‘Mank’ Leads a Diverse Field of Oscar Nominees

click to enlarge Judas and the Black Messiah
Judas and the Black Messiah

By Nicole Sperling
The New York Times

David Fincher’s meditation on old Hollywood, “Mank,”
led the Oscar nominations Monday with 10 total nods, including for best picture, director, actor and supporting actress. Voters recognized a diverse set of films, with six nominations each going to “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Sound of Metal,” “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The Father.”

All of those films were nominated for best picture, along with “Promising Young Woman.”

For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two women for best director, recognizing Chloé Zhao for her work on “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” That category also featured nods to Fincher, “Minari” director Lee Isaac Chung and, in a surprise, Thomas Vinterberg for his work on the International Film nominee “Another Round.”


The Academy also chose to showcase a diverse group of actors, awarding nominations in the lead actor category to Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Steven Yeun (“Minari”). Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) rounded out the category.
click to enlarge Frances McDormand in Nomadland
Frances McDormand in Nomadland


For best actress, the Academy recognized Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). Also nominated was Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”).

This has been a year in which streaming took firm hold in Hollywood, thanks to the theater shutdowns caused by the coronavirus. Contenders like “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “One Night in Miami” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” were released by the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Netflix once again leads the pack with 35 nominations; last year, it received 24 but walked away with just two wins. This year, the streaming service has three films in the running for best picture: the homegrown “Mank,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which it acquired from Paramount Pictures. Amazon Studios has “One Night in Miami” in the mix in several categories, along with “Sound of Metal,” and received some love for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” in the adapted screenplay and supporting actress (Maria Bakalova) categories.


The Oscars ceremony, which was pushed back two months because of the pandemic, will be held April 25.

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