Also garnering six nods was “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the courtroom drama focused on the anti-Vietnam War activists charged with inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; “Sound of Metal,” starring Riz Ahmed as a punk metal drummer who starts to lose his hearing; and “The Father,” a wrenching tale starring Anthony Hopkins as a father struggling with the onset of dementia.
All seven of the aforementioned films landed a best picture nomination. The remaining film in the biggest category, with five nods total, was “Promising Young Woman,” a dark dramedy centered on a former medical student who devotes her life to seeking revenge for a past trauma.
This year’s slate of nominees also made history: It was the first time the Oscars nominated multiple women (Chloé Zhao of “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell of “Promising Young Woman”) for best director; Zhao is also the first woman of color ever in the category. Steven Yeun of “Minari” became the first Asian American actor to be nominated for the best actor prize, while Riz Ahmed of “Sound of Metal” is the first person of Pakistani descent ever nominated for acting.
And while the nominees list is more diverse than in recent years (especially after the #OscarsSoWhite days), acclaimed films by Black directors were snubbed in some of the major categories, including Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” and Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.”
The Academy Awards air Sunday, April 25, on ABC. Few details have been revealed yet about the logistics of the telecast, although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed Monday that the show will take place at Union Station in Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Keep scrolling for our analysis of selected categories.
The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards:
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
Immediate analysis: All eight films were strong contenders for best picture nominations, with “Nomadland” as the clear front-runner. Netflix titles “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” would probably have wound up in the category regardless; others like “Sound of Metal” and “Promising Young Woman,” both directorial feature debuts, sparked conversation but undoubtedly benefited from the unusual pandemic-era playing field.
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”
Immediate analysis: Zhao, who has been racking up awards for “Nomadland,” is the first woman of color to be nominated for best director. Fennell joining her makes this the first year in Oscars history that two women have shown up in the category. Vinterberg is a pleasant surprise for the critically acclaimed “Another Round,” Denmark’s best international feature submission, while Chung seemed likely as “Minari” picked up steam. Fincher, of course, is the more traditional pick (though it’s worth noting that he was previously nominated for “The Social Network” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” both of which join “Mank” in being untraditional Fincher films). Notable here is the absence of three Black directors who stood a chance at landing nods: Spike Lee for “Da 5 Bloods,” Regina King for “One Night in Miami” and Shaka King for “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Immediate analysis: McDormand seems to stand the best chance here given the success of “Nomadland,” but those who watch the Oscars closely will remember a best actress upset just two years ago, when Olivia Colman beat Glenn Close for “The Favourite.” Day and Kirby both gave strong performances in films that received so-so reviews, while Mulligan and Davis were all but guaranteed to be nominated. With this nod, according to Netflix, Davis became the most-nominated Black actress in Oscars history.
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yeun, “Minari”
Immediate analysis: Best actor might be the tightest acting race this year, and the nominees closely align to what experts had predicted. Boseman, Ahmed and Yeun make for a fresh, diverse mix of actors, while Hopkins and Oldman have each won before and been nominated multiple times. Of the five slots, Oldman’s seemed to be a toss-up between him and Delroy Lindo of “Da 5 Bloods,” a film snubbed in major categories but nominated for best score.
Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Immediate analysis: One could argue that Youn and Bakalova reflect the slowly evolving taste of the acting branch, both critical favorites who recently earned British Academy nominations (the most reliable Oscars forecaster we have). Recent Oscar winner Colman was expected to appear here, while Seyfried earned heaps of praise for her charismatic turn in “Mank.” “Hillbilly Elegy” was panned across the board and jokingly referred to as Oscar bait, given that it stars eternally snubbed actresses Amy Adams and Close — who, quite honestly, stands to lose again.
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Immediate analysis: This is an exciting and diverse list, but we are puzzled by the academy’s choice to nominate both Kaluuya and Stanfield in the supporting actor category. Kaluuya’s Golden Globe-winning turn as deputy Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton commands attention, so this is certainly a worthy nod. But Stanfield is the ostensible lead in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” and many experts expected to see him get a “best actor” nod.
Raci is the (pleasant) surprise here: The 72-year-old, long known as a character actor, is enjoying a breakout thanks to his role as the deaf mentor to Ahmed’s character in “Sound of Metal.” Raci, who grew up using American Sign Language as the son of deaf parents, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the film was “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Best animated feature film
“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
Immediate analysis: This year’s nominees include two Pixar films, “Soul” and “Onward.” The former is the clear front-runner here, though it’s notable that the “Shaun the Sheep” sequel got a nod; the franchise’s first installment lost to Pixar’s “Inside Out” in 2016.
Best international feature film
“Another Round,” Denmark
“Quo Vadis, Aida?” Bosnia
“The Man Who Sold His Skin,” Tunisia
“Better Days,” Hong Kong
Immediate analysis: Following the strong showing of South Korea’s “Parasite” last year (which won best picture and best director, among others), the two favorites of this year’s international feature film nominees signal the academy’s continued efforts to not confine movies to this single category. The Romanian documentary “Collective,” also nominated for best documentary feature, touched a nerve during a calamitous global pandemic, possibly because, as Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday noted in her 3.5-star review, “this alternately illuminating and infuriating portrait of everyday bureaucratic corruption becomes a much larger, and more disturbing, portrayal of structural incompetence, indifference and moral rot.”
The Danish film “Another Round” also earned Thomas Vinterberg a best director nod for the movie about a story of four friends, led by Mads Mikkelsen, pushing through a midlife crisis by maintaining a constant, low-grade drunkenness. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” was another favorite to grab a nomination; the Bosnian thriller is set in the country’s 1995 war and re-centers the heinous crimes and actions during that time in an illuminating tale.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin
“Promising Young Woman,” Emerald Fennell
“Minari,” Lee Isaac Chung
“Sound of Metal,” Abraham Marder, Darius Marder and Derek Cianfrance
“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas and Kenneth Lucas
Immediate analysis: Screenplays are Sorkin’s strong suit, making him a front-runner in this category, but Fennell just won the Critics’ Choice Award for best screenplay, putting her at a close second. Both “Minari” and “Sound of Metal” offered their actors subtle, nuanced scripts to work with, while critics praised “Judas and the Black Messiah” for powerful writing that captured Hampton’s charisma without giving it too much of the Hollywood touch.
“Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao
“One Night in Miami,” Kemp Powers
“The Father,” Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, et al.
“The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani
Immediate analysis: While “One Night in Miami” didn’t rack up as many nominations as expected, Powers was a sure bet for adapting his play of the same name. Best picture nominees “Nomadland” and “The Father” earned numerous nods across the board; Zeller also adapted his own play. The original “Borat” appeared in this category more than a decade ago. “The White Tiger,” while not nominated elsewhere, earned screenplay buzz.
“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”
Immediate analysis: The field of documentaries this year range from spins on true crime tales to, well, misinterpreted interspecies relations. The heavy favorites are “Time,” a stunningly crafted mosaic that follows the story of Sibil Fox Richardson, who fights for the release of her husband, Rob, from prison; and “Collective,” about the 2015 nightclub fire that killed 27 people in what has become a haunting tragedy for Romania. (The latter is also nominated for best international feature film.) Netflix had a strong showing of documentaries this year with “Crip Camp,” about Camp Jened, a Catskills summer camp for disabled teenagers, and “My Octopus Teacher,” which shows Craig Foster bonding with a wild octopus. (The streaming service’s “Dick Johnson is Dead” was predicted by many to earn a nod but was ultimately snubbed.) Rounding out the field is “The Mole Agent,” a Chilean tale of an elderly man going undercover in a nursing home.
“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami,” Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth
“Io sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead,” Diane Warren, Laura Pausini and Niccolò Agliardi
“Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” H.E.R., Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas
“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,” Savan Kotecha, Rickard Goransson and Fat Max Gsus
Immediate analysis: Warren landed her 12th Oscar nomination (and her third in as many years) for “Io sì (Seen),” the widely acclaimed and Golden Globe-winning song from “The Life Ahead.” Her inclusion is par for the course among the expected nominees, though it’s worth noting that the academy failed to nominate Day for her musical work on “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
If you only know “Eurovision” as a silly Will Ferrell movie, you might be surprised to see “Husavik” on here, but the soaring ballad (performed by Ferrell and former Eurovision contestant Molly Sanden, who provided vocals for Rachel McAdams’s character) has earned industry praise. The Society of Composers and Lyricists crowned it best song for visual media at its annual awards show earlier this month.
“The One and Only Ivan”
Immediate analysis: This wasn’t the best year to witness visual effects as they were meant to be seen, given theater closures across the nation. “Tenet” bombed at the stateside box office, and numerous people probably watched it from their couch as they did “The Midnight Sky” on Netflix, or “Mulan” and “The One and Only Ivan” on Disney Plus. “Love and Monsters” is the surprise here, a post-apocalyptic film starring Dylan O’Brien.
“Nomadland,” Joshua James Richards
“Mank,” Erik Messerschmidt
“News of the World,” Dariusz Wolski
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Phedon Papamichael
“Judas and the Black Messiah,” Sean Bobbitt
Immediate analysis: This is Papamichael’s second Oscar nomination after 2013’s “Nebraska,” and the first nod for each of his four competitors (one that some would say is long overdue for Bobbitt, who works frequently with Steve McQueen). The fresh crop could be due in part to several buzzy films like “Dune” (with director of photography Greig Fraser, nominated for “Lion”) being delayed due to the pandemic.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Immediate analysis: The Art Directors Guild separates its annual nominees by genre — period, fantasy, contemporary and animated — so this isn’t exactly a 1:1 comparison. But “The Father” is the only Oscar contender that the guild didn’t also nominate, holding a slot that experts predicted might go to the vibrant “Mulan” or candy-colored “Promising Young Woman.”
Best makeup and hairstyling
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Immediate analysis: If you somehow missed that a new version of “Pinocchio” had been released, you’re not alone. But the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild was aware, and nominated the Italian film alongside “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank” and “Hillbilly Elegy,” which notably transformed Glenn Close and Amy Adams. The Regency-era looks in “Emma” are a pick unique to the Oscars, and one that experts didn’t necessarily see coming.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Ann Roth
“Emma,” Alexandra Byrne
“Mank,” Trish Summerville
“Mulan,” Bina Daigeler
“Pinocchio,” Massimo Cantini Parrini
Immediate analysis: Period piece fans rejoice! The costume design category continues to showcase film’s most splendid gowns, dashing formalwear and all things era-appropriate. The two movies to keep top of mind are “Ma Rainey” and “Emma,” which come from veterans of the category. Roth has been nominated four times and won once for 1997’s “The English Patient,” while Byrne has earned five previous nominations with one win in 2007 for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.” Another favorite, “Mank,” seems tailor-made for the category, showing off the high retro fashion of Hollywood’s golden era.
“News of the World,” James Newton Howard
“Soul,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste
“Mank,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
“Minari,” Emile Mosseri
“Da 5 Bloods,” Terence Blanchard
Immediate analysis: Chances are good that Reznor and Ross will take home an Oscar this year, and they have two opportunities to do so. Our money is on “Soul,” which already won a Golden Globe for original score and is clearly an academy favorite. It is lovely to see Blanchard get a nod for his sweeping score on Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”: He has been scoring Lee’s films since “Jungle Fever,” but this is only his second time being nominated for an Oscar (the first was in 2019 for “BlacKkKlansman.”) This category also marks a first-time nod for Mosseri, the 35-year-old composer behind the score of “Minari.”
Best documentary short subject
“A Concerto Is a Conversation”
“A Love Song for Latasha”
“If Anything Happens I Love You”
Best live-action short film
“Two Distant Strangers”
“Sound of Metal,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Alan Baumgarten
“Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao
“The Father,” Yorgos Lamprinos
“Promising Young Woman,” Frédéric Thoraval