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Oscars 2021: History Made in Best Director Category

Oscar statue - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2021
David Fincher’s “Mank” topped this year’s nominations for a ceremony postponed two months by the coronavirus pandemic, with 10 nominations, namely best picture, best director, as well as acting nods for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, just to name a few.

Monday morning saw nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards announced via livestream by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas.

  • The academy has for the first time nominated more than one female director in the same year, as Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were selected alongside Lee Isaac Chung, Thomas Vinterberg and David Fincher. All in all, five women have to date been nominated in the category in the history of the Oscars - that's 92 ceremonies so far, and only one has ever won - Kathryn Bigelow, for "The Hurt Locker" in 2010. Zhao, for her part, is also the first woman of colour to have ever been nominated for a best director Oscar statuette.
  • Despite movie theatres having been closed for most of this past year due to the pandemic, which also pushed the awards day all the way to 25 April, the nominations list is quite diverse.
  • Fincher’s "Mank", a black-and-white drama about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, leads the way with 10 overall nominations.
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”, “Minari”, “Sound of Metal”, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”, “The Father”, and “Nomadland” each received six nominations, including for Best Picture, while Promising Young Woman and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom clocked five.
  • Among other notable nominees are “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”, which earned both Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Maria Bakalova; “Collective” - a Romanian documentary that is featured in both the Best International Feature and Best Documentary category; as well as the Danish movie “Another Round”, which boasts scores in both the Best International Feature and Best Director categories.
  • Frances McDormand of “Nomadland,” the story of a widow who joins the US’ itinerant workforce living as a van-dwelling modern nomad, has been nominated for actress in a leading role, joined by Viola Davis( "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"), Andra Day ("The United States vs. Billie Holiday"), Vanessa Kirby ("Pieces of a Woman") and Carey Mulligan ( "Promising Young Woman").
  • As for the best actor, five movies and their five lead actors received berths: Riz Ahmed ( “Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Steven Yeun (“Minari”).
  • Another milestone in this year’s event, apart from the female directing duo, is that white nominees are the minority in three of the four acting categories.
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