nomination, but again, no Best Picture. It did bring me great joy to hear the recognition for The Father though, which scored Best Picture, Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, and Production Design. Promising Young Woman also got the nominations I knew and hoped it would get.

Then there’s Nomadland, the little movie that could… win it all. It brought me great joy to not only hear the love for it, but to also hear Frances McDormand win twice. If she doesn’t win Best Actress (my money is on Andra Day or Carey Mulligan), it would be beautiful justice if the film did win Best Picture, so then she’d have another Oscar. I was sort of bummed though to realize that David Strathairn wasn’t nominated; I assumed he’d be a last minute nomination. But nah, that was Lakeith… or whoever was in Sound of Metal.

So, as previously discussed in my Golden Globes post a few weeks ago (and this is the last observation, I swear), I said to not even bother to nominate Glenn Close or Diane Warren unless they were going to win. Well, they did, leaving Close with eight Oscar nominations, and songwriter Warren with 12. Close’s movie has a lot of hatred, yet with Jodie Foster out of the running, who knows who will win. Warren actually has a good shot at this, for Original Song for The Life Ahead. It really just depends on if The Academy chose to actually watch the movie… but she did win the Golden Globe, so it has promise.

Here are, er, most of the nominations:

BEST PICTURE

“The Father”

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

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”

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”

ORIGINAL SONG

“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”

“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”

“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”

“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Onward”

“Over the Moon”

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

“Soul”

“Wolfwalkers”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“One Night in Miami”

“The White Tiger”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Judas and the Black Messiah””Minari”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

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”

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”

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“The Father”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Tenet”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”

Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”

Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Phedon Papamichael , “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Emma”

“Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom”

“Mank”

“Mulan”

“Pinocchio”

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

“Greyhound”

“Mank”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

“Sound of Metal”

ORIGINAL SCORE

“Da 5 Bloods”

“Mank”

“Minari”

“News of the World”

“Soul”

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Love and Monsters”

“The Midnight Sky”

“Mulan”

“The One and Only Ivan”

“Tenet”

FILM EDITING

“The Father”

“Nomadland”

“Promising Young Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Emma”

“Hillbilly Elegy”

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

“Mank”

“Pinocchio”

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