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Oscars 2021: 'Mank' leads nominations with 10 nods

At the 93rd Academy Awards, 'Mank' leads a relatively diverse slate, with two women—Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell—nominated for Best Director for the first time

Actor Gary Oldman appears with director David Fincher on the set of 'Mank'
Actor Gary Oldman appears with director David Fincher on the set of 'Mank' (AP)

David Fincher’s Mank has led nominations to the 93rd Academy Awards with 10 nods, and for the first time, two women — Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell — were nominated for best director.

Eight films were nominated for best picture. Mank was joined by Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, Zhao’s Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, Sound of Metal, Minari, The Father and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

History was made in the best director category. Only five women have ever been nominated in the category before. Zhao is the first woman of Asian descent nominated. The other nominees were Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, David Fincher for Mank and Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round.

See the full list of nominees on the Academy Awards site.

Nominations were announced from London by presenters Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The Academy Awards would typically have happened by now but this year were postponed by two months due to the pandemic. They will instead be telecast 25 April. The Academy confirmed that the show will be held at both its usual home in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and Los Angeles’ railway hub, Union Station.

Best actress nominees included Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday). The nominees for best actor were the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank) and Steven Yeun (Minari).

Among performers, it’s the most diverse slate of nominees ever — and a far cry from the all-white acting nominees that spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years ago. Nine of the 20 acting nominees are people of color, including Boseman, Ahmed, Yeun, and supporting actor nods for Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami) and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari).

After a pandemic year that shuttered most movie theaters, the expected best-picture nominees will have hardly any box office to speak of. It will be an Oscars not just without blockbusters but with many movies that have barely played on the big screen. Streaming services are set to dominate Hollywood’s biggest and most sought-after awards.

The film academy and ABC will hope that the nominees can drum up more excitement than they have elsewhere. Interest in little golden statuettes has nosedived during the pandemic. Ratings for a largely virtual Golden Globes, with acceptance speeches by Zoom, plunged to 6.9 million viewers — a 64% drop from 2020 — last month.

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