And the nominees are…
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its list of 2021 Oscar nominations on Monday, March 15. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra announced the contenders during a live stream, and fans learned which of the 366 films eligible for Best Picture made the final cut.
The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are all in the running for the top prize. Mank heads into the award show with the most nominations, securing 10 nods. Meanwhile, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 follow with six apiece.
There are also a few history-making moments this year. For starters, this is the first time in the Academy's nearly century-long history that more than one female filmmaker has been nominated in the Best Director category. Chloé Zhao is nominated for Nomadland, and Emerald Fennell is up for Promising Young Woman.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zhao is the first woman to receive four nominations in one year—she's also up for Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. In addition, the publication notes Fennell is the first female filmmaker to be nominated for a feature directorial debut. She's a contender in two more categories: Best Picture and Original Screenplay.
The Hollywood Reporter points out that only five women had been nominated in the best director category before today: Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties, Jane Campion for The Piano, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird. Bigelow is the first and only woman to win in this category so far.
Zhao and Fennell aren't the only ones to make history. According to the Los Angeles Times, Steven Yeun, who stars in Minari, is also the first Asian American to be nominated in the lead actor category. In addition, the newspaper noted Riz Ahmed, who appears in Sound of Metal, is the first Muslim actor to be nominated in the lead actor category. In 2017, Ahmed, a 38-year-old British star of Pakistani descent, became the first South Asian actor and first Muslim actor to win a lead acting Emmy for his role in The Night Of.
Click here for the complete list of nominees.